The article by Tompkins and colleagues describes changes in national content for the 6 top English-language general surgical journals. The most striking finding is the increasing internationalization of content. In the United States, for example, the number of national articles decreased from 87.5% to 68.8% throughout 15 years and constituted the minority of freely submitted articles in 3 journals. Likewise, the number of national articles decreased in the one British journal from 74.8% to 47.1%. The authors raise the question of whether reduced research funding is a significant factor in the decreasing number of national articles. It is much more likely that the phenomenon is simply the direct result of globalization of surgical communication, a point acknowledged by the authors. Surgical researchers in Europe and Asia are now fully aware of the need for their work to be published in an English-language journal to receive international recognition. It is self-evident that these 6 journals will increasingly attract articles from the world's foremost surgical researchers, a change that can only be beneficial for the international fellowship of surgery. It is not necessary to assume that the quality of national surgical research is suffering; it is simply facing greater competition as the result of the globalization of surgery.
Delbridge L. Internationalization of General Surgical Journals—Invited Critique. Arch Surg. 2001;136(12):1352. doi:10.1001/archsurg.136.12.1352