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Temporal Characteristics of Clinical Citation Accumulation for Biomedical Papers


Core Concepts
Highly clinically cited biomedical papers have distinct advantages over medium and lowly clinically cited papers in accumulating clinical citations, both in the initial stage (from 0 to 1st clinical citation) and the build-up stage (from 1st to Nth clinical citation). Biomedical papers closer to clinical science more easily receive clinical citations than papers closer to basic science.
Abstract
The study explored the temporal characteristics of clinical citations of biomedical papers, including the time required to receive the first clinical citation (initial stage) and the time required to receive additional clinical citations after the first one (build-up stage). Over 23 million biomedical papers published between 1940 and 2013 were analyzed. Key findings: Initial stage: Highly clinically cited papers received their first clinical citation much faster than medium and lowly clinically cited papers. About 35% and 11% of highly and medium clinically cited papers received their first clinical citation within the publication year, compared to only 3% of lowly clinically cited papers. Papers closer to clinical science (e.g., clinical guidelines, clinical trials, human-related papers) received their first clinical citation more quickly than basic science papers. Build-up stage: As the number of clinical citations increased, the differences in the time required to receive the corresponding number of clinical citations among the three groups of biomedical papers significantly increased. Highly clinically cited papers had a distinct advantage over even clinical guidelines or clinical trials in accumulating clinical citations. The study also found that basic papers (animal- or cell/molecular-related) needed to accumulate about 47% of their total citation counts or 25 citations before receiving their first clinical citation, indicating the difficulty of clinical translation for basic biomedical research. The proposed indicators could be useful for monitoring the translational progress of biomedical research. The findings can also help young scholars in biomedicine to gain more attention from clinical science and achieve success in their scientific careers, especially those in basic science.
Stats
"Over 23 million biomedical papers in PubMed between 1940 and 2013 and their clinical citations are used as the research data." "About 35% and 11% of highly and medium clinically cited papers received their first clinical citation within the publication year, compared to only 3% of lowly clinically cited papers." "Basic papers (animal- or cell/molecular-related) needed to accumulate about 47% of their total citation counts or 25 citations before receiving their first clinical citation."
Quotes
"Highly clinically cited papers had obvious advantages of receiving clinical citations over medium and lowly clinically cited papers in both the initial and build-up stages." "Biomedical papers closer to clinical science more easily receive clinical citations than papers closer to basic science in both the initial and build-up stages." "Highly clinically cited papers had the desperate advantage of receiving clinical citations over even the clinical guidelines or clinical trials."

Key Insights Distilled From

by Xin Li,Xuli ... at arxiv.org 04-02-2024

https://arxiv.org/pdf/2404.01072.pdf
How biomedical papers accumulated their clinical citations

Deeper Inquiries

How can the findings of this study be applied to improve the clinical translation of basic biomedical research?

The findings of this study provide valuable insights into the temporal characteristics of how biomedical papers accumulate clinical citations. By understanding the time it takes for basic papers to receive their first clinical citations and how they accumulate these citations over time, researchers and policymakers can develop strategies to enhance the clinical translation of basic biomedical research. For example, identifying the average number of other types of citations basic papers accumulate before receiving clinical citations can help in setting realistic expectations for the translational progress. Additionally, recognizing the challenges and patterns in the accumulation of clinical citations can guide the allocation of resources and efforts towards promoting the clinical impact of basic research.

What are the potential barriers or challenges that prevent basic biomedical papers from being cited in clinical guidelines or trials, and how can they be addressed?

Several barriers or challenges may prevent basic biomedical papers from being cited in clinical guidelines or trials. One common challenge is the gap between basic research and clinical practice, where the language, methodologies, or focus of basic papers may not align with the requirements of clinical guidelines or trials. Additionally, the lack of visibility or accessibility of basic research to clinical practitioners and guideline developers can hinder the citation of these papers in clinical contexts. To address these challenges, efforts should be made to enhance communication and collaboration between basic researchers and clinical practitioners. Providing training or resources to help basic researchers understand the needs and language of clinical practice can also facilitate the translation of basic research into clinical guidelines and trials.

What other factors, beyond citation patterns, could influence the clinical impact and translational progress of biomedical research, and how can they be incorporated into future studies?

Beyond citation patterns, several other factors can influence the clinical impact and translational progress of biomedical research. These factors may include the relevance of the research to clinical practice, the applicability of findings in real-world settings, the collaboration between researchers and clinicians, the availability of funding for translational research, and the dissemination of research findings to relevant stakeholders. Future studies can incorporate these factors by conducting qualitative research, interviews, or surveys with researchers, clinicians, and policymakers to understand their perspectives on the translational process. Additionally, incorporating metrics related to knowledge transfer, implementation science, and patient outcomes can provide a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of biomedical research on clinical practice.
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