April 2011
Volume 52, Issue 14
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2011
Predicting Citations To Iovs Articles: Characteristics Of Highly-cited Papers
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Pamela C. Sieving
    NIH Library, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  Pamela C. Sieving, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2011, Vol.52, 2802. doi:
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      Pamela C. Sieving; Predicting Citations To Iovs Articles: Characteristics Of Highly-cited Papers. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):2802.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: : To determine whether characteristics of papers published in Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science correlate with citation counts to the published papers. Number of citations in a paper’s reference list, classification as a review article, funding, and scientific currency have been proposed as predictive.

Methods: : The 2004 content of IOVS was chosen to capture citations within the ‘cited half-life’ for this journal (6.9 years). All citations classified as ‘articles’ or ‘proceedings papers’ by Science Citation Index Expanded (Web of Science) for 2004 (n=598) were selected. Citations were examined for number of papers cited, number of citations received, status as funded research, and frequency of the appearance of nouns in article titles. Titles of the 100 most-cited papers were mined for frequently occurring concepts, represented by nouns. The 100 most-cited papers were examined for funding support.

Results: : No significant correlation between number of cited references in a paper and subsequent citations was detected. The 25 top-cited papers cited 88-15 references (mean 40.32); the least-cited 40 papers cited 80-7 references (mean 38.69); the mode for all 2004 papers was 18. Variations on ‘macul*’ or ‘retin*’ appear in the titles of more than half of the papers published in 2004, including the 18 most frequently cited papers. More than half of the 100 most-cited papers were funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI) or another institute of the National Institutes of Health; Research to Prevent Blindness funding was the second most-frequent source, and more than 50 additional sources were acknowledged. Sources of support were not specified by a small number of papers. Only 6 papers were classified as ‘reviews’ by Medline; they were cited between 41 and 6 times, and cited 94 to 34 papers. Four of them had been presented as award lectures at the annual ARVO meeting.

Conclusions: : Webster et al. (Evolutionary Psychology 2009; 7:348) demonstrated a correlation between the length of a paper’s reference list and subsequent citations to the paper; they also examined funding source, topicality of articles, and the generally-acknowledge citation advantage of review articles. Citations to IOVS papers do not correlate with length of the papers’ reference lists. Funding source is significant but not determinative: research funded by small foundations is cited nearly as frequently as that funded by the NEI. Review papers are published infrequently by IOVS; citations to them were significantly below average. The strongest predictor of high citations is whether a paper is part of a significantly productive research front.

Keywords: clinical research methodology 

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