Poorly Cited Articles in Peer-Reviewed Cardiovascular Journals from 1997-2007: Analysis of 5-Year Citation Rates
Background—The extent to which articles are cited is a surrogate of the impact and importance of the research conducted; poorly cited papers may identify research of limited use and potential wasted investments. We assessed trends in the rates of poorly cited articles and journals in the cardiovascular literature from 1997-2007.
Methods and Results—We identified original articles published in cardiovascular journals and indexed in the Scopus citation database from 1997-2007. We defined poorly cited articles as those with ≤5 citations in the 5 years following publication and poorly cited journals as those with >75% of journal content poorly cited. We identified 164,377 articles in 222 cardiovascular journals from 1997-2007. From 1997-2007, the number of cardiovascular articles and journals increased by 56.9% and 75.2% respectively. Of all the articles, 75,550 (46.0%) were poorly cited, of which 25,650 (15.6% overall) had no citations. From 1997-2007, the proportion of poorly cited articles declined slightly (52.1% to 46.2%, trend P<0.001), although the absolute number of poorly cited articles increased by 2,595 (trend P<0.001). At a journal level, 44% of cardiovascular journals had more than three quarters of the journal's content poorly cited at 5 years.
Conclusions—Nearly half of all peer-reviewed articles published in cardiovascular journals are poorly cited 5 years after publication, and many are not cited at all. The cardiovascular literature, and the number of poorly cited articles, have both increased substantially from 1997-2007. The high proportion of poorly cited articles and journals suggest inefficiencies in the cardiovascular research enterprise.
- Impact Factor
- scientific publishing
- cardiovascular disease
- outcomes research
- Received December 24, 2014.
- Accepted March 3, 2015.