Differences in citation frequency of clinical and basic science papers in cardiovascular research.
Bottom Line: It is also demonstrated that the groups of clinical and basic cardiovascular papers are also heterogeneous concerning citation frequency.It is concluded that none of the existing citation indicators appreciates these differences.At this moment these indicators should not be used for quality assessment of individual scientists and scientific niches with small numbers of scientists.
In this article, a critical analysis is performed on differences in citation frequency of basic and clinical cardiovascular papers. It appears that the latter papers are cited at about 40% higher frequency. The differences between the largest number of citations of the most cited papers are even larger. It is also demonstrated that the groups of clinical and basic cardiovascular papers are also heterogeneous concerning citation frequency. It is concluded that none of the existing citation indicators appreciates these differences. At this moment these indicators should not be used for quality assessment of individual scientists and scientific niches with small numbers of scientists.
Mentions: In this set of data, the aim is simply to compare citation of clinically oriented cardiovascular papers in the three clinical top journals with citation of basic oriented cardiovascular papers in the three basic top journals. Thus, Fig. 1 shows the number of citations of the most frequently cited paper published by the clinical top journals Circulation, Journal of the American College of Cardiology and European Heart Journal (filled symbols) and those of the basic science top journals Circulation Research, Cardiovascular Research and Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology (open symbols) for each of the publication years 1997 till 2006 as they were obtained during a citation window from 1997 to 2006. The publication year is on the abscissa, and the absolute number of citations is on the ordinate. Thus, papers published in 2006 had a citation window of only 1 year, whereas papers published in 1997 had a citation window of 10 years. The number of citations was higher for the clinical journals. The window of 1997–2006 is identical to that used by the Center for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS, Leiden, The Netherlands) for a bibliometrical analysis of the output of principal investigators (PIs) of the Academic Medical Center (AMC) in Amsterdam (; vide infra). With the exception of 1997 and 1999, when the basic science journal Circulation Research published the most frequently cited paper, all number 1 and 2 positions were taken by papers published by a clinical journal. In 5 of the 10 years, the first three positions were taken by a clinical journal.Fig. 1