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The bibliographic impact of epidemiological studies: what can be learnt from citations?
  1. Annette Leclerc1,
  2. Jean-François Chastang1,
  3. Nadine Kaniewski1,
  4. Diane Cyr1,
  5. Anna Ozguler1,
  6. Alexis Descatha1,2
  1. 1INSERM U687 UVSQ, Villejuif, France
  2. 2AP-HP, Poincaré University Hospital, Occupational Health Department, Garches, France
  1. Correspondence to Annette Leclerc, INSERM U687 UVSQ, Batiment 15-16 Hôpital Paul Brousse, Villejuif 94807, France;{at}


Objective To document one dimension of the impact of an epidemiological study through citations in scientific journals.

Methods Two sets of articles from studies performed in France were considered. They presented original results on occupational risk factors for low back pain and upper limb disorders. Citations of these articles were retrieved through the Web of Science and Google Scholar, and selected according to several criteria. Most citations present in the Web of Science were also retrieved from Google Scholar, except for the most recent articles. In the Web of Science, after exclusion of self-citations and duplicates, the total number of citations was 109 from 23 different countries for the low back pain articles, with 96 citations from 18 countries for upper limb disorders. A relatively large number of the citations belonged to clinical journals outside the fields of occupational health, ergonomics and public health.

Conclusion This study suggests that results dealing with occupational health disseminate into various fields of clinical research. However, this is only one dimension of the impact of a study.

  • Epidemiology
  • health and safety
  • musculoskeletal

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.