Citation Rate Predictors in the Plastic Surgery Literature

Joseph Lopez, Nicholas Calotta, Ankur Doshi, Ashwin Soni, Jacqueline Milton, James W. May, Anthony P. Tufaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: The purpose of this study is to determine and characterize the scientific and nonscientific factors that influence the rate of article citation in the field of plastic surgery. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: We reviewed all entries in . Annals of Plastic Surgery and . Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgery from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2007; and . Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2008. All scientific articles were analyzed and several article characteristics were extracted. The number of citations at 5 years was collected as the outcome variable. A multivariable analysis was performed to determine which variables were associated with higher citations rates. Results: A total of 2456 articles were identified of which only 908 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Most studies were publications in the fields of reconstructive (26.3%) or pediatric/craniofacial (17.6%) surgery. The median number of citations 5 years from publication was 8. In the multivariable analysis, factors associated with higher citations rates were subspecialty field (p = 0.0003), disclosed conflict of interest (p = 0.04), number of authors (p = 0.04), and journal (p = 0.02). Conclusion: We have found that higher level of evidence (or other study methodology factors) is not associated with higher citation rates. Instead, conflict of interest, subspecialty topic, journal, and number of authors are strong predictors of high citation rates in plastic surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
StateAccepted/In press - 2016


  • Academic productivity
  • Bibliometrics
  • Citation rate
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Level of evidence
  • Medical Knowledge
  • Plastic surgery
  • Professionalism
  • Systems-Based Practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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