Winkmann G, Schlutius S, Schweim HG "Citation rates of medical German-language journals in English-language papers - do they correlate with the Impact Factor, and who cites?" DEUTSCHE MEDIZINISCHE WOCHENSCHRIFT 127 (4): 138-143 JAN 25 2002

Eugene Garfield garfield at CODEX.CIS.UPENN.EDU
Tue Jun 4 16:32:11 EDT 2002

Dr. Harald G. Schweim : e-mail : schweim at

TITLE Citation rates of medical German-language journals in
English-language papers - do they correlate with the Impact
Factor, and who cites?
AUTHOR Winkmann G, Schlutius S, Schweim HG

Document type: Article    Language: German
Cited References: 35    Times Cited: 1

Background and objective: Several publications are warning that the German
language is no longer needed for transmission of scientific data. One of the
causes may be the Impact Factor (IF), which appears to be derived
predominantly from Anglo-American journals. The aim of this study was to
check actual international attention paid to German-language journals, i.e.
their citation frequencies in English-language papers. Are these citing
rates in English-language articles correlated to the IF, and from where do
citing articles originate?

Methods: Of 25 arbitrarily selected >85% German-language medical journals,
IF as well as language distributions of citing articles were determined by
searching publication years 1995-2000 in Science Citation Index (SCI).
MEDLINE and EMBASE were used as supplementary retrieval systems.

Results: (i) The sample journals displayed an average IF = 0.357. A 99%
correlation (Pearson factor r = 0.987; n = 25) was observed between our
"constructed" IF 2000 and IF published in journal Citation Report 2000. This
proves Stegmann's IF determination method (31) to be valid. On the average,
53% German-language and 45% English-language articles between 1995-2000
cited the 1995-1999' contributions of the studied journals. No correlation
was observed between IF vs. rates of citing
articles in English (r < 0.1). 64% of citing English-language articles
showed corporate sources in many/Austria/Switzerland, and 13.5% authors'
institutions in USA.

Conclusions: (i) An IF greater than or equal to 1 is, obviously, very hard
to attain by German-language journals. ISI's differentiation between Citing
vs. Cited-only journals (the latter often serving as MEDLINE/EM BASE
sources) during derivation of IF appears unjustified. (ii) English now
serves as the predominant communication language in sciences in
German-speaking countries, but has not supplanted the German language. Our
study reveals remarkable international attention rates remaining.

KeyWords Plus:

Schweim HG, DIMDI, Postfach 42 05 80, D-50899 Cologne, Germany
DIMDI, D-50899 Cologne, Germany


IDS Number:


Cited Author            Cited Work                Volume      Page      Year

 *DIMDI                EINST DAR RECH
 AMMON U               SPEKTRUM WISSENSCHAF         124       117      1992
 AMMON U               SPEKTRUM WISSENSCHAF         124       124      1992
 BARNABY DP            ANN EMERG MED                 31        78      1998
 BELLER FK             GYNAKOL GEBURT RUNDS          40        50      2000
 BENITEZBRIBIESCA L    ARCH MED RES                  30       161      1999
 BOETTIGER LE          ACTA MED SCAND               214        73      1983
 BOOKSTEIN A           SCIENTOMETRICS                46       337      1999
 DIETRICH GV           ANASTH INTENSIV NOTF          35       543      2000
 FINZEN A              PSYCHIAT PRAX                 23         1      1996
 FROEMTER E            DEUT MED WOCHENSCHR          124       910      1999
 GALLAGHER EJ          ANN EMERG MED                 31        83      1998
 GARFIELD E            BRIT MED J                   313       411      1997
 GIESSLER A            DEUT MED WOCHENSCHR          125       979      2000
 HALLER U              CHIRURG S                     70        39      1999
 HALLER U              GYNAKOL GEBURT RUNDS          37       117      1997
 KEUL AG               PSYCHOL RUNDSCH               44       159      1993
 LEHRL S               STRAHLENTHER ONKOL           175       141      1999
 MEENEN NM             RONTGENPRAXIS                 51       266      1998
 NAVARRO FA            DEUT MED WOCHENSCHR          121      1561      1996
 NAVARRO FA            MED CLIN-BARCELONA           107       608      1996
 NAVARRO FA            NED TIJDSCHR GENEESK         140      1263      1996
 NAVARRO FA            PRESSE MED                    33      1547      1995
 NAVARRO FA            SCHWEIZ MED WSCHR            127      1565      1997
 NAVARRO FA            WIEN KLIN WOCHENSCHR         108       363      1996
 OJASOO T              SCIENTOMETRICS                45        81      1999
 SCHOONBAERT D         TROP MED INT HEALTH            1       739      1996
 SEGLEN PO             ALLERGY                       52      1050      1997
 SEGLEN PO             BRIT MED J                   314       498      1997
 STEGMANN J            CONSTR IMP FACT CIF                             1999
 STEGMANN J            J DOC                         55       310      1999
 STEGMANN J            NATURE                       390       550      1997
 WINKMANN G            DEUT MED WOCHENSCHR           38      1133      2000

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