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Br J Cancer. 2011 Mar 29;104(7):1085-97. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6606060. Epub 2011 Mar 8.

Clinical reports of pulmonary metastasectomy for colorectal cancer: a citation network analysis.

Author information

1
Clinical Operational Research Unit, University College London, London WC1H 0BT, UK.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Pulmonary metastasectomy for colorectal cancer is a commonly performed and well-established practice of ∼50 years standing. However, there have been no controlled studies, randomised or otherwise. We sought to investigate the evidence base that has been used in establishing its status as a standard of care.

METHODS:

Among 51 papers used in a recent systematic review and quantitative synthesis, a citation network analysis was performed. A total of 344 publications (the 51 index papers and a further 293 cited in them) constitute the citation network.

RESULTS:

The pattern of citation is that of a citation cascade. Specific analyses show the frequent use of historical or landmark papers, which add authority. Papers expressing an opposing viewpoint are rarely cited.

CONCLUSIONS:

The citation network for this common and well-established practice provides an example of selective citation. This pattern of citation tends to escalate belief in a clinical practice even when it lacks a high-quality evidence base and may create an impression of more authority than is warranted.

PMID:
21386844
PMCID:
PMC3068485
DOI:
10.1038/sj.bjc.6606060
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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