JOURNAL ARTICLE

Determinants of the citation rate of medical research publications from a developing country

Anupama Annalingam, Hasitha Damayanthi, Ranil Jayawardena, Priyanga Ranasinghe
SpringerPlus 2014, 3: 140
25674441

BACKGROUND: The number of citations received by an article is considered as an objective marker judging the importance and the quality of the research work. The present study aims to study the determinants of citations for research articles published by Sri Lankan authors.

METHODS: Papers were selectively retrieved from the SciVerse Scopus® (Elsevier Properties S.A, USA) database for 10 years from 1st January 1997 to 31st December 2006, of which 50% were selected for inclusion by simple random sampling. The primary outcome measure was citation rate (defined as the number of citations during the 2 subsequent years after publication). Citation data was collected using the SciVerse Scopus® Citation Analyzer and self citations were excluded. A linear regression analysis was performed with 'number of citations' as the continuous dependent variable and other independent variables.

RESULT: The number of publications has steadily increased during the period of study. Over three quarter of papers were published in international journals. More than half of publications were research studies (55.3%), and most of the research studies were descriptive cross-sectional studies (27.1%). The mean number of citations within 2 years of publication was 1.7 and 52.1% of papers were not cited within the first two years of publication. The mean number of citations for collaborative studies (2.74) was significantly higher than that of non-collaborative studies (0.66). The mean number of citations did not significantly change depending on whether the publication had a positive result (2.08) or not (2.92) and was also not influenced by the presence (2.30) or absence (1.99) of the main study conclusion in the title of the article. In the linear regression model, the journal rank, number of authors, conducting the study abroad, being a research study or systematic review/meta-analysis and having regional and/or international collaboration all significantly increased the number of citations.

CONCLUSION: The journal rank, number of authors, conducting the study abroad, being a research study or systematic review/meta-analysis and having regional and/or international collaboration all significantly increased the number of citations. However, the presence of a positive result in the study did not influence the citation rate.

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