Who publishes in leading general surgical journals? The divide between the developed and developing worlds

Asian J Surg. 2006 Jul;29(3):140-4. doi: 10.1016/S1015-9584(09)60073-7.


Background: Most articles in top general surgical journals seem to originate from a limited few developed countries. The purpose of this study was to establish which countries publish the most in leading general surgical journals.

Methods: We analysed all the studies, reviews and case reports published in 2003-2004 in 10 leading English-language general surgical journals with the highest impact factors to obtain country-wise data with regard to the origin of articles. Editorials, historical articles, commentaries, guidelines, biographies, interviews and letters to editors were excluded from the analysis.

Results: A total of 5,081 articles were reviewed. Out of these, 834 were excluded as detailed above and the remaining 4,247 articles were analysed. Most of these were from USA, European countries, Japan, and Australia. It seems that the vast majority of the world's population living in the developing countries do not find adequate representation in leading general surgical journals.

Conclusion: Very few articles are published from developing countries in leading general surgical journals. Both developing countries and medical journals need to take steps to curb this trend. Steps are suggested to improve the situation so that the developing world is also adequately represented in the surgical literature.

MeSH terms

  • Authorship*
  • Bibliometrics*
  • Developed Countries*
  • Developing Countries*
  • General Surgery*
  • Humans
  • Periodicals as Topic*