Subspecialization of the Ophthalmic Literature A Review of the Publishing Trends of the Top General, Clinical Ophthalmic Journals
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Subspecialization of the Ophthalmic Literature A Review of the Publishing
Trends of the Top General, Clinical Ophthalmic Journals
Author(s): Kumar, A (Kumar, Anupma); Cheeseman, R (Cheeseman, Robert);
Durnian, JM (Durnian, Jonathan M.)
Source: OPHTHALMOLOGY Volume: 118 Issue: 6 Pages: 1211-1214 DOI:
10.1016/j.ophtha.2010.10.023 Published: JUN 2011
Abstract: Purpose: To investigate the publishing trends of the top general
clinical ophthalmic journals and to report: (1) the proportions of articles
published in terms of ophthalmic subspecialty, (2) the study design used, (3)
any changes in publishing trends, and (4) any differences in the quality of
study design between the subspecialties.
Design: Retrospective, database review.
Participants: All original articles published in the top general, clinical
ophthalmology journals from 2005 through 2009.
Methods: All general, clinical ophthalmic journals were selected from the top 20
journals based on 2008 impact factor. All abstracts from original articles were
reviewed, and the subject matter was recorded as belonging to 1 of the 11
ophthalmic subspecialties. After the content of the article was assigned, then
the study design was recorded as one of the following: nonanalytic study,
case-control or cohort study, randomized control trial, meta-analysis,
laboratory science article, or systemic review.
Main Outcome Measures: Subspecialty of the article and the study design
Results: Seven journals were included, and 12 426 abstracts were reviewed.
Articles relating to medical retina were the most prevalent (29.1%), and those
relating to strabismus were the least prevalent (2.3%). Case-control or cohort
studies comprised most study designs (40.1%), with meta-analyses comprising
the least (0.3%). The mean number of articles per year was 2485 (standard
deviation, 125.1), remaining stable over the study period. Medical retina
articles were significantly more common in 2009 than in 2005 (chi-square, 11.2;
P = 0.0008), whereas the proportion of oculoplastic articles was significantly
reduced (chi-square, 16.9; P < 0.0001). Cataract and refractive surgery had
the highest proportions of articles using the higher forms of study design
(7.8%), and oculoplastics had the highest proportion of nonanalytic studies
Conclusions: There are great differences across the specialty of ophthalmology
in the subject matter of published literature, probably driven by recent
advances in treatments. Medical retina is the subspecialty that is most
represented in the literature, with strabismus being the least represented.
Cataract and refractive surgery articles have the greatest proportion of higher-
quality research strategies.
Document Type: Review
KeyWords Plus: QUALITY; PUBLICATIONS; METHODOLOGY
Addresses: [Kumar, A; Cheeseman, R; Durnian, JM] Royal Liverpool Univ Hosp,
St Pauls Eye Unit, Liverpool L7 8XP, Merseyside, England
Reprint Address: Durnian, JM (reprint author), Royal Liverpool Univ Hosp, St
Pauls Eye Unit, Prescot St, Liverpool L7 8XP, Merseyside, England
E-mail Address: jondurnian at me.com
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