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Clin Anat. 2015 Jan;28(1):16-26. doi: 10.1002/ca.22360. Epub 2014 Jan 16.

Trends in performance indicators of neuroimaging anatomy research publications: a bibliometric study of major neuroradiology journal output over four decades based on web of science database.

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Department of Radiology, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, United Kingdom.


Quantitative, qualitative, and innovative application of bibliometric research performance indicators to anatomy and radiology research and education can enhance cross-fertilization between the two disciplines. We aim to use these indicators to identify long-term trends in dissemination of publications in neuroimaging anatomy (including both productivity and citation rates), which has subjectively waned in prestige during recent years. We examined publications over the last 40 years in two neuroradiological journals, AJNR and Neuroradiology, and selected and categorized all neuroimaging anatomy research articles according to theme and type. We studied trends in their citation activity over time, and mathematically analyzed these trends for 1977, 1987, and 1997 publications. We created a novel metric, "citation half-life at 10 years postpublication" (CHL-10), and used this to examine trends in the skew of citation numbers for anatomy articles each year. We identified 367 anatomy articles amongst a total of 18,110 in these journals: 74.2% were original articles, with study of normal anatomy being the commonest theme (46.7%). We recorded a mean of 18.03 citations for each anatomy article, 35% higher than for general neuroradiology articles. Graphs summarizing the rise (upslope) in citation rates after publication revealed similar trends spanning two decades. CHL-10 trends demonstrated that more recently published anatomy articles were likely to take longer to reach peak citation rate. Bibliometric analysis suggests that anatomical research in neuroradiology is not languishing. This novel analytical approach can be applied to other aspects of neuroimaging research, and within other subspecialties in radiology and anatomy, and also to foster anatomical education.


anatomy; bibliometrics; citations; neuroanatomy; neuroimaging; neuroradiology

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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