Adi Klein-Kremer, Francis B. Mimouni, Ronnie Stein
American Journal of Epidemiology and Infectious Disease. 2014, 2(2), 60-62DOI:
Abstract: Impact Factor (IF) is used for evaluating journals; it represents a measure of the average frequency with which an article in a specific journal is cited by other articles in a given period of time. In a previous report we showed that in Neonatology, clinical trials published between 1998 and 2003 were more likely to be published in journals with lower IF had they reported negative results (NR) vs. positive results (PR). This study aimed at determining which biases exist in clinical trials in the field of Pediatric Infectious Diseases; we tested the effect of 5 factors on the likelihood of an article to be published in a high vs. low IF journal: NR vs. PR, sample size, study design (prospective, randomized, double-blinded), funding source, and originating region of the report. We selected articles of clinical trials in the field of Pediatric Infectious Diseases registered in MEDLINE from 2007 to 2011. We recorded the aforementioned factors and the IF of each journal, corresponding to publication year. Trends over time and the differences between studies with NR or PR were examined. IF and sample size were not significantly higher in PR vs. NR studies. Conversely, the aforementioned study design elements produced publications in journals of significantly higher IF. IF increased respectively with the following funding source categories: (i) no source stated; (ii) pharmaceutical company; (iii) non-US competitive; (iv) US national agency (non-NIH); (iv) NIH. Pediatric Infectious Diseases articles with NR vs. PR are not more likely to be published in journals with lower IF. Also, no apparent relationship exists between sample size and IF. Factors associated with the quality of the study, namely design and source of funding, may be more related to the IF of the journal than the type of results reported therein.