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Author Affiliations: Institute for Health Policy Studies, School of Medicine and Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy (Mr Lee, Ms Schotland, and Dr Bero), and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Dr Bacchetti), University of California, San Francisco. Ms Schotland is now with the Department of Psychology, New York University, New York.
Context The ability to identify scientific journals that publish high-quality
research would help clinicians, scientists, and health-policy analysts to
select the most up-to-date medical literature to review.
Methods To assess whether journal characteristics of (1) peer-review status,
(2) citation rate, (3) impact factor, (4) circulation, (5) manuscript acceptance
rate, (6) MEDLINE indexing, and (7) Brandon/Hill Library List indexing are
predictors of methodological quality of research articles, we conducted a
cross-sectional study of 243 original research articles involving human subjects
published in general internal medical journals.
Results The mean (SD) quality score of the 243 articles was 1.37 (0.22). All
journals reported a peer-review process and were indexed on MEDLINE. In models
that controlled for article type (randomized controlled trial [RCT] or non-RCT),
journal citation rate was the most statistically significant predictor (0.051
increase per doubling; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.037-0.065; P<.001). In separate analyses by article type, acceptance rate was
the strongest predictor for RCT quality (−0.113 per doubling; 95% CI,
–0.148 to –0.078; P<.001), while journal
citation rate was the most predictive factor for non-RCT quality (0.051 per
doubling; 95% CI, 0.044-0.059; P<.001).
Conclusions High citation rates, impact factors, and circulation rates, and low
manuscript acceptance rates and indexing on Brandon/Hill Library List appear
to be predictive of higher methodological quality scores for journal articles.
Lee KP, Schotland M, Bacchetti P, Bero LA. Association of Journal Quality Indicators With Methodological Quality of Clinical Research Articles. JAMA. 2002;287(21):2805–2808. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.287.21.2805
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