Send to

Choose Destination
JAMA. 2002 Jun 5;287(21):2805-8.

Association of journal quality indicators with methodological quality of clinical research articles.

Author information

Institute for Health Policy Studies, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.



The ability to identify scientific journals that publish high-quality research would help clinicians, scientists, and health-policy analysts to select the most up-to-date medical literature to review.


To assess whether journal characteristics of (1) peer-review status, (2) citation rate, (3) impact factor, (4) circulation, (5) manuscript acceptance rate, (6) MEDLINE indexing, and (7) Brandon/Hill Library List indexing are predictors of methodological quality of research articles, we conducted a cross-sectional study of 243 original research articles involving human subjects published in general internal medical journals.


The mean (SD) quality score of the 243 articles was 1.37 (0.22). All journals reported a peer-review process and were indexed on MEDLINE. In models that controlled for article type (randomized controlled trial [RCT] or non-RCT), journal citation rate was the most statistically significant predictor (0.051 increase per doubling; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.037-0.065; P<.001). In separate analyses by article type, acceptance rate was the strongest predictor for RCT quality (-0.113 per doubling; 95% CI, -0.148 to -0.078; P<.001), while journal citation rate was the most predictive factor for non-RCT quality (0.051 per doubling; 95% CI, 0.044-0.059; P<.001).


High citation rates, impact factors, and circulation rates, and low manuscript acceptance rates and indexing on Brandon/Hill Library List appear to be predictive of higher methodological quality scores for journal articles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center