Free Article: Citation Climate in Neurosurgical Literature and Description of an Interfield Citation Metric

BACKGROUND: The citation climate in neurosurgical literature is largely undefined.

OBJECTIVE: To study the patterns of citation of articles in neurosurgery as a scientific field and to evaluate the performance of neurosurgery journals vis-à-vis journals in other fields.

METHODS: References cited in articles published in neurosurgery journals during a specified time period were analyzed to determine the age of articles cited in neurosurgical literature. In the next analysis, articles published in neurosurgical journals were followed up for 13 years after publication. The postpublication citation patterns were analyzed to determine the time taken to reach the maximally cited state and the time when articles stopped being cited. The final part of the study dealt with the evolution of a new interfield citation metric, which was then compared with other standardized citation indexes.

RESULTS: The mean ± SD age of articles cited in neurosurgical literature was 11.6 ± 11.7 years (median, 8 years). Citations received by articles gradually increased to a peak (at 6.25 years after publication in neurosurgery) and then reached a steady state; articles were still cited well into the late postpublication period. Neurosurgical articles published in nonneurosurgical high-impact journals were cited more highly than those in neurosurgical journals, although they took approximately the same time to reach the maximally cited state (7.2 years). The most cited pure neurosurgery journal was Neurosurgery.

CONCLUSION: The citation climate for neurosurgery was adequately described. The interfield citation metric was able to ensure cross-field comparability of journal performance.

From: An Analysis of the Citation Climate in Neurosurgical Literature and Description of an Interfield Citation Metric by Madhugiri et al.

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