The impact of Alcohol and Alcoholism among substance abuse journals.
This article concerns the question of journal impact factor and other bibliometric indicators made available by the Institute for Scientific Information in their Journal Citation Report for 1996. The impact factors of journals within the subject category 'substance abuse' are listed along with total citations, immediacy indices, and cited half-lives. The relationship between cited and citing journals is discussed with the main focus on the data available for Alcohol and Alcoholism. Some of the problems and limitations of bibliometric measures of productivity are dealt with, especially when these are used to evaluate the work of individual scientists. Although bibliometric measures are easy to compute, they become difficult to interpret, such as when dealing with collaborative research and the problem posed by multiple authorship. The need to adjust impact factors and citation counts for the number of co-authors in a paper becomes important when credit has to be attributed to one individual from a multi-author paper. This is often necessary in connection with grant applications and when making decisions about academic promotion and tenure. The impact factor of Alcohol and Alcoholism has increased steadily over the past 5 years, even after adjusting for the number of self-citations, which resulted in an even greater increase in impact. However, the impact factors of substance abuse journals are generally low, compared with disciplines such as immunology, genetics, and biochemistry. Some suggestions are made for increasing the impact factors of substance abuse journals if this is considered necessary. But instead of paying attention to the impact factor of a journal, scientists should give more consideration to the speed and efficiency of the editorial handling of their manuscripts and particularly to the quality and timeliness of the peer review. (+info
Conducting a literature review on the effectiveness of health care interventions.
The dramatic increase in the volume of research based information means that effective policy makers must be able to conduct and interpret literature reviews. This article sets out the steps that should be followed in doing so. They are: explicitly defining the question; locating relevant literature; assessing the quality of studies and deciding whether they should be included; synthesizing and re-analyzing the results; and presenting them in a clear and concise manner. The article identifies the leading sources of information, including electronic databases and useful Internet addresses and describes briefly how each stage should be conducted, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches and the ways in which bias may be introduced. (+info
Lessons from a review of publications in three health promotion journals from 1989 to 1994.
A thematic analysis was undertaken of 72 editorials in three leading health promotion journals, Health Education Research: Theory & Practice, Health Education Quarterly and Health Promotion International, from 1989 to 1994. The three main themes which emerged were (1) the need to broaden health promotion interventions, (2) the need to promote rigour and professionalism in the discipline of health promotion, and (3) the need to respond to the information requirements of practitioners. Against this context, we conducted a content analysis of the journals, examining the nature of the 649 peer-reviewed publications in the same time period. Categories from the traditional bio-medical 'stages of research' models had to be adapted before full classification of articles published was feasible. The largest number of articles published could be termed descriptive research, followed by studies developing and validating health promotion measurement tools and health promotion theory. The proportion of program evaluations was small and the proportion of randomized controlled trials ('highest quality evidence' of effectiveness) decreased over time. Dissemination studies were also poorly represented in spite of this being identified in editorials as an important professional need. Ways to redress some of the imbalances observed are discussed. (+info
Trends in antihypertensive drug advertising, 1985-1996.
BACKGROUND: Over the past decade, calcium channel blockers (CCBs) and ACE inhibitors have been used increasingly in the treatment of hypertension. In contrast, beta-blocker and diuretic use has decreased. It has been suggested that pharmaceutical marketing has influenced these prescribing patterns. No objective analysis of advertising for antihypertensive therapies exists, however. METHODS AND RESULTS: We reviewed the January, April, July, and October issues of the New England Journal of Medicine from 1985 to 1996 (210 issues). The intensity of drug promotion was measured as the proportion of advertising pages used to promote a given medication. Statistical analyses used the chi2 test for trend. Advertising for CCBs increased from 4.6% of advertising pages in 1985 to 26.9% in 1996, while advertising for beta-blockers (12.4% in 1985 to 0% in 1996) and diuretics (4.2% to 0%) decreased (all P<0.0001). A nonsignificant increase was observed in advertising for ACE inhibitors (3.5% to 4.3%, P=0.17). Although the total number of drug advertising pages per issue decreased from 60 pages in 1985 to 42 pages in 1996 (P<0.001), the number of pages devoted to calcium channel blocker advertisements nearly quadrupled. CONCLUSIONS: Increasing promotion of CCBs has mirrored trends in physician prescribing. An association between advertising and prescribing patterns could explain why CCBs have supplanted better-substantiated therapies for hypertension. (+info
Impact factors: use and abuse in biomedical research.
Impact factors are increasingly being used as measures in the process of academic evaluation; however, the pitfalls associated with such use of impact factors are not always appreciated. Impact factors have limited use as criteria in determining the quality of scientific research. Classical anatomists may be actively discriminated against if journal impact factors are used as measures of scientific merit in comparison with colleagues in more popular or faster-moving disciplines such as molecular biology. Research evaluation based on citation rates and journal impact factors is inappropriate, unfair, and an increasing source of frustration. (+info
Bibliometric methods for the evaluation of arthritis research.
This study uses bibliometric methods to evaluate the magnitude and quality of publications in arthritis research in the UK and compare this with that of other countries. Arthritis research was defined by publication in a specialist journal or by specific title key words or address. Outputs from 13 countries between 1988 and 1995 were analysed by number, research level (from clinical to basic) and potential impact on other researchers (from low to high). The UK has a strong presence in arthritis research and the highest relative commitment of all the countries studied. UK output was more clinical than that of other countries, except Spain, and was of relatively high impact. A second study examined UK arthritis papers supported by different funding sources, including government, private-non-profit and industry. Papers with funding acknowledgements were of significantly higher impact and less clinical than those without. The Arthritis Research Campaign was the leading funder in the UK with high-impact papers which, over the 8 yr period, have become more clinical than those supported by other funding sources, except hospital trusts. (+info
Mapping the literature of dental assisting.
The purpose of this study was to identify core journals and the databases that provide access to these journals for the field of dental assisting. This study was completed as a part of the Medical Library Association (MLA) Nursing and Allied Health Resources Section's project to map the literature of allied health. There were three original journals selected for analysis using the prescribed methodology, Dental Assistant, the journal of the American Dental Assistants Association; Journal of the CDAA, the journal of the Canadian Dental Assistants' Association; and Dental Teamwork, published by the American Dental Association. Dental Teamwork ceased publication in December 1996; however, it was considered a necessary part of the analysis due to its extensive coverage of dental assisting as well as its numerous scientific articles with references. In Dental Assistant, there were 16 source articles, containing 206 citations. In Dental Teamwork, there were 31 source articles with 308 citations. In Journal of the CDAA, there were only 3 source articles with 14 citations. Bradford's Law of Scattering was applied to the journal citations. Four databases, MEDLINE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, and HEALTH were analyzed for their coverage of these cited journals. This study may encourage the dental assisting profession to take a close look at its existing journals and to consider enhancing the content of these journals or the publication of additional journals in the field. Dental assistants of today need substantive literature that deals with all aspects of their chosen profession in order to meet the challenges of providing dental health care in the future. (+info
Mapping the literature of dental hygiene.
Despite the long history of the dental hygiene profession, little research has been conducted on the characteristics of its literature. In this study, the bibliometric method was used to identify the core journals in the discipline and the extent of indexing of these journals. The study was a part of the Medical Library Association (MLA) Nursing and Allied Health Resources Section's project to map the allied health literature. Five journals were found to provide one-third of all references studied. Forty-two journals yielded an additional one-third of the references. MEDLINE had the best indexing coverage with 87% of the journals receiving indexing for at least one-half of the articles included. Limited coverage was provided by EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (11%) and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (9%). The findings identified titles that should be added by indexing services as well as those that should have more complete coverage. (+info