Background: The academic productivity of trainees, consultants and institutions is frequently judged by the quantity of articles published in peer-reviewed medical journals.
Aim: To assess the publication history of Irish orthopaedic units over a 5-year period, and to identify patterns of publication.
Methods: A PubMed search was performed of each consultant affiliated with each orthopaedic unit in the country for between 2004 and 2008. Publications were classified by individual, institution, publication type and impact factor.
Results: Over the 5 years of the study, 239 papers were published from 19 orthopaedic units, in 69 different journals. Fifty-six consultants had at least one senior author publication, with seven consultants having more than ten. Impact factors of the journals targeted varied considerably and reveals an interesting duality among authors when opting for profile or prestige.
Conclusion: We feel this study represents a comprehensive and novel review of the state of publishing in a surgical specialty.