A Bibliometric Analysis of Top-Cited Journal Articles in Obstetrics and Gynecology

Justin S. Brandt, Ola Hadaya, Meike Schuster, Todd Rosen, Mark V. Sauer, Cande V. Ananth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Importance: Citation analysis is a bibliometric method that uses citation rates to evaluate research performance. This type of analysis can identify the articles that have shaped the modern history of obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN). Objectives: To identify and characterize top-cited OBGYN articles in the Institute for Scientific Information Web of Science's Science Citation Index Expanded and to compare top-cited OBGYN articles published in specialty OBGYN journals with those published in nonspecialty journals. Design, Setting, and Participants: Cross-sectional bibliometric analysis of top-cited articles that were indexed in the Science Citation Index Expanded from 1980 to 2018. The Science Citation Index Expanded was queried using search terms from the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology's 2018 certifying examination topics list. The top 100 articles from all journals and the top 100 articles from OBGYN journals were evaluated for specific characteristics. Data were analyzed in March 2019. Main Outcomes and Measures: The articles were characterized by citation number, publication year, topic, study design, and authorship. After excluding articles that featured on both lists, top-cited articles were compared. Results: The query identified 3 767 874 articles, of which 278 846 (7.4%) were published in OBGYN journals. The top-cited article was published by Rossouw and colleagues in JAMA (2002). Top-cited articles published in nonspecialty journals were more frequently cited than those in OBGYN journals (median [interquartile range], 1738 [1490-2077] citations vs 666 [580-843] citations, respectively; P < .001) and were more likely to be randomized trials (25.0% vs 2.2%, respectively; difference, 22.8%; 95% CI, 13.5%-32.2%; P < .001). Whereas articles from nonspecialty journals focused on broad topics like osteoporosis, articles from OBGYN journal focused on topics like preeclampsia and endometriosis. Conclusions and Relevance: This study found substantial differences between top-cited OBGYN articles published in nonspecialty vs OBGYN journals. These differences may reflect the different goals of the journals, which work together to ensure optimal dissemination of impactful articles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1918007
JournalJAMA network open
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


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