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AJR December 2017

Haris Naseem Shekhani
Corresponding Author
Emory University

“Bibliometric Analysis of Manuscript Characteristics That Influence Citations: A Comparison of Six Major Radiology Journals”

Using bibliometric knowledge, authors can craft a title, abstract, and text that may enhance visibility and citation count over what they would otherwise experience, according to findings in a study published in the December AJR.

The authors, led by Haris Naseem Shekhani of Emory University, sought to investigate radiology manuscript characteristics that influence citation rate, examining features of manuscript construction that are discrete from study design. When entering the final stages of data presentation and manuscript creation, authors make numerous decisions regarding the final form and structure of their article. Many of these decisions are stylistic and do not reflect the underlying strength of the scientific work. But for such a work to be cited, it must capture the attention of other researchers.

“Publishing articles that have scientific influence is important to authors, institutions, and journals; thus, it is no surprise that bibliometrics has been a topic of growing interest in the radiology literature,” the authors stated. According to the results of the study, having a radiology article published as open access in a top-tier journal had the strongest significant positive correlation for a higher citation count.

“Manuscripts having this characteristic are more readily searchable and recognizable than subscription-accessed publishing,” the article stated. “This method of dissemination allows open access articles to be more readily available, thus leading to a higher citation count.”

Articles that have longer titles may also increase citation count, the study revealed, showing a positive correlation between the number of title words and an increased citation count. However, this data point was not statistically significant (p = 0.389). Previous studies have showed similar findings, with a significant positive correlation between title length and increased citation count, while other previous studies found that the opposite was true and reported that short titles were associated with higher citation counts.

The study also found a significantly negative association with the study design being stated in the title, and inclusion of this information in the title did not correlate to increased citation rate.

“Having the study design of an article in the title may signify that it is an article with a narrow scope or focus, which would potentially drive less traffic to the title,” the article said.

Looking beyond the title of an article, the study results showed a positive correlation between the length of the article and the citation count. The length of the article includes the abstract word count, abstract character count, total number of words in the article, number of references, number of pages, number of figures, and number of tables.


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