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1.  Authors attain comparable or slightly higher rates of citation publishing in an open access journal (CytoJournal) compared to traditional cytopathology journals - A five year (2007-2011) experience 
CytoJournal  2014;11:10.
The era of Open Access (OA) publication, a platform which serves to better disseminate scientific knowledge, is upon us, as more OA journals are in existence than ever before. The idea that peer-reviewed OA publication leads to higher rates of citation has been put forth and shown to be true in several publications. This is a significant benefit to authors and is in addition to another relatively less obvious but highly critical component of the OA charter, i.e. retention of the copyright by the authors in the public domain. In this study, we analyzed the citation rates of OA and traditional non-OA publications specifically for authors in the field of cytopathology.
We compared the citation patterns for authors who had published in both OA and traditional non-OA peer-reviewed, scientific, cytopathology journals. Citations in an OA publication (CytoJournal) were analyzed comparatively with traditional non-OA cytopathology journals (Acta Cytologica, Cancer Cytopathology, Cytopathology, and Diagnostic Cytopathology) using the data from web of science citation analysis site (based on which the impact factors (IF) are calculated). After comparing citations per publication, as well as a time adjusted citation quotient (which takes into account the time since publication), we also analyzed the statistics after excluding the data for meeting abstracts.
Total 28 authors published 314 publications as articles and meeting abstracts (25 authors after excluding the abstracts). The rate of citation and time adjusted citation quotient were higher for OA in the group where abstracts were included (P < 0.05 for both). The rates were also slightly higher for OA than non-OA when the meeting abstracts were excluded, but the difference was statistically insignificant (P = 0.57 and P = 0.45).
We observed that for the same author, the publications in the OA journal attained a higher rate of citation than the publications in the traditional non-OA journals in the field of cytopathology over a 5 year period (2007-2011). However, this increase was statistically insignificant if the meeting abstracts were excluded from the analysis. Overall, the rates of citation for OA and non-OA were slightly higher to comparable.
PMCID: PMC4058908  PMID: 24987441
Citations; impact; open access; publication
2.  How Far Has the International Neurourology Journal Progressed Since Its Transformation Into an English Language Journal? 
The publisher of the International Neurourology Journal changed the text to English in 2010 to promote the journal as an international publication. Four years later, what has happened to this journal? This paper will use citation indicators to describe the degree of internationalization.
Citation indicators such as impact factors, total citations from Web of Science, Science Journal Rankings (SJR), cites per documents (2 years), and Hirsch indexes (h-indexes) from Web of Science, digital object identifier (DOI)/CrossRef, ScimagoJR, or Scopus were calculated. In addition, the native countries of the authors and researchers citing the journal in Web of Science were analyzed.
Impact factors in 2012 and 2013 were 0.645 and 0.857, respectively. Total citations in 2011, 2012, and 2013 from Web of Science were 15, 51, and 99, respectively, and the SJRs in 2011 and 2012 were 0.220 and 0.390, respectively. The h-indexes from DOI/CrossRef, Scopus, and Web of Science were 7, 8, and 6, respectively. Out of 153 unsolicited published papers, 27 (17.6%) were from outside of Korea. The researchers citing the journal in Web of Science and Scopus were primarily from the United States, Korea, China, the United Kingdom, and France. Funding agencies supported 39 of 101 original articles (38.6%).
After changing the text to the English language, the citation indicators show that the International Neurourology Journal has been elevated to an international journal. Although the nationality of authors varies from year to year, the increase in the number of manuscripts from international authors is obvious.
PMCID: PMC3983506  PMID: 24729921
Journal impact factor; Bibliographic database; PubMed
3.  Factors Affecting Journal Quality Indicator in Scopus (SCImago Journal Rank) in Obstetrics and Gynecology Journals: a Longitudinal Study (1999-2013) 
Acta Informatica Medica  2014;22(6):385-388.
Awareness of the latest scientific research and publishing articles in top journals is one of the major concerns of health researchers. In this study, we first introduced top journals of obstetrics and gynecology field based on their Impact Factor (IF), Eigenfactor Score (ES) and SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) indicator indexed in Scopus databases and then the scientometric features of longitudinal changes of SJR in this field were presented.
Method and material:
In our analytical and bibiliometric study, we included all the journals of obstetrics and gynecology field which were indexed by Scopus from 1999 to 2013. The scientometric features in Scopus were derived from SCImago Institute and IF and ES were obtained from Journal Citation Report through the Institute for Scientific Information. Generalized Estimating Equation was used to assess the scientometric features affecting SJR.
From 256 journals reviewed, 54.2% and 41.8% were indexed in the Pubmed and the Web of Sciences, respectively. Human Reproduction Update based on the IF (5.924±2.542) and SJR (2.682±1.185), and American Journal of obstetrics and gynecology based on the ES (0.05685±0.00633) obtained the first rank among the other journals. Time, Index in Pubmed, H_index, Citable per Document, Cites per Document, and IF affected changes of SJR in the period of study.
Our study showed a significant association between SJR and scientometric features in obstetrics and gynecology journals. According to this relationship, SJR may be an appropriate index for assessing journal quality.
PMCID: PMC4315645
Journal quality; obstetrics and gynecology; Impact Factor; Eigenfactor Score; SCImago Journal Rank
4.  Open Access to the Scientific Journal Literature: Situation 2009 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(6):e11273.
The Internet has recently made possible the free global availability of scientific journal articles. Open Access (OA) can occur either via OA scientific journals, or via authors posting manuscripts of articles published in subscription journals in open web repositories. So far there have been few systematic studies showing how big the extent of OA is, in particular studies covering all fields of science.
Methodology/Principal Findings
The proportion of peer reviewed scholarly journal articles, which are available openly in full text on the web, was studied using a random sample of 1837 titles and a web search engine. Of articles published in 2008, 8,5% were freely available at the publishers' sites. For an additional 11,9% free manuscript versions could be found using search engines, making the overall OA percentage 20,4%. Chemistry (13%) had the lowest overall share of OA, Earth Sciences (33%) the highest. In medicine, biochemistry and chemistry publishing in OA journals was more common. In all other fields author-posted manuscript copies dominated the picture.
The results show that OA already has a significant positive impact on the availability of the scientific journal literature and that there are big differences between scientific disciplines in the uptake. Due to the lack of awareness of OA-publishing among scientists in most fields outside physics, the results should be of general interest to all scholars. The results should also interest academic publishers, who need to take into account OA in their business strategies and copyright policies, as well as research funders, who like the NIH are starting to require OA availability of results from research projects they fund. The method and search tools developed also offer a good basis for more in-depth studies as well as longitudinal studies.
PMCID: PMC2890572  PMID: 20585653
5.  Conflicts of Interest at Medical Journals: The Influence of Industry-Supported Randomised Trials on Journal Impact Factors and Revenue – Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(10):e1000354.
Andreas Lundh and colleagues investigated the effect of publication of large industry-supported trials on citations and journal income, through reprint sales, in six general medical journals
Transparency in reporting of conflict of interest is an increasingly important aspect of publication in medical journals. Publication of large industry-supported trials may generate many citations and journal income through reprint sales and thereby be a source of conflicts of interest for journals. We investigated industry-supported trials' influence on journal impact factors and revenue.
Methods and Findings
We sampled six major medical journals (Annals of Internal Medicine, Archives of Internal Medicine, BMJ, JAMA, The Lancet, and New England Journal of Medicine [NEJM]). For each journal, we identified randomised trials published in 1996–1997 and 2005–2006 using PubMed, and categorized the type of financial support. Using Web of Science, we investigated citations of industry-supported trials and the influence on journal impact factors over a ten-year period. We contacted journal editors and retrieved tax information on income from industry sources. The proportion of trials with sole industry support varied between journals, from 7% in BMJ to 32% in NEJM in 2005–2006. Industry-supported trials were more frequently cited than trials with other types of support, and omitting them from the impact factor calculation decreased journal impact factors. The decrease varied considerably between journals, with 1% for BMJ to 15% for NEJM in 2007. For the two journals disclosing data, income from the sales of reprints contributed to 3% and 41% of the total income for BMJ and The Lancet in 2005–2006.
Publication of industry-supported trials was associated with an increase in journal impact factors. Sales of reprints may provide a substantial income. We suggest that journals disclose financial information in the same way that they require them from their authors, so that readers can assess the potential effect of different types of papers on journals' revenue and impact.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Medical journals publish many different types of papers that inform doctors about the latest research advances and the latest treatments for their patients. They publish articles that describe laboratory-based research into the causes of diseases and the identification of potential new drugs. They publish the results of early clinical trials in which a few patients are given a potential new drug to check its safety. Finally and most importantly, they publish the results of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). RCTs are studies in which large numbers of patients are randomly allocated to different treatments without the patient or the clinician knowing the allocation and the efficacy of the various treatments compared. RCTs are best way of determining whether a new drug is effective and have to be completed before a drug can be marketed. Because RCTs are very expensive, they are often supported by drug companies. That is, drug companies provide grants or drugs for the trial or assist with data analysis and/or article preparation.
Why Was This Study Done?
Whenever a medical journal publishes an article, the article's authors have to declare any conflicts of interest such as financial gain from the paper's publication. Conflict of interest statements help readers assess papers—an author who owns the patent for a drug, for example, might put an unduly positive spin on his/her results. The experts who review papers for journals before publication provide similar conflict of interest statements. But what about the journal editors who ultimately decide which papers get published? The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which produces medical publishing guidelines, states that: “Editors who make final decisions about manuscripts must have no personal, professional, or financial involvement in any of the issues that they might judge.” However, the publication of industry-supported RCTs might create “indirect” conflicts of interest for journals by boosting the journal's impact factor (a measure of a journal's importance based on how often its articles are cited) and its income through the sale of reprints to drug companies. In this study, the researchers investigate whether the publication of industry-supported RCTs influences the impact factors and finances of six major medical journals.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers determined which RCTs published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the British Medical Journal (BMJ), The Lancet, and three other major medical journals in 1996–1997 and 2005–2006 were supported wholly, partly, or not at all by industry. They then used the online academic citation index Web of Science to calculate an approximate impact factor for each journal for 1998 and 2007 and calculated the effect of the published RCTs on the impact factor. The proportion of RCTs with sole industry support varied between journals. Thus, 32% of the RCTs published in the NEJM during both two-year periods had industry support whereas only 7% of the RCTs published in the BMJ in 2005–2006 had industry support. Industry-supported trials were more frequently cited than RCTs with other types of support and omitting industry-supported RCTs from impact factor calculations decreased all the approximate journal impact factors. For example, omitting all RCTs with industry or mixed support decreased the 2007 BMJ and NEJM impact factors by 1% and 15%, respectively. Finally, the researchers asked each journal's editor about their journal's income from industry sources. For the BMJ and The Lancet, the only journals that provided this information, income from reprint sales was 3% and 41%, respectively, of total income in 2005–2006.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that the publication of industry-supported RCTs was associated with an increase in the approximate impact factors of these six major medical journals. Because these journals publish numerous RCTs, this result may not be generalizable to other journals. These findings also indicate that income from reprint sales can be a substantial proportion of a journal's total income. Importantly, these findings do not imply that the decisions of editors are affected by the possibility that the publication of an industry-supported trial might improve their journal's impact factor or income. Nevertheless, the researchers suggest, journals should live up to the same principles related to conflicts of interest as those that they require from their authors and should routinely disclose information on the source and amount of income that they receive.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Harvey Marcovitch
The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors provides information about the publication of medical research, including conflicts of interest
The World Association of Medical Editors also provides information on conflicts of interest in medical journals
Information about impact factors is provided by Thomson Reuters, a provider of intelligent information for businesses and professionals; Thomson Reuters also runs Web of Science
PMCID: PMC2964336  PMID: 21048986
6.  Bridging knowledge translation gap in health in developing countries: visibility, impact and publishing standards in journals from the Eastern Mediterranean 
Local and regional scientific journals are important factors in bridging gaps in health knowledge translation in low-and middle-income countries. We assessed indexing, citations and publishing standards of journals from the Eastern Mediterranean region.
For journals from 22 countries in the collection of the Index Medicus for the Eastern Mediterranean Region (IMEMR), we analyzed indexing in bibliographical databases and citations during 2006–2009 to published items in 2006 in Web of Science (WoS) and SCOPUS. Adherence to editorial and publishing standards was assessed using a special checklist.
Out of 419 journals in IMEMR, 19 were indexed in MEDLINE, 23 in WoS and 46 in SCOPUS. Their impact factors ranged from 0.016 to 1.417. For a subset of 175 journals with available tables of contents from 2006, articles published in 2006 from 93 journals received 2068 citations in SCOPUS (23.5% self-citations) and articles in 86 journals received 1579 citations in WoS (24.3% self-citations) during 2006–2009. Citations to articles came mostly from outside of the Eastern Mediterranean region (76.8% in WoS and 75.4% in SCOPUS). Articles receiving highest number of citations presented topics specific for the region. Many journals did not follow editorial and publishing standards, such addressing requirements about the patient’s privacy rights (68.0% out of 244 analyzed), policy on managing conflicts of interest (66.4%), and ethical conduct in clinical and animal research (66.4%).
Journals from the Eastern Mediterranean are visible in and have impact on global scientific community. Coordinated effort of all stakeholders in journal publishing, including researchers, journal editors and owners, policy makers and citation databases, is needed to further promote local journals as windows to the research in the developing world and the doors for valuable regional research to the global scientific community.
PMCID: PMC3430582  PMID: 22577965
7.  The Development of Open Access Journal Publishing from 1993 to 2009 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e20961.
Open Access (OA) is a model for publishing scholarly peer reviewed journals, made possible by the Internet. The full text of OA journals and articles can be freely read, as the publishing is funded through means other than subscriptions. Empirical research concerning the quantitative development of OA publishing has so far consisted of scattered individual studies providing brief snapshots, using varying methods and data sources. This study adopts a systematic method for studying the development of OA journals from their beginnings in the early 1990s until 2009. Because no comprehensive index of OA articles exists, systematic manual data collection from journal web sites was conducted based on journal-level data extracted from the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Due to the high number of journals registered in the DOAJ, almost 5000 at the time of the study, stratified random sampling was used. A separate sample of verified early pioneer OA journals was also studied. The results show a very rapid growth of OA publishing during the period 1993–2009. During the last year an estimated 191 000 articles were published in 4769 journals. Since the year 2000, the average annual growth rate has been 18% for the number of journals and 30% for the number of articles. This can be contrasted to the reported 3,5% yearly volume increase in journal publishing in general. In 2009 the share of articles in OA journals, of all peer reviewed journal articles, reached 7,7%. Overall, the results document a rapid growth in OA journal publishing over the last fifteen years. Based on the sampling results and qualitative data a division into three distinct periods is suggested: The Pioneering years (1993–1999), the Innovation years (2000–2004), and the Consolidation years (2005–2009).
PMCID: PMC3113847  PMID: 21695139
8.  Journal Metrics-Based Position of Diabetes & Metabolism Journal after the Change of Its Text Language to English 
Diabetes & Metabolism Journal  2014;38(3):187-193.
After changing its language from Korean or English to English only in 2010, the journal metrics of Diabetes & Metabolism Journal (DMJ) were analyzed to assess whether this change in the journal policy was successful. The journal metric items that were analyzed were the following: impact factor; total citations; countries of authors; proportion of the articles funded out of the total number of original articles; and Hirsch-index (H-index). A retrospective, descriptive analysis was carried out using various databases, such as KoreaMed, Korean Medical Citation Index (KoMCI), KoreaMed Synapse, Web of Science, and Journal Citation Ranking. The journal's impact factor was 2.054, which corresponds to 83/122 (68.0%) out of the 2012 JCR endocrinology and metabolism category. The number of the journal's total citations was 330 in 2013. In addition to Korean authors, authors from 13 other countries published papers in the journal from 2010 to 2013. The number of funded papers from 2010 to 2013 was 65 out of 148 original articles (43.9%). The journal's H-index from KoreaMed Synapse was 7, and that from Web of Science was 9. It can be concluded that changing the journal's language to English was successful based on journal metrics. DMJ is currently positioned as an international journal based on the international diversity of authors and editors, its sufficiently high proportion of funded articles, its relatively high impact factor, and the number of total citations.
PMCID: PMC4083024  PMID: 25003071
Bibliometrics; Databases, bibliographic; Journal impact factor; Korea; Periodicals; PubMed
9.  A Study of Innovative Features in Scholarly Open Access Journals 
The emergence of the Internet has triggered tremendous changes in the publication of scientific peer-reviewed journals. Today, journals are usually available in parallel electronic versions, but the way the peer-review process works, the look of articles and journals, and the rigid and slow publication schedules have remained largely unchanged, at least for the vast majority of subscription-based journals. Those publishing firms and scholarly publishers who have chosen the more radical option of open access (OA), in which the content of journals is freely accessible to anybody with Internet connectivity, have had a much bigger degree of freedom to experiment with innovations.
The objective was to study how open access journals have experimented with innovations concerning ways of organizing the peer review, the format of journals and articles, new interactive and media formats, and novel publishing revenue models.
The features of 24 open access journals were studied. The journals were chosen in a nonrandom manner from the approximately 7000 existing OA journals based on available information about interesting journals and include both representative cases and highly innovative outlier cases.
Most early OA journals in the 1990s were founded by individual scholars and used a business model based on voluntary work close in spirit to open-source development of software. In the next wave, many long-established journals, in particular society journals and journals from regions such as Latin America, made their articles OA when they started publishing parallel electronic versions. From about 2002 on, newly founded professional OA publishing firms using article-processing charges to fund their operations have emerged. Over the years, there have been several experiments with new forms of peer review, media enhancements, and the inclusion of structured data sets with articles. In recent years, the growth of OA publishing has also been facilitated by the availability of open-source software for journal publishing.
The case studies illustrate how a new technology and a business model enabled by new technology can be harnessed to find new innovative ways for the organization and content of scholarly publishing. Several recent launches of OA journals by major subscription publishers demonstrate that OA is rapidly gaining acceptance as a sustainable alternative to subscription-based scholarly publishing.
PMCID: PMC3278101  PMID: 22173122
Scholarly publishing; open access; Internet; peer review
10.  A study on literature obsolescence and core journals’ cost-benefit in citations of the ‘Scientific Medical Journal of Ahwaz’ 
One of the methods of identifying core and popular resources is by citation evaluation. Using citation evaluation, the librarians of the Acquisition Department can use quantitative methods to indentify core and popular resources among numerous information resources and make serious savings in the library's budget, by acquiring these core resources and eliminating useless ones. The aim of this study is assessing literature obsolescence and core journals’ cost-benefit in citations of the ‘Scientific Medical Journal of Ahwaz’.
Materials and Methods:
This study is a descriptive and cross-sectional survey that uses citation analysis. Sampling is objective sampling from all documents from years 1364 (1985) to 1385 (2006), and the population comprises of 6342 citations of the articles published in ‘Scientific Medical Journal of Ahwaz’. Data collection is done through referring to the original documents and the data is analyzed using the Excel software, and for descriptive and analytical statistics the cost-benefit formula and Bradford law formula are used.
Findings showed that the average citation for each document in the ‘Scientific Medical Journal of Ahwaz’ was 15.81. The average citation to international sources was 14.37, and the average citation to national sources was 1.44. The literature obsolescence of Farsi documents in this study was 15 years, while it was equal to 20 years for English documents. The highly cited Farsi journals were (sorted based on citation in descending order): ‘Scientific Medical Journal of Ahwaz’, ‘Daroudarman’, ‘Nabz,’ and ‘Journal of Medical School, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences’. The highly cited English journals were (sorted based on citation in descending order): ‘Pediatrics’, ‘The New England Journal of Medicine’, ‘Gastroenterology’ and ‘Medicine’. All of these four journals are part of the ISI database and have good impact factors in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR). Also their cost-benefit was reasonable based on the frequency of their use.
The authors of the investigated journal were more inclined to use international references. The resources used by the authors of this journal are relatively obsolete and the authors ought to use more up-to-date resources. The subscription for high citation English and Farsi journals is still available in this university. Also the authors of this journal have used accredited ISI journals as their resource, which is a sign of the credibility for the ‘Scientific Medical Journal of Ahwaz’.
PMCID: PMC4165098  PMID: 25250359
Bradford Law; citation analysis; core journals; cost-benefit; literature obsolescence; Scientific Medical Journal of Ahwaz
11.  What do evidence-based secondary journals tell us about the publication of clinically important articles in primary healthcare journals? 
BMC Medicine  2004;2:33.
We conducted this analysis to determine i) which journals publish high-quality, clinically relevant studies in internal medicine, general/family practice, general practice nursing, and mental health; and ii) the proportion of clinically relevant articles in each journal.
We performed an analytic survey of a hand search of 170 general medicine, general healthcare, and specialty journals for 2000. Research staff assessed individual articles by using explicit criteria for scientific merit for healthcare application. Practitioners assessed the clinical importance of these articles. Outcome measures were the number of high-quality, clinically relevant studies published in the 170 journal titles and how many of these were published in each of four discipline-specific, secondary "evidence-based" journals (ACP Journal Club for internal medicine and its subspecialties; Evidence-Based Medicine for general/family practice; Evidence-Based Nursing for general practice nursing; and Evidence-Based Mental Health for all aspects of mental health). Original studies and review articles were classified for purpose: therapy and prevention, screening and diagnosis, prognosis, etiology and harm, economics and cost, clinical prediction guides, and qualitative studies.
We evaluated 60,352 articles from 170 journal titles. The pass criteria of high-quality methods and clinically relevant material were met by 3059 original articles and 1073 review articles. For ACP Journal Club (internal medicine), four titles supplied 56.5% of the articles and 27 titles supplied the other 43.5%. For Evidence-Based Medicine (general/family practice), five titles supplied 50.7% of the articles and 40 titles supplied the remaining 49.3%. For Evidence-Based Nursing (general practice nursing), seven titles supplied 51.0% of the articles and 34 additional titles supplied 49.0%. For Evidence-Based Mental Health (mental health), nine titles supplied 53.2% of the articles and 34 additional titles supplied 46.8%. For the disciplines of internal medicine, general/family practice, and mental health (but not general practice nursing), the number of clinically important articles was correlated withScience Citation Index (SCI) Impact Factors.
Although many clinical journals publish high-quality, clinically relevant and important original studies and systematic reviews, the articles for each discipline studied were concentrated in a small subset of journals. This subset varied according to healthcare discipline; however, many of the important articles for all disciplines in this study were published in broad-based healthcare journals rather than subspecialty or discipline-specific journals.
PMCID: PMC518974  PMID: 15350200
12.  Croatian Medical Journal Citation Score in Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar 
Croatian Medical Journal  2010;51(2):99-103.
To analyze the 2007 citation count of articles published by the Croatian Medical Journal in 2005-2006 based on data from the Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar.
Web of Science and Scopus were searched for the articles published in 2005-2006. As all articles returned by Scopus were included in Web of Science, the latter list was the sample for further analysis. Total citation counts for each article on the list were retrieved from Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar. The overlap and unique citations were compared and analyzed. Proportions were compared using χ2-test.
Google Scholar returned the greatest proportion of articles with citations (45%), followed by Scopus (42%), and Web of Science (38%). Almost a half (49%) of articles had no citations and 11% had an equal number of identical citations in all 3 databases. The greatest overlap was found between Web of Science and Scopus (54%), followed by Scopus and Google Scholar (51%), and Web of Science and Google Scholar (44%). The greatest number of unique citations was found by Google Scholar (n = 86). The majority of these citations (64%) came from journals, followed by books and PhD theses. Approximately 55% of all citing documents were full-text resources in open access. The language of citing documents was mostly English, but as many as 25 citing documents (29%) were in Chinese.
Google Scholar shares a total of 42% citations returned by two others, more influential, bibliographic resources. The list of unique citations in Google Scholar is predominantly journal based, but these journals are mainly of local character. Citations received by internationally recognized medical journals are crucial for increasing the visibility of small medical journals but Google Scholar may serve as an alternative bibliometric tool for an orientational citation insight.
PMCID: PMC2859414  PMID: 20401951
13.  Bibliometric analysis of the volume and visibility of Saudi publications in leading anesthesia journals 
Saudi Journal of Anaesthesia  2012;6(4):393-397.
The quantity and quality of publications by a country indicates its contribution towards scientific development.
To examine the volume and impact of the Saudi anesthesia publications in leading anesthesia journals.
Settings and Design:
Fifteen leading anesthesia journals were identified. Saudi publications in these journals from 1991 to 2011 were searched in the databases of Pubmed and Web of Knowledge.
For each article, the journal and time of publication, the type of the article and the affiliation of the first author were analysed. The visibility of the publications was related to the number of citations and was analysed for the years 2000 to 2008. Data were compared with selected Arab countries.
Statistical Analysis:
Two visibility indices were used. The first relates the average citations per Saudi articles in the years following publication to the average global citations. The second relates the average citations per Saudi article in the two years following publication to the impact factor of the journal of publication. The h-index was used as a measure of both volume and visibility.
Anesthesiologists from Saudi affiliations published 173 documents in leading 15 anesthesia journals betweent the years 1991-2011, with a marked increase in the last 6 years. Anesthesia and Analgesia journal published 24% of Saudi articles. Saudi universities contributed to 55% of Saudi publications. The visibility of the Saudi articles was 0.7 of the international figures.
Saudi anesthesia publications are increasing in recent years. Although the visibility of Saudi publications is below international figures, it compares favourably to Arab countries.
PMCID: PMC3591561  PMID: 23494080
Bibliometric; h-index; impact factor; scientometrics; visibility indices
14.  Comparative Study of Scientific Publications in Urology and Nephrology Journals Originating from USA, China and Japan (2001–2010) 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e42200.
In the past decade, scientific research has developed rapidly in China, but the growth seems to vary widely between different disciplines. In this study, we aimed to compare the quantity and quality of publications in urology and nephrology journals from USA, China and Japan.
Journals listed in the “Urology and Nephrology” category of Science Citation Index Expanded subject categories were included. Scientific papers in these journals written by researchers from USA, Japan and China were retrieved from the “PubMed” and “Web of Knowledge” online databases.
The annual number of total scientific articles increased significantly from 2001 to 2010 in China, and has ranked second in the world since 2006. In the field of urology and nephrology, the annual number increased significantly from 2001 to 2010 in USA and China; but not in Japan. The share of articles increased significantly over time in China, decreased significantly in Japan, and remained unchanged in USA. In 2010, USA contributed 32.17% of the total world output in urology and nephrology field and ranked 1st; Japan contributed 5.19% and ranked 5th; China contributed 3.83% and ranked 9th. Publications from USA had the highest accumulated IFs and the highest total citations of articles (USA>Japan>China, p<0.001). No significant difference was found in average IF among the three countries. USA published the most articles in the top 10 urology and nephrology journals (USA(35165)>Japan(6704)>China(2233), p<0.001). Researchers from USA published more clinical trials and randomized controlled trials than Japan and China (USA>Japan>China, p<0.001).
Although China has undergone significant increase in annual number and percentage of scientific publication in urology and nephrology journals in the past decade, it still lags far behind USA and Japan in the field of urology and nephrology in terms of quantity and quality.
PMCID: PMC3411650  PMID: 22870301
15.  Conflict of Interest Reporting by Authors Involved in Promotion of Off-Label Drug Use: An Analysis of Journal Disclosures 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(8):e1001280.
Aaron Kesselheim and colleagues investigate conflict of interest disclosures in articles authored by physicians and scientists identified in whistleblower complaints alleging illegal off-label marketing by pharmaceutical companies.
Litigation documents reveal that pharmaceutical companies have paid physicians to promote off-label uses of their products through a number of different avenues. It is unknown whether physicians and scientists who have such conflicts of interest adequately disclose such relationships in the scientific publications they author.
Methods and Findings
We collected whistleblower complaints alleging illegal off-label marketing from the US Department of Justice and other publicly available sources (date range: 1996–2010). We identified physicians and scientists described in the complaints as having financial relationships with defendant manufacturers, then searched Medline for articles they authored in the subsequent three years. We assessed disclosures made in articles related to the off-label use in question, determined the frequency of adequate disclosure statements, and analyzed characteristics of the authors (specialty, author position) and articles (type, connection to off-label use, journal impact factor, citation count/year). We identified 39 conflicted individuals in whistleblower complaints. They published 404 articles related to the drugs at issue in the whistleblower complaints, only 62 (15%) of which contained an adequate disclosure statement. Most articles had no disclosure (43%) or did not mention the pharmaceutical company (40%). Adequate disclosure rates varied significantly by article type, with commentaries less likely to have adequate disclosure compared to articles reporting original studies or trials (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 0.10, 95%CI = 0.02–0.67, p = 0.02). Over half of the authors (22/39, 56%) made no adequate disclosures in their articles. However, four of six authors with ≥25 articles disclosed in about one-third of articles (range: 10/36–8/25 [28%–32%]).
One in seven authors identified in whistleblower complaints as involved in off-label marketing activities adequately disclosed their conflict of interest in subsequent journal publications. This is a much lower rate of adequate disclosure than has been identified in previous studies. The non-disclosure patterns suggest shortcomings with authors and the rigor of journal practices.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editor's Summary
Off-label use of pharmaceuticals is the practice of prescribing a drug for a condition or age group, or in a dose or form of administration, that has not been specifically approved by a formal regulatory body, such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Off-label prescribing is common all over the world. In the US, although it is legal for doctors to prescribe drugs off-label and discuss such clinical uses with colleagues, it is illegal for pharmaceutical companies to directly promote off-label uses of any of their products. Revenue from off-label uses can be lucrative for drug companies and even surpass the income from approved uses. Therefore, many pharmaceutical companies have paid physicians and scientists to promote off-label use of their products as part of their marketing programs.
Why Was This Study Done?
Recently, a number of pharmaceutical companies have been investigated in the US for illegal marketing programs that promote off-label uses of their products and have had to pay billions of dollars in court settlements. As part of these investigations, doctors and scientists were identified who were paid by the companies to deliver lectures and conduct other activities to support off-label uses. When the same physicians and scientists also wrote articles about these drugs for medical journals, their financial relationships would have constituted clear conflicts of interest that should have been declared alongside the journal articles. So, in this study, the researchers identified such authors, examined their publications, and assessed the adequacy of conflict of interest disclosures made in these publications.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used disclosed information from the US Department of Justice, media reports, and data from a non-governmental organization that tracks federal fraud actions, to find whistleblower complaints alleging illegal off-label promotion. Then they identified the doctors and scientists described in the complaints as having financial relationships with the defendant drug companies and searched Medline for articles authored by these experts in the subsequent three years. Using a four step approach, the researchers assessed the adequacy of conflict of interest disclosures made in articles relating to the off-label uses in question.
Using these methods, the researchers examined 26 complaints alleging illegal off-label promotion and identified the 91 doctors and scientists recorded as being involved in this practice. The researchers found 39 (43%) of these 91 experts had authored 404 related publications. In the complaints, these 39 experts were alleged to have engaged in 42 relationships with the relevant drug company: the most common activity was acting as a paid speaker (n = 26, 62%) but also writing reviews or articles on behalf of the company (n = 7), acting as consultants or advisory board members (n = 3), and receiving gifts/honoraria (n = 3), research support funds (n = 2), and educational support funds (n = 1). However, the researchers found that only 62 (15%) of the 404 related articles had adequate disclosures—43% (148) had no disclosure at all, 4% had statements denying any conflicts of interest, 40% had disclosures that did not mention the drug manufacturer, and 13% had disclosures that mentioned the manufacturer but inadequately conveyed the nature of the relationship between author and drug manufacturer reported in the complaint. The researchers also found that adequate disclosure rates varied significantly by article type, with commentaries significantly less likely to have adequate disclosure compared to articles reporting studies or trials.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show the substantial deficiencies in the adequacy of conflict-of-interest disclosures made by authors who had been paid by pharmaceutical manufacturers as part of off-label marketing activities: only one in seven authors fully disclosed their conflict of interest in their published articles. This low figure is troubling and suggests that approaches to controlling the effects of conflicts of interest that rely on author candidness are inadequate and furthermore, journal practices are not robust enough and need to be improved. In the meantime, readers have no option but to interpret conflict of interest disclosures, particularly in relation to off-label uses, with caution.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The US FDA provides a guide on the use of off-label drugs
The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality offers a patient guide to off-label drugs
ProPublica offers a web-based tool to identify physicians who have financial relationships with certain pharmaceutical companies
Wikipedia has a good description of off-label drug use (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
The Institute for Medicine as a Profession maintains a list of policies regulating physicians' financial relationships that are in place at US-based academic medical centers
PMCID: PMC3413710  PMID: 22899894
16.  Biomedical research platforms and their influence on article submissions and journal rankings: An update. 
Biochemia Medica  2012;22(1):7-14.
After being indexed in 2006 in EMBASE/Excerpta Medica and Scopus, and later in Science Citation Index Expanded and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition citation databases, Biochemia Medica launched a new web page and online manuscript submission system in 2010, and celebrated its first Impact Factor in the same year. Now, starting from the end of the 2011, the journal will also be indexed in PubMed/Medline, and this will contribute to increase the journal’s exposure and accessibility worldwide. This is an important breakthrough, which is expected to further increase the popularity of the journal, as well as the submission rate and citations. Although several tools are currently available as Web resources to retrieve scientific articles, whose functioning and basic criteria are thought to be rather similar, the functionality, coverage, notoriety and prominence may differ widely. The recent indexing of Biochemia Medica in PubMed/Medline has thereby given us the opportunity to provide a timely update on biomedical research platforms, their relationship with article submissions and journal rankings.
PMCID: PMC4062318  PMID: 22384515
impact factor; indexing; Medline
17.  Decay of References to Web sites in Articles Published in General Medical Journals: Mainstream vs Small Journals 
Applied Clinical Informatics  2013;4(4):455-464.
Over the last decade, Web sites (URLs) have been increasingly cited in scientific articles. However, the contents of the page of interest may change over the time.
To investigate the trend of citation to URLs in five general medical journals since January 2006 to June 2013 and to compare the trends in mainstream journals with small journals.
References of all original articles and review articles published between January 2006 and June 2013 in three regional journals – Archives of Iranian Medicine (AIM), Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal (EMHJ), and Journal of Postgraduate Medical Institute (JPMI) – and two mainstream journals – The Lancet and British Medical Journal (BMJ) – were reviewed. The references were checked to determine the frequency of citation to URLs as well as the rate of accessibility of the URLs cited.
A total of 2822 articles was studied. Since January 2006 onward, the number of citations to URLs increased in the journals (doubling time ranged from 4.2 years in EMHJ to 13.9 years in AIM). Overall, the percentage of articles citing at least one URL has increased from 24% in 2006 to 48.5% in 2013. Accessibility to URLs decayed as the references got old (half life ranged from 2.2 years in EMHJ to 5.3 years in BMJ). The ratio of citation to URLs in the studied mainstream journals, as well as the ratio of URLs accessible were significantly (p<0.001) higher than the small medical journals.
URLs are increasingly cited, but their contents decay with time. The trend of citing and decaying URLs are different in mainstream journals compared to small medical journals. Decay of URL contents would jeopardize the accuracy of the references and thus, the body of evidence. One way to tackle this important obstacle is to archive URLs permanently.
PMCID: PMC3885908  PMID: 24454575
Internet; scientometrics; citation analysis; uniform resource locator; URL
18.  Impact of GDP, Spending on R&D, Number of Universities and Scientific Journals on Research Publications among Asian Countries 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66449.
This study aimed to compare the impact of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, spending on Research and Development (R&D), number of universities, and Indexed Scientific Journals on total number of research documents (papers), citations per document and Hirsch index (H-index) in various science and social science subjects among Asian countries.
Materials and Methods
In this study, 40 Asian countries were included. The information regarding Asian countries, their GDP per capita, spending on R&D, total number of universities and indexed scientific journals were collected. We recorded the bibliometric indicators, including total number of research documents, citations per document and H-index in various science and social sciences subjects during the period 1996–2011. The main sources for information were World Bank, SCI-mago/Scopus and Web of Science; Thomson Reuters.
The mean per capita GDP for all the Asian countries is 14448.31±2854.40 US$, yearly per capita spending on R&D 0.64±0.16 US$, number of universities 72.37±18.32 and mean number of ISI indexed journal per country is 17.97±7.35. The mean of research documents published in various science and social science subjects among all the Asian countries during the period 1996–2011 is 158086.92±69204.09; citations per document 8.67±0.48; and H-index 122.8±19.21. Spending on R&D, number of universities and indexed journals have a positive correlation with number of published documents, citations per document and H-index in various science and social science subjects. However, there was no association between the per capita GDP and research outcomes.
The Asian countries who spend more on R&D have a large number of universities and scientific indexed journals produced more in research outcomes including total number of research publication, citations per documents and H-index in various science and social science subjects.
PMCID: PMC3688761  PMID: 23840471
19.  Some citation-related characteristics of scientific journals published in individual countries 
Scientometrics  2013;97(3):719-741.
Relationships between publication language, impact factors and self-citations of journals published in individual countries, eight from Europe and one from South America (Brazil), are analyzed using bibliometric data from Thomson Reuters JCR Science Edition databases of ISI Web of Knowledge. It was found that: (1) English-language journals, as a rule, have higher impact factors than non-English-language journals, (2) all countries investigated in this study have journals with very high self-citations but the proportion of journals with high self-citations with reference to the total number of journals published in different countries varies enormously, (3) there are relatively high percentages of low self-citations in high subject-category journals published in English as well as non-English journals but national-language journals have higher self-citations than English-language journals, and (4) irrespective of the publication language, journals devoted to very specialized scientific disciplines, such as electrical and electronic engineering, metallurgy, environmental engineering, surgery, general and internal medicine, pharmacology and pharmacy, gynecology, entomology and multidisciplinary engineering, have high self-citations.
PMCID: PMC3826058  PMID: 24311826
Impact factors; Journal self-citations; Journal categories; Journal language
20.  Open by default: a proposed copyright license and waiver agreement for open access research and data in peer-reviewed journals 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:494.
Copyright and licensing of scientific data, internationally, are complex and present legal barriers to data sharing, integration and reuse, and therefore restrict the most efficient transfer and discovery of scientific knowledge. Much data are included within scientific journal articles, their published tables, additional files (supplementary material) and reference lists. However, these data are usually published under licenses which are not appropriate for data. Creative Commons CC0 is an appropriate and increasingly accepted method for dedicating data to the public domain, to enable data reuse with the minimum of restrictions. BioMed Central is committed to working towards implementation of open data-compliant licensing in its publications. Here we detail a protocol for implementing a combined Creative Commons Attribution license (for copyrightable material) and Creative Commons CC0 waiver (for data) agreement for content published in peer-reviewed open access journals. We explain the differences between legal requirements for attribution in copyright, and cultural requirements in scholarship for giving individuals credit for their work through citation. We argue that publishing data in scientific journals under CC0 will have numerous benefits for individuals and society, and yet will have minimal implications for authors and minimal impact on current publishing and research workflows. We provide practical examples and definitions of data types, such as XML and tabular data, and specific secondary use cases for published data, including text mining, reproducible research, and open bibliography. We believe this proposed change to the current copyright and licensing structure in science publishing will help clarify what users – people and machines – of the published literature can do, legally, with journal articles and make research using the published literature more efficient. We further believe this model could be adopted across multiple publishers, and invite comment on this article from all stakeholders in scientific research.
PMCID: PMC3465200  PMID: 22958225
21.  Correlation between article download and citation figures for highly accessed articles from five open access oncology journals 
SpringerPlus  2013;2:261.
Different approaches can be chosen to quantify the impact and merits of scientific oncology publications. These include source of publication (including journal reputation and impact factor), whether or not articles are cited by others, and access/download figures. When relying on citation counts, one needs to obtain access to citation databases and has to consider that results differ from one database to another. Accumulation of citations takes time and their dynamics might differ from journal to journal and topic to topic. Therefore, we wanted to evaluate the correlation between citation and download figures, hypothesising that articles with fewer downloads also accumulate fewer citations. Typically, publishers provide download figures together with the article. We extracted and analysed the 50 most viewed articles from 5 different open access oncology journals. For each of the 5 journals and also all journals combined, correlation between number of accesses and citations was limited (r = 0.01-0.30). Considerable variations were also observed when analyses were restricted to specific article types such as reviews only (r = 0.21) or case reports only (r = 0.53). Even if year of publication was taken into account, high correlation coefficients were the exception from the rule. In conclusion, downloads are not a universal surrogate for citation figures.
PMCID: PMC3698439  PMID: 23853747
Oncology research; Oncology bibliometrics; Publication pattern; Open access
22.  The first three years of the Journal of Global Health: Assessing the impact 
Journal of Global Health  2014;4(1):010101.
The Journal of Global Health (JoGH) is three years old. To assess its impact, we analysed online access to JoGH's articles using PubMed Central and Google Analytics tools. Moreover, we tracked citations that JoGH received in 2013 using ISI Web of KnowledgeSM and Google Scholar® tools. The 66 items (articles, viewpoints and editorials) published between June 2011 and December 2013 were accessed more than 50 000 times during 2013, from more than 160 countries of the world. Seven among the 13 most accessed papers were focused on global, regional and national epidemiological estimates of important infectious diseases. JoGH articles published in 2011 and 2012 received 77 citations in Journal Citation Reports® (JCR)–indexed journals in 2013 to 24 original research articles, setting our first, unofficial impact factor at 3.208. In addition, JoGH received 11 citations during 2013 to its 12 original research papers published during 2013, resulting in an immediacy index of 0.917. The number of external, non–commissioned submissions that we consider to be of high quality is continuously increasing, leading to current JoGH's rejection rate of about 80%. The current citation analysis raises favourable expectations for the JoGH's overall impact on the global health community in future years.
PMCID: PMC4073248  PMID: 24976952
23.  The process and costs of publishing medical journals in Sri Lanka: an economic evaluation 
BMJ Open  2011;1(1):e000057.
Medical journals have contributed to the advancement of medicine by helping to disseminate scientific knowledge and providing a forum for medical communities to debate issues in depth. To the authors' knowledge, there are no studies examining the process of medical journal publication in developing Asian countries. The authors analysed the process and costs of publishing medical journals in Sri Lanka, a developing country in South Asia.
Data were collected by interviewing the editors and perusing the records at the editorial offices of the respective medical journals. Articles published in 2009 (or 2008 for journals not published in 2009) were analysed by perusing the respective journals.
A total of 44 medical journals were published in Sri Lanka's history, of which only 28 journals remained in publication after 2007. A majority (54%) of the journals published after 2007 were published once per year. Seventeen journals in publication after 2007 were published in paper version only, and 11 journals were also available online. The mean cost of printing one issue was Sri Lankan Rupees (LKR) 97 720 (US$888) (range LKR 28 000–270 000). The cost of distribution ranged from LKR 2000 to 140 000 (US$18–1273). The mean cost of publishing one article was LKR 6646 (US$60). A total of 456 articles were published in 2009 (/2008). The total number of pages published was 1723.
The infrastructure for medical journal publishing in Sri Lanka has many good qualities such as free access, minimum charges for authors and potential for online availability. The journals are solely academic (non-profit), but the costs remain high.
Article summary
Article focus
To analyse the process and costs of publishing medical journals in a developing country.
To identify a list of medical journals published in the country.
To analyse the number and types of articles published in recent Sri Lankan medical journals.
Key messages
Sri Lankan medical journals are freely accessible with minimum charges for authors.
Sri Lankan medical journals are solely academic (non-commercial) and non-profit in nature.
The publication costs remain high.
Strengths and limitations of this study
There is a lack of a comprehensive list of medical journals in the country.
The limited number of publications from the fields of allied health sciences (nursing, pharmacy and physiotherapy) were not included.
PMCID: PMC3191407  PMID: 22021741
24.  Review of Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance 2013 
There were 109 articles published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (JCMR) in 2013, which is a 21% increase on the 90 articles published in 2012. The quality of the submissions continues to increase. The editors are delighted to report that the 2012 JCMR Impact Factor (which is published in June 2013) has risen to 5.11, up from 4.44 for 2011 (as published in June 2012), a 15% increase and taking us through the 5 threshold for the first time. The 2012 impact factor means that the JCMR papers that were published in 2010 and 2011 were cited on average 5.11 times in 2012. The impact factor undergoes natural variation according to citation rates of papers in the 2 years following publication, and is significantly influenced by highly cited papers such as official reports. However, the progress of the journal's impact over the last 5 years has been impressive. Our acceptance rate is <25% and has been falling because the number of articles being submitted has been increasing. In accordance with Open-Access publishing, the JCMR articles go on-line as they are accepted with no collating of the articles into sections or special thematic issues. For this reason, the Editors have felt that it is useful once per calendar year to summarize the papers for the readership into broad areas of interest or theme, so that areas of interest can be reviewed in a single article in relation to each other and other recent JCMR articles. The papers are presented in broad themes and set in context with related literature and previously published JCMR papers to guide continuity of thought in the journal. We hope that you find the open-access system increases wider reading and citation of your papers, and that you will continue to send your quality manuscripts to JCMR for publication.
PMCID: PMC4256918  PMID: 25475898
25.  Review of Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance 2012 
There were 90 articles published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (JCMR) in 2012, which is an 8% increase in the number of articles since 2011. The quality of the submissions continues to increase. The editors are delighted to report that the 2011 JCMR Impact Factor (which is published in June 2012) has risen to 4.44, up from 3.72 for 2010 (as published in June 2011), a 20% increase. The 2011 impact factor means that the JCMR papers that were published in 2009 and 2010 were cited on average 4.44 times in 2011. The impact factor undergoes natural variation according to citation rates of papers in the 2 years following publication, and is significantly influenced by highly cited papers such as official reports. However, the progress of the journal's impact over the last 5 years has been impressive. Our acceptance rate is approximately 25%, and has been falling as the number of articles being submitted has been increasing. In accordance with Open-Access publishing, the JCMR articles go on-line as they are accepted with no collating of the articles into sections or special thematic issues. For this reason, the Editors have felt that it is useful once per calendar year to summarize the papers for the readership into broad areas of interest or theme, so that areas of interest can be reviewed in a single article in relation to each other and other recent JCMR articles. The papers are presented in broad themes and set in context with related literature and previously published JCMR papers to guide continuity of thought in the journal. We hope that you find the open-access system increases wider reading and citation of your papers, and that you will continue to send your quality manuscripts to JCMR for publication.
PMCID: PMC3847143  PMID: 24006874

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