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Correlation between article download and citation figures for highly accessed articles from five open access oncology journals

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      Different approaches can be chosen to quantify the impact and merits of scientific oncology publications. These include source of publication (including journal reputation and impact factor), whether or not articles are cited by others, and access/download figures. When relying on citation counts, one needs to obtain access to citation databases and has to consider that results differ from one database to another. Accumulation of citations takes time and their dynamics might differ from journal to journal and topic to topic. Therefore, we wanted to evaluate the correlation between citation and download figures, hypothesising that articles with fewer downloads also accumulate fewer citations. Typically, publishers provide download figures together with the article. We extracted and analysed the 50 most viewed articles from 5 different open access oncology journals. For each of the 5 journals and also all journals combined, correlation between number of accesses and citations was limited (r = 0.01-0.30). Considerable variations were also observed when analyses were restricted to specific article types such as reviews only (r = 0.21) or case reports only (r = 0.53). Even if year of publication was taken into account, high correlation coefficients were the exception from the rule. In conclusion, downloads are not a universal surrogate for citation figures.

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      Most cited references 13

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      Why Current Publication Practices May Distort Science

      John Ioannidis and colleagues argue that the current system of publication in biomedical research provides a distorted view of the reality of scientific data.
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        Effectiveness of Journal Ranking Schemes as a Tool for Locating Information

        Background The rise of electronic publishing [1], preprint archives, blogs, and wikis is raising concerns among publishers, editors, and scientists about the present day relevance of academic journals and traditional peer review [2]. These concerns are especially fuelled by the ability of search engines to automatically identify and sort information [1]. It appears that academic journals can only remain relevant if acceptance of research for publication within a journal allows readers to infer immediate, reliable information on the value of that research. Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we systematically evaluate the effectiveness of journals, through the work of editors and reviewers, at evaluating unpublished research. We find that the distribution of the number of citations to a paper published in a given journal in a specific year converges to a steady state after a journal-specific transient time, and demonstrate that in the steady state the logarithm of the number of citations has a journal-specific typical value. We then develop a model for the asymptotic number of citations accrued by papers published in a journal that closely matches the data. Conclusions/Significance Our model enables us to quantify both the typical impact and the range of impacts of papers published in a journal. Finally, we propose a journal-ranking scheme that maximizes the efficiency of locating high impact research.
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          Scientific collaboration results in higher citation rates of published articles.

          The primary objective was to analyze the relationship between the citation rate of an article and the extent of collaboration. The secondary objective was to analyze the relationship between the number of authors/article and the number of institutions/article for the period of study. We counted the number of original research articles published in six leading journals--Cell, Science, Nature, New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, and Journal of the American Medical Association--for the years 1975, 1985, and 1995. For each article, we determined the number of authors and the number of separate institutions. We also determined the number of times each article that was published in 1995 was cited in future scientific articles from the Science Citation Index database. Science, Cell, Nature, New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, and Journal of the American Medical Association had 2014, 868, 3856, 643, 785, and 465 total articles published/3-year study period, respectively. There was a median of 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, and 3 institutions/article, respectively. All of the final models had a significant linear author component for which all of the parameter estimates were positive, yet variable. Thus, the number of times an article was cited correlated significantly with the number of authors and the number of institutions. A correlation exists between the number of authors and the number of times an article is cited in other articles. Investigators who are open to collaborations and those who seem to adequately manage those collaborations produce a superior product that results in a higher impact.

            Author and article information

            []Department of Oncology and Palliative Medicine, Nordland Hospital, Bodø, 8092 Norway
            []Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, 9038 Norway
            Springer International Publishing (Cham)
            13 June 2013
            13 June 2013
            : 2
            © Nieder et al.; licensee Springer. 2013

            This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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