Middeke Martin "Significance of the "Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift" (DMW)" Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift Vol:131 (36): 1927-1928 September 8 2006

Eugene Garfield garfield at CODEX.CIS.UPENN.EDU
Tue Dec 5 17:38:57 EST 2006

E-Mail : Martin.Middeke at thieme.de 

The original article was published in German.  The author has kindly 
provided an English translation - reproduced below - for the readers of SIG-
Metrics list.

Title: Significance of the "Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift" (DMW)	

Authors: Middeke, M	

Source: DEUTSCHE MEDIZINISCHE WOCHENSCHRIFT 131 (36): 1927-1928 SEP 8 2006
Language: German	
Document Type: Editorial Material	

Reprint Address: Middeke, M, DMW Chefredakt, Rudigerstr 14, D-70469 
Stuttgart, Germany	


DMW ranking

Among the 100 leading specialist journals worldwide for internal and 
general medicine there are seven weeklies which actually appear weekly – 
apart from some double issues (Tab. 1). Accordingly, these journals are 
also leading in the number of articles published annually (Tab. 2).
Tab. 1. Publication frequency of the 100 leading specialist journals for 
internal medicine and general medicine (ISI)

Publication frequency		Journals (numbers)
Weekly				 2
Monthly 			45
Bimonthly			28
Quarterly			18
Annually 			 2

The DMW is in 6th place in the ISI ranking of the number of articles 
published, placing the DMW first among non-English speaking journals.

There are two more journals in the German-speaking zone which have 24 
issues each annually with 120 and 93 articles, respectively: the former 
Schweizer Medizinische Wochenschrift , since a few years publishing in 
English as Swiss Med. WKLY,  and  Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift, which has 
some articles in English.

Regarding the citation ranking (1), the DMW, the result of its language, is 
right in the middle. The other two weeklies not in English - , the Spanish 
Med Clin Barcelona and the French Presse Medicale are important journals in 
their language zone, i.e. also outside of Europe. 

Journal		Issues		Articles (nos.)	Citations (nos.)
		Per year (nos.)	Rank			Rank
N Engl J Med	52		308/7			167894/1
Lancet		52		423/2			131161/2
BMJ		52		440/1			 58516/4
DMW		52		325/6			 2050/35
JAMA		48		380/4			 95715/3
Med Clin Barcelona40		203/19			 2084/28
Presse Médicale	40		303/10			 1720/36

The reasons for the relatively low impact factor (IF) of the journals in 
internal medicine that are not in English (among German journals the DMW is 
the leading one) are well known. Eugene Garfield who invented the IF (2) is 
himself fully aware of its limitations but believes that at the moment 
there is no better tool for scientific evaluation (3). The IF has long 
since been used – or should one say debased - as  the most important 
marketing argument in the English-speaking zone. Garfield himself has 
remarked  that the IF is merely a unit of measure which does not say 
anything about editorial or authoritative qualities of a journal. Several 
mechanisms may inflate the IF. A very good example is the Annual Review of 
Medicine. Although it has only one issue containing 30 (!) reviews in 2005, 
it had 3517 citations, ranking 5th after the New England Journal of 
Medicine, Lancet, JAMA and Ann Intern Med! Even a high–powered German 
journal, with one issue per year and a few very good reviews, which may 
well be widely cited, has presumably a good chance chance  to advance 
within the phalanx of the firs 10 journals with the highest IF. 

The DMW has for many years been primarily a journal for continuing 
education. Original articles are of course desired, especially when they 
address  specifically German themes, e.g.  epidemiology, research into 
medical care, public health policies and interdisciplinary aspects.  
Original articles still have the most citations, followed by case reports. 
reviews and articles for the section on “Current diagnosis and treatment”  
coming third. Our authors appreciate the wide distribution of the DMW and 
its high reputation as a mouthpiece for German medicine, also abroad.


    The number of annually published articles is by itself no sign of its 
worth without corresponding 	quality. Our credo is to have a consistent 
peer review process, not “poor review” or even “no review”, as is 
overwhelmingly the case in Germany; this applies to all articles, except 
editorials or commentaries. It is also the case for all focus issues, for 
some commissioned contributions, as well as for all regular issues.  Even 
our externally financed supplements are reviewed. This is now appreciated 
even by pharmaceutical companies as a special criterion of quality.

Our peer review consists of two external assessments and an internal 
technical review, as well as an additional biometric report for original 
articles, if indicated. In case of opposing reviews a third one is 
obtained. This form of peer review has been accepted by all of our authors. 
Occasionally, in case of rejection, the authors advance good arguments 
and/or adequately meet any objections expressed in the peer reviews, so 
that renewed submission of the manuscript may be undertaken.
The average rejection rate for all the different sections was 25% in 2005.

About 60% of manuscripts are clearly or even greatly improved. No or only 
minor changes are necessary or useful in 40%. The latter could have been 
published without peer review, but as a rule they profit from  editorial 
attention. These figures refer particularly to focus issues. The reaction 
of renowned authors to a peer review is usually neutral, but in some cases 
expressly positive, only rarely angry. But even angry authors will still 
produce a good revised manuscript.

Even when an article has been rejected after review the authors are sent 
detailed reasons and, if indicated, suggestions for improvement. 
Occasionally articles rejected by us are published in other journals. In 
this case, our review has contributed to the quality of publication 

Of course, peer review is only possible if the experts are willing to give 
an opinion. Even though manuscripts submitted to us are by now passed on to 
some hundreds of experts, their voluntary and unpaid efforts in the service 
of science or continuing education are considerable. Even in these lines 
special thanks must be expressed ro our editors and reviewers.

Our readers deserve highest quality  and objectivity. Consistent critical 
assessment, also of further-education articles is essential, especially and 
obviously for those written for certified medical education (Continuing 
Medical Education) , which serve for collecting points towards  a doctor’s 
own quality certification, 

What criteria for quality actually apply to medical journals? This question 
must be answered by each doctor. How is it possible that every day a pile 
of “free” journals is pushed through the letter-box? It would be good to 
know about the conditions pertaining to  medical publishing. We believe 
that a paid-for menu by a top chef is simply better than a free fast-food 
meal. The DMW puts its trust, in addition to its reliable and traditional 
subscribers, in the quality-conscious young generation.

Our market research has shown again and again that the DMW continues to be 
a strong and trusted brand. This is true also for our modern 2006 layout. 
We are also grateful for suggestions from our readers and our discussions 
with them.

Conclusion: The ranking of the DMW remains very good. But there is no 
reason to stand still. With the help of its authors, expert reviewers and, 
of course, its readers the DMW will continue to be one of the most 
important German-language medical  organs.

1 Journal Citation Reports 2005

2 Garfield E. Citation indexes to science: a
new dimension in documentation through
the association of ideas. Science 1955;
122: 108–111

3 Garfield E. Use of Journal Citation Reports
and Journal Performance Indicators in
Measuring Short and Long Term Journal
Impact. Council of Scientific Editors Annula
Meeting, San Antonio (TX, USA), May 9,

More information about the SIGMETRICS mailing list