alexa Subspecialization of the ophthalmic literature: a review of the publishing trends of the top general, clinical ophthalmic journals.
Medicine

Medicine

Emergency Medicine: Open Access

Author(s): Kumar A, Cheeseman R, Durnian JM

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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 used. 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 (64.5\%). 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. FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE(S): The author(s) have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed in this article. Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. This article was published in Ophthalmology and referenced in Emergency Medicine: Open Access

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