Abed V, Koolmees DS, Elhage K, Hessburg L, and Makhni EC. Institution Origin and Medical School Rank Impact the Citation Frequency and Publication Rate in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Journals. Arthrosc Sports Med Rehabil 2022; 4(2):e295-e300.
Arthrosc Sports Med Rehabil
PURPOSE: To examine the trends between various categories of institutions with their respective published orthopaedic sports medicine content and to determine the publication output and citation rate from the 25 highest-ranked medical schools compared with lower-ranked institutions.
METHODS: Publications between 2015 and 2019 from the American Journal of Sports Medicine, Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, and Arthroscopy were categorized into university/university affiliated hospitals, non-university affiliated teaching hospitals, public/semi-government research institutes, nonprofit research institutes, private sector institutions, government institutions, and other institutions. Citation rates were collected from PubMed for the first and corresponding author. Similarly, corresponding authors were stratified by U.S. News and World Report 2021 medical school research rankings.
RESULTS: Of the 12,152 publications identified, 5,044 publications met the inclusion criteria. Nonprofit research institutions garnered the greatest number of citations on average (6.44 based on first author, SD 8.83, n = 214; 6.62 based on corresponding author, SD 9.65, n = 208; P < .001), while university/university-affiliated hospitals produced the majority of published articles (77.0% based on first author, 76.8% based on corresponding author), but had lower average citation rates (4.48 based on first author, SD 6.67, n = 3,886; 4.44 based on corresponding author, SD 6.55, n = 3,873; P < .001). Furthermore, of 1953 medical school publications, the top 25 accounted for 53.1% of publications; however, there was no statistical difference between their citation rates and those of lower rankings (P = 0.47).
CONCLUSIONS: Publications are cited at different rates, depending on their institution of origin. In addition, high-ranking medical schools produce a disproportionately greater output of publications than lower-ranking schools, but there is no statistically significant difference in citation rates on an individual publication basis.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Knowing how an institution's ranking influences publication and citation rates can help us understand bias in the scientific literature.