Introduction: The number of research papers and journals each year is increasing and millions of dollars are spent. Despite this there is evidence to suggest that many publications do not impact clinical practice. We used citation analysis to measure the influence of metabolism publications from 2003-2013. Those papers with lower citation rates are likely to be of the least value and high rates of such publications may be a marker of research waste. Materials and methods: We analysed 67 journals with 81,954 articles related to metabolism indexed on the Scopus station database from 20032013. We identified those articles with less than 5 citations within 5 years from publication date as poorly cited. Journals were ranked by the percentage of articles that were poorly cited or uncited. Results: Over the 10-year period, the number of total articles increased by 127%. We found that 24% of articles were poorly cited within 5 years of publication. Journals in the bottom 25% and top 25% of rankings by citation rates accounted for a similar proportion of poorly cited articles. Most of the open access journals were ranked in the top 25% for citation rates. Conclusions: Our analysis contradicts concerns over increasing amounts of publications with little impact. The proportion of poorly cited articles are low, with little change in the trend over 10 years. The top and bottom ranked journals produced similar proportions of poorly cited articles. These findings suggest the necessity of pursuing further research to study waste in metabolism research.
- Research waste