Ultraschall Med 2017; 38(03): 310
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-106398
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Comment on The 100 Most-Cited Articles Focused on Ultrasound Imaging: A Bibliometric Analysis

Michael Bachmann Nielsen
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Publication History

Publication Date:
16 May 2017 (online)

Moon et al to our knowledge presents the first bibliometric analysis of the 100 most cited articles focused on ultrasound [1]. Non-cardiac ultrasound is an interdisciplinary imaging modality and consequently only 20 % of the most cited articles were published in imaging journals, the remaining 80 % were published in interdisciplinary or subspecialty journals. 83 of the 100 most cited articles were original articles and the included articles appeared to be from nearly exclusively from North America or Europe similar to the findings in a bibliometric study of the medical imaging literature [2]. First reports on clinical applications of new US techniques scored high in both total citations and citations per year [1].

We have previously reported that studies on the clinical use of new techniques in ultrasound were among the highest cited in our journal [3]. Similar observations have been done in radiology [2].

Moon et al also calculates the number of annual citations to evaluate the relative impact of an article and thus likely still important, regardless of the duration since publication [1]. Articles with a high total citation count but low number of annual citations are more likely historically important [1].

The studies included in the study likely contributed to an increase in impact factor in the following two years for most of the journals [1]. We have observed the same in our journal [3] with the some of our guidelines and recommendations receiving hundreds of citations, one of them reaching number 35 [4] in the list by Moon et al [1].

The question remains where authors should aim to publish their important work [5]. Authors may prefer the highest possible impact factor because it can benefit their academic careers. How often your article is cited cannot be predicted by the impact factor as also demonstrated by Moon et al in Table 2 [1]. Others have demonstrated that many articles are cited below the impact factor [6], and some articles are never cited [3].

Journals endorsed by a professional scientific society often attract more citations [6] [7]. Ultraschall in der Medizin being the official journal of The European Federation of Societies in Medicine and Biology has grown to become the highest ranking interdisciplinary ultrasound journal and also from this perspective the study by Moon et al [1] is of particular interest for our journal and helps to attract attention to the field of ultrasound imaging.