Top-cited articles in the Journal: a bibliometric analysis

Stacy M. Yadava, Haylea S. Patrick, Cande V. Ananth, Todd Rosen, Justin S. Brandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: The Journal has had a profound influence in nearly 150 years of publishing. A bibliometric analysis, which uses citation analyses to evaluate the impact of articles, can be used to identify the most impactful papers in the Journal's history. Objective: The objective was to identify and characterize the top-cited articles published in the Journal since 1920. Study Design: We used the Web of Science and Scopus databases to identify the most frequently cited articles of the Journal from 1920 through 2018. The top 100 articles from each database were included in our analysis. Articles were evaluated for several characteristics including year of publication, article type, topic, open access, and country of origin. Using the Scopus data, we performed an unadjusted categorical analysis to characterize the articles and a 2 time point analysis to compare articles before and after 1995, the median year of publication from each database list. Results: The top 100 articles from each database were included in the analysis. This included 120 total articles: 80 articles listed in both and 20 unique in each database. More than half (52%) were observational studies, 9% were RCTs, and 75% were from US authors. When the post-1995 studies were compared with the articles published before 1995, articles were more frequently cited (median 27 vs 13 citations per year, P <.001), more likely to be randomized (14.0% vs 4.8%, P =.009), and more likely to originate from international authors (33.3% vs 17.5%, P =.045). Conclusion: Slightly more than half of the top-cited papers in the Journal since 1920 were observational studies and three quarters of all papers were from US authors. Compared with top-cited papers before 1995, the Journal's top-cited papers after 1995 were more likely to be randomized and to originate from international authors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-25
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • bibliometrics
  • case report
  • citation analysis
  • citation classic
  • observational study
  • obstetrics and gynecology
  • randomized controlled trial
  • top cited


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