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Concept: Institute for Scientific Information


Objective To examine how poor reporting and inadequate methods for key methodological features in randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have changed over the past three decades.Design Mapping of trials included in Cochrane reviews.Data sources Data from RCTs included in all Cochrane reviews published between March 2011 and September 2014 reporting an evaluation of the Cochrane risk of bias items: sequence generation, allocation concealment, blinding, and incomplete outcome data.Data extraction For each RCT, we extracted consensus on risk of bias made by the review authors and identified the primary reference to extract publication year and journal. We matched journal names with Journal Citation Reports to get 2014 impact factors.Main outcomes measures We considered the proportions of trials rated by review authors at unclear and high risk of bias as surrogates for poor reporting and inadequate methods, respectively.Results We analysed 20 920 RCTs (from 2001 reviews) published in 3136 journals. The proportion of trials with unclear risk of bias was 48.7% for sequence generation and 57.5% for allocation concealment; the proportion of those with high risk of bias was 4.0% and 7.2%, respectively. For blinding and incomplete outcome data, 30.6% and 24.7% of trials were at unclear risk and 33.1% and 17.1% were at high risk, respectively. Higher journal impact factor was associated with a lower proportion of trials at unclear or high risk of bias. The proportion of trials at unclear risk of bias decreased over time, especially for sequence generation, which fell from 69.1% in 1986-1990 to 31.2% in 2011-14 and for allocation concealment (70.1% to 44.6%). After excluding trials at unclear risk of bias, use of inadequate methods also decreased over time: from 14.8% to 4.6% for sequence generation and from 32.7% to 11.6% for allocation concealment.Conclusions Poor reporting and inadequate methods have decreased over time, especially for sequence generation and allocation concealment. But more could be done, especially in lower impact factor journals.

Concepts: Scientific method, Randomized controlled trial, Academic publishing, Nature, Impact factor, Bibliometrics, Institute for Scientific Information, Journal Citation Reports


Transdisciplinary (TD) approaches are increasingly used to address complex public health problems such as childhood obesity. Compared to traditional grant-funded scientific projects among established scientists, those designed around a TD, team-based approach yielded greater publication output after three to five years. However, little is known about how a TD focus throughout graduate school training may affect students' publication-related productivity, impact, and collaboration. The objective of this study was to compare the publication patterns of students in traditional versus TD doctoral training programs. Productivity, impact, and collaboration of peer-reviewed publications were compared between traditional (n = 25) and TD (n = 11) students during the first five years of the TD program. Statistical differences were determined by t-test or chi square test at p < 0.05. The publication rate for TD students was 5.2 ± 10.1 (n = 56) compared to 3.6 ± 4.5 per traditional student (n = 82). Publication impact indicators were significantly higher for TD students vs. traditional students: 5.7 times more citations in Google Scholar, 6.1 times more citations in Scopus, 1.3 times higher journal impact factors, and a 1.4 times higher journal h-index. Collaboration indicators showed that publications by TD students had significantly more co-authors (1.3 times), and significantly more disciplines represented among co-authors (1.3 times), but not significantly more organizations represented per publication compared to traditional students. In conclusion, compared to doctoral students in traditional programs, TD students published works that were accepted into higher impact journals, were more frequently cited, and had more cross-disciplinary collaborations.

Concepts: Academic publishing, Impact factor, Publishing, Chi-square distribution, Newspaper, Publication, Institute for Scientific Information, H-index


The National Institute of Academic Anaesthesia (NIAA) was founded in 2008 to lead a UK strategy for developing academic anaesthesia. We aimed to assess the distribution of applications and quantify the academic returns of NIAA-supported research grants, as this has hitherto not been analysed. We sought data on the baseline characteristics of all grant applicants and recipients. Every grant recipient from 2008 to 2015 was contacted to ascertain the status of their supported research projects. We also examined Google Scholar, Scopus®database and InCites Journal Citation Reports for citation, author and journal metrics, respectively. In total, 495 research project applications were made, with 150 grants being awarded. Data on 121 out of 150 (80.7%) grant awards, accounting for £3.5 million, were collected, of which 91 completed studies resulted in 140 publications and 2759 citations. The median (IQR [range]) time to first or only publication was 3 (2-4 [0-9]) years. The overall cost per publication was £14,970 (£7457-£24,998 [£2212-£73,755]) and the cost per citation was £1515 (£323-£3785 [£70-£36,182]), with 1 (0-2 [0-8]) publication and 4 (0-25 [0-265]) citations resulting per grant. The impact factor of journals in which publications arose was 4.7 (2.5-6.2 [0-47.8]), with the highest impact arising from clinical and basic science studies, particularly in the fields of pain and peri-operative medicine. Grants were most frequently awarded to clinical and basic science categories of study, but in terms of specialty, critical care medicine and peri-operative medicine received the greatest number of grants. Superficially, there seemed a geographical disparity, with 123 (82%) grants being awarded to researchers in England, London receiving 48 (32%) of these. However, this was in proportion to the number of grant applications received by country or city of application, such that there was no significant difference in overall success rates. There was no significant difference in productivity in terms of publications and citations from grants awarded to each city. The 150 grants were awarded to 107 recipients (identified as the most senior applicant for each grant), 27 of whom received ≥ two grants. Recipients had a median career total of 21 (8-76 [0-254]) publications and 302 (44-1320 [0-8167]) citations, with an h-index of 8 (3-22 [0-54]). We conclude that a key determinant of grant success is simply applying. This is the first study to report the distribution and scholarly output of individual anaesthesia research grants, particularly from a collaborative body such as the NIAA, and can be used as a benchmark to further develop academic anaesthesia in the UK and beyond.

Concepts: Academic publishing, Research, Impact factor, Ulysses S. Grant, Grant, Citation, Institute for Scientific Information, Journal Citation Reports


A faked peer review is a novel cause for retraction. We reviewed the characteristics of papers retracted due to a faked peer review. All papers retracted due to faked peer reviews were identified by searching the Retraction Watch website and by conducting a manual search. All identified papers were confirmed in published journals. The information of retracted papers was collected, which primarily included publisher, journal, journal impact factor, country, as well as publication and retraction year. Overall, 250 retracted papers were identified. They were published in 48 journals by six publishers. The top 5 journals included the Journal of Vibration and Control (24.8%), Molecular Biology Reports (11.6%), Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology (8.0%), Tumour Biology (6.8%) and European Journal of Medical Research (6.4%). The publishers included SAGE (31%), Springer (26%), BioMed Central (18%), Elsevier (13%), Informa (11%) and LWW (1%). A minority (4%) of retracted papers were published in Science Citation Index (SCI) journals with an impact factor of >5. A majority (74.8%) of retracted papers were written by Chinese researchers. In terms of the publication year, the retracted papers were published since 2010, and the number of retracted papers peaked in 2014 (40.8%). In terms of the retraction year, the retractions started in 2012, and the number of retractions peaked in 2015 (59.6%). The number of papers retracted due to faked peer reviews differs largely among journals and countries. With the improvement of the peer review mechanism and increased education about publishing ethics, such academic misconduct may gradually disappear in future.

Concepts: Academic publishing, Science, Review, Nature, Scientific journal, Publishing, The Lancet, Institute for Scientific Information


The mission of any academic orthopaedic training program can be divided into 3 general areas of focus: clinical care, academic performance, and research. Clinical care is evaluated on clinical volume, patient outcomes, patient satisfaction, and becoming increasingly focused on data-driven quality metrics. Academic performance of a department can be used to motivate individual surgeons, but objective measures are used to define a residency program. Annual in-service examinations serve as a marker of resident knowledge base, and board pass rates are clearly scrutinized. Research productivity, however, has proven harder to objectively quantify. In an effort to improve transparency and better account for conflicts of interest, bias, and self-citation, multiple bibliometric measures have been developed. Rather than using individuals' research productivity as a surrogate for departmental research, we sought to establish an objective methodology to better assess a residency program’s ability to conduct meaningful research. In this study, we describe a process to assess the number and quality of publications produced by an orthopaedic residency department. This would allow chairmen and program directors to benchmark their current production and make measurable goals for future research investment. The main goal of the benchmarking system is to create an “h-index” for residency programs. To do this, we needed to create a list of relevant articles in the orthopaedic literature. We used the Journal Citation Reports. This publication lists all orthopaedic journals that are given an impact factor rating every year. When we accessed the Journal Citation Reports database, there were 72 journals included in the orthopaedic literature section. To ensure only relevant, impactful journals were included, we selected journals with an impact factor greater than 0.95 and an Eigenfactor Score greater than 0.00095. After excluding journals not meeting these criteria, we were left with 45 journals. We performed a Scopus search over a 10-year period of these journals and created a database of articles and their affiliated institutions. We performed several iterations of this to maximize the capture of articles attributed to institutions with multiple names. Based off of this extensive database, we were able to analyze all allopathic US residency programs based on their quality research productivity. We believe this as a novel methodology to create a system by which residency program chairmen and directors can assess progress over time and accurate comparison with other programs.

Concepts: Academic publishing, The Surrogates, Impact factor, Impact event, Bibliometrics, Institute for Scientific Information, Journal Citation Reports, Scopus


The American Journal of Occupational Therapy (AJOT) has had another successful year, with increases in its journal impact factor and its ranking among rehabilitation journals indexed by Journal Citation Reports. The number of submissions has increased, with manuscripts received from 28 countries. Readership has also increased. AJOT remains the top-ranked occupational therapy journal in the world. In addition to its usual focus on publishing research broadly related to occupational therapy, AJOT created a Centennial section in each issue to celebrate the Centennial of the American Occupational Therapy Association. Centennial section topics were determined on the basis of their relevance to occupational therapy history and to future or emerging or increasing practice areas in occupational therapy. In her presidential address at the American Occupational Therapy Association’s 2017 Annual Conference & Centennial Celebration, Amy Lamb honored occupational therapy’s past and embraced its future. Occupational therapy practitioners have the power to serve as change agents, demonstrating their value during everyday opportunities as they design the future of occupational therapy.

Concepts: Future, Academic publishing, Impact factor, Past, Occupational therapy, Bibliometrics, Institute for Scientific Information, Journal Citation Reports


Dissemination of research studies is important for research ideas to be transformed from initial abstracts to full publications. Analyses of the scientific impact and publication record of the Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA) Annual meeting have not been previously described. This study determines the publication rate of abstracts presented at the CRA Annual Meetings 2005-2013 to full-text journal articles and the factors associated with publication. Program records of previous CRA meetings from 2005 to 2013 were obtained. Abstracts were searched for corresponding full-text publication in Google Scholar and PubMed using a search algorithm. Abstracts and subsequent published articles were evaluated for type of abstract, time to publication, study type, publishing journal, and journal impact factor. A total of 1401 abstracts were included in the study, 567 of which were converted to full publications. The average time to publication was 19.7 months, with 89% of abstracts published within 3 years of being presented. Eighty-three percent of abstracts were clinical in nature, and 58% of published studies were observational in design. Articles were published in a wide range of journals, with the top publisher being the Journal of Rheumatology (31%). Average time to publication was 19.7 months. Eighty-six percent of articles had a Journal Impact Factor > 2. Overall, 40.5% of abstracts presented at the CRA Annual Meetings 2005-2013 were published. Further research is needed to determine barriers and reasons for abstracts not being published as full-text articles.

Concepts: Academic publishing, Science, Nature, Impact factor, Publishing, Publication, Institute for Scientific Information, PageRank


In the past decade, researchers have made great progress in the field of Orthopedics. However, the research status of different countries is unclear. To summarize the number of published articles, we assessed the cumulative impact factors in top orthopedic journals. The aims of the study were to measure: 1) the quality and quantity of publications in orthopedics-related journals from China and other five counties, 2) the trend of the number of publications in orthopedics-related journals. The related journals were selected based on the 2014 scientific citation index (SCI) and articles were searched based on the PubMed database. To assess the quantity and quality of research output, the number of publications including clinical trials, randomized controlled trials, meta-analyses, case reports, reviews, citations, impact factors, number of articles in the top 10 journals and most popular journals were recorded. A total of 143,138 orthopedics articles were published from 2005 to 2014. The USA accounts for 24.9% (35,763/143,138) of the publications, followed by UK (7878/143,138 (5.5%)), Japan (7133/143,138 (5.0%)), Germany (5942/143,138 (4.2%)), China (4143/143,138 (2.9%)) and France (2748/143,138 (1.9%)). The ranking for accumulated impact factors as follows: USA, UK, Japan, Germany, France and China. The mean impact factor’s order is USA, China, Germany, Japan, France, UK, and interestingly the mean impact factors in Japan is similar to the Germany in 2005-2014. The USA had the highest percentage of articles in the top 10 journals, while China owns the least. The USA had the highest number of average citations, while Japan had lowest number of average citations. According to this study, we can conclude that the USA has had been leading the orthopedics research in the past 10 years. Although China still falls behind, it has made considerable progress in the orthopedics research, not only in quantity but also quality.

Concepts: European Union, Developed country, Academic publishing, Olympic Games, Impact factor, World War II, Institute for Scientific Information, Eugene Garfield


This article is aimed at providing evidence of increased international recognition of Clinics in Orthopedic Surgery (CiOS) based on journal metrics. Since 7 years have passed since its launch in 2009, it is time to reflect on the journal’s efforts to be recognized as a top-notch journal. The following journal metrics were analyzed from the journal’s homepage and Web of Science Core Collection database: number of citable and noncitable articles; number of original articles supported by grants; editorial board members' countries; authors' countries; citing authors' countries; source titles of citing articles; impact factor; total citations; comparison of impact factor with 3 Science Citation Index Expanded journals; and Hirsch index (H-index). Of the total 392 articles, 378 were citable articles (96.4%). Of the total 282 original articles, 52 (18.4%) were supported by research grants. The editorial board members were from 13 countries. Authors were from 20 countries. The number of countries of citing authors was 66. The number of source titles of citing articles was more than 100. The total citations of CiOS have increased from 0 in 2009 to 374 in 2015. The impact factors without self-citations of CiOS were the greatest among 4 Asian journals in 2013 and 2014. The 2015 impact factor was calculated as 0.79 in January 2016. The H-index was 13. CiOS can be considered to have reached the level of top-notch journal in the orthopedic field based on journal metrics. The inclusion of the journal in PubMed Central appears to have increased international relevance of the journal.

Concepts: Academic publishing, Impact factor, Scientific journal, Science Citation Index, Bibliometrics, Institute for Scientific Information, H-index, Citation impact


Acta Dermatovenerologica Alpina, Pannonica et Adriatica is the leading journal in the field of dermatology and sexually transmitted infections in the region. Several important steps were taken during the last 20 years to improve the journal’s quality, global visibility, and international impact. Since 1992, 699 bibliographical items have been published, which received 1,360 citations. Web of Science citable items received on average 2.29 citations per item. Importantly, almost half (49.6%) of all citations retrieved to date were received from 2012 onwards. The predicted impact factor was calculated in a way to match official impact factors published annually in Thomson Scientific Journal Citation Reports. Citation analysis shows a substantial increase of the predicted impact factor since 2006, with values above 0.5 since 2007. For the first time in the journal’s history, a predicted impact factor value above 1.0 was recorded in 2013.

Concepts: Academic publishing, Nature, Impact factor, Scientific journal, Bibliography, Bibliometrics, Institute for Scientific Information, Journal Citation Reports