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Med Educ. 2001 Jan;35(1):18-21.

Publication pattern of medical theses, France, 1993-98.

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Institut de Santé Publique, d'Epidémiologie et de Développement, Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, Bordeaux, France.



In many countries, medical training must be completed by presentation of a thesis. We report publication patterns of French medical theses.


We drew a random sample of theses presented in the 36 French medical universities between 1 January 1993 and 31 December 1997. The sample was stratified according to size of university, and drawn from the CD-ROM Doc-Thèse.


We recorded the research area (medicine, surgery, biology) and study type (clinical, epidemiological, laboratory). We used the name of the student and supervisor to assess whether the thesis resulted in a publication indexed in MEDLINE.


Most of the 300 theses included were from medicine (79.3%) and were clinical studies (69.3%). A total of 51 theses (17. 0%) resulted in publication. The proportion of theses which were published, the median impact factor of the journals in which they were published, the proportion of publications in English and the proportion of publications in which the name of the student was missing varied with the research domain and type of study.


Most French medical theses are not made available to the scientific community. In the European context, where medical training and qualification have to be standardized, our study provides a simple method of assessing that publication objectives of thesis research are met. Further research is needed to explore the educational value of medical professional theses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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