Scientometric Study of a Research Paper Tracked over a Thirty Year Period: The Implications of Peer-Reviewed Publications for the Chiropractic Profession
WR Boone, Ph.D., DC; Teng Xiong, Ph.D; Chenier Neely, B.S.; Steve Whitaker, MLS
Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ September 9, 2009 ~ Pages 1-7
Objective: To provide a citation indexed report of the past thirty year history of a paper published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Methods: The first author’s paper, first published in 1979, was tracked for future citations published only in peer-reviewed journals through April of 2008. The Science Citation Index (SCI) Expanded and the Social Sciences Citation Index accessed through ISI Web of Knowledge (Thomson Reuters) was selected since that citation service covered the period from 1979 – 2008. Data was then assessed in regard to frequency of citation/year, the number of authors and research facilities associated with each publication, the different journals in which they published, and the countries where the studies were conducted.
Results: The 18 different countries where citations occurred do appear to have traversed a substantial percentage of the world’s landmass. The number of citations per country also varied considerably, which also may be due to the level of interest in the topics addressed in the cited paper per region. It is noted that 96 different institutions were at some point, over the 30 year period, involved in topics related to the cited publication. Moreover, 219 different individuals were directly involved in conducting similar research. It is also noted that this one tracked paper is cited in a diversity of over 43 different peer-reviewed journals. The average was 4.8 citations per year + 5.6. However, citations did decrease over time, apparently as new information replaced original findings. An imaginary elliptical pattern demonstrates the range of areas where similar research and recognition of the cited manuscript took place. Thus, a cross cultural effect is shown ranging from Europe to the Pacific Rim, Canada and the Continental United States.
Conclusion: The current study was conducted to demonstrate the importance of consistent publication. It is acknowledged that the paper serving as the subject of this study, tracked through citation indexing methods, is from another topic area. However, regardless of topic, it should be noted that the study has been consistently cited over the past 30 years as recently as 2008, and has found its way into 86 citations in 43 different peer-reviewed journals by more than two hundred “scholars” in 96 research facilities covering 18 different countries. While one cannot minimize the importance of chiropractors spreading the message of the attributes of chiropractic care “one spine at a time,” imagine the impact of several hundred peer-reviewed “scientific” publications over the next thirty years. Certainly, peer reviewed publications have an important role as the profession attempts to raise the global consciousness relative to the benefits of chiropractic care.
Key Words: Citation index, scientometrics, scientometric study, chiropractic, research productivity.