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J Evid Based Med. 2012 May;5(2):66-74. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-5391.2012.01175.x.

A citation analysis of systematic review and meta-analysis published in Chinese journals.

Author information

  • 1Chinese Cochrane Centre, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The numbers of systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses (MAs) published in China have dramatically increased in recent years. Comprehensive analysis of their citation status may prove beneficial to the production and integration of high quality research, thereby increasing the quality of medical policy-making, research, and clinical practice.

METHODS AND FINDS:

The Chinese Medical Citation Index (up to February 2010) was searched to identify SRs/MAs. Data were input using Microsoft Excel 2007 and statistical analysis was performed using SPSS 15.0 software. A total of 2224 SRs/MAs were included. Among the 591 different publications distributed from 1994 to 2009, the median publication count per publication was two (1-270). The total citation count was 2796, with an average of 1.26 citations per publication (0-57 citation). SRs/MAs that were never cited amounted to 1380 papers (62.1%), distributed in 272 journals (46.0%). MAs were easier to find than SRs. The major conditions affecting citation were whether or not the report was published in a Western field (r = 0.287, P = 0.000); whether or not the report was published in an "evidence-based" titled journal (r =-0.480, P = 0.002); and the length of time since publication (r = 0.455, P = 0.000). Since 2004, publication of SRs/MAs has exhibited a downward trend, forming a negative correlation with publication count.

CONCLUSIONS:

Over half of the SRs/MAs included had never been cited by the time research had concluded. In many other cases these reports exhibited extremely low citation rates. Citation of traditional Chinese medicine SRs/MAs exceeded that of Western medicine studies. This indirectly suggests that the quality of SRs/MAs usage is relatively low in China. This may be a result of various reasons and suggests that emphasis should be placed on raising the quality of SRs/MAs and significance of practical application.

© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd and Chinese Cochrane Center, West China Hospital of Sichuan University.

PMID:
23557470
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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