The top 100 cited radiology articles

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Radiology reigns as the journal with the most frequently cited radiologic articles, according to a study of the top 100 cited articles in radiologic journals published online May 13 in Academic Radiology.

The list was very top heavy, with Radiology, Journal of Nuclear Medicine and American Journal of Roentgenology containing 85 of the 100 top cited articles.

Because the number of citations can indicate a publications impact on a field and also indicate areas of high interest in research, Matthew Pagni, MD, of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, and colleagues sought to identify the most cited articles in radiologic journals as of May 2013.

To this end, they looked at a total of 46 radiologic journals listed by Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports, and analyzed all articles published within these journals for citation counts.

Nine of the 46 journals contained all of the most frequently cited articles. The breakdown is as follows:

Radiology – 59 articles
Journal of Nuclear Medicine – 17 articles
American Journal of Roentgenology – 9 articles
British Journal of Radiology – 5 articles
Investigative Radiology – 4 articles
American Journal of Neuroradiology – 2 articles
European Radiology – 2 articles
Radiologic Clinics of North America – 2 articles
Seminars in Nuclear Medicine – 1 article
Pediatric Radiology – 1 article

Citation values ranged from 422 to 7,506, with a mean of 751, according to the authors. The earliest publication date for a top cited article was 1967, and the period between 1986 and 1990 produced the largest percentage of articles. The most recent article was published in 2006, and Pagni and colleagues noted that the downward trend in post-2000 articles was likely simply due to the limited time these publications have had to accumulate citations.

MRI, with 28 articles, was the most frequently studied modality among the top cited publications, followed by vascular/interventional (19 articles) and nuclear medicine (13 articles). Topics that occurred frequently included contrast and radiopharmaceutical characterization, MRI of motion and percutaneous radiofrequency ablation in the liver.

“We present a methodology that uses citation analysis to identify and characterize these articles,” wrote Pagni and colleagues. “Its use may aid radiologists, academic organizations and editorial staff in determining areas of imaging interest or perceived educational gap. It also highlights the importance of including classic articles in current imaging education.”