Research Article| Volume 60, ISSUE 8, P934-945, August 2007

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Publications of plastic surgery research 1972 through 2004: a longitudinal trend analysis of three international journals

  • Martijn P.J. Loonen
    Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Netherlands Cancer Institute/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Plesmanlaan 121, NL-1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • J. Joris Hage
    Corresponding author. Tel.: +31 20 512 2979; fax: +31 20 512 2554.
    Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Netherlands Cancer Institute/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Plesmanlaan 121, NL-1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Moshe Kon
    Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Hand Surgery, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100, NL-3584 CX Utrecht, The Netherlands
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      Background and purpose of study

      Assessment and benchmarking of research output is becoming a necessity in the quest for research funds and grants. However, reports on the trends in international research output by plastic surgeons over the years are lacking. We longitudinally analysed plastic surgery publications over the last three decades.

      Materials and methods

      Data on the topic of surgical interest and the anatomical region of research, the country of origin, and the origin and number of collaborating clinics were noted for each original article published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the British Journal of Plastic Surgery, and the European Journal of Plastic Surgery in 1972, 1980, 1988, 1996, and 2004.

      Main findings and Conclusions

      The number of articles in three international plastic surgery journals has more than doubled over the last three decades. Reconstruction of acquired defects remained the most important topic in all three journals, but an interest in rejuvenation or aesthetic surgery seems to replace that in basic research. The head and neck area remains the anatomical region of most interest to date, but this interest has decreased substantially. Most articles still originate from the USA, but the absolute and relative number of articles originating from Europe and Asia is rapidly increasing. Also, the published output of multi-national scientific collaboration is increasing. Even though authors from larger countries, in general, contribute more publications in absolute numbers, authors from small countries have a more efficient output relative to the number of inhabitants and GDP of their country.


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