"Evidence-b ased secondary journals....

Garfield, Eugene garfield at CODEX.CIS.UPENN.EDU
Tue Sep 21 10:45:09 EDT 2004

Research article
What do evidence-based secondary journals tell us about the publication of
clinically important articles in primary healthcare journals?
Kathleen Ann McKibbon  <mailto:mckib at> , Nancy L. Wilczynski
<mailto:wilczyn at>  and Robert Brian Haynes
<mailto:bhaynes at>

BMC Medicine 2004, 2:33     doi:10.1186/1741-7015-2-33

Published                6 September 2004

Abstract (provisional)


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 with Science 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.


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