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Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2012 May;109(18):333-7. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.2012.0333. Epub 2012 May 4.

Publications by doctoral candidates at Charité University Hospital, Berlin, from 1998-2008.

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Promotion Committee, Charité-University Medicine Berlin, Campus Virchow Klinikum, Berlin, Germany.



One quality parameter of medical theses is the number of articles published by the doctoral candidates. Over the course of the past decade the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin has taken steps to improve the quality of the theses completed by its doctoral students in medicine and increase their publication activity. This study was designed to verify the efficacy of these measures and to detect general trends.


Medical theses completed in 1998, 2004 and 2008 (sample size >250 for each year) were retrospectively analyzed with regard to associated publications within a 7-year period (from 5 years before completion to 2 years thereafter). Quality and quantity were recorded. Publications found in the PubMed database were evaluated; the impact factor of the publishing journal was used as quality parameter.


The sample sizes were 264 for 1998, 316 for 2004, and 316 for 2008. The number of publications per doctoral student increased from 0.78 to 1.39 over the course of the study period, and the average impact factor rose from 2.42 to 3.62. Analysis using the current impact factors of the publishing journals showed an increase from 3.13 to 3.85. The proportion of case reports fell from 12.7% to 8%. The proportion of first authorships remained about the same.


The past decade has seen an increase in the number of publications by doctoral students at the Charité and a rise in the average impact factor of the journals concerned.

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