Growth and trends in publications about abdominal wall hernias and the impact of a specific journal on herniology: a bibliometric analysis

Hernia. 2011 Dec;15(6):615-28. doi: 10.1007/s10029-011-0864-3. Epub 2011 Aug 12.


Purpose: The aim of this systematic review was to determine the exact volume and growth pattern of articles on abdominal wall hernias, in particular the effect of the journal Hernia on publications about hernias.

Methods: A PubMed search was performed for every year between 1965 and 2010, using the title words "inguinal hernia," "incisional hernia," and "umbilical hernia." Then, two consecutive 10-year periods were chosen for a systematic PubMed search, before and after 2001--the year in which Hernia began to be indexed in PubMed. The main keywords used were as follows: "inguinal hernia" "incisional hernia" "umbilical hernia" "mesh" "laparoscopic" and "experimental."

Results: The number of all articles indexed in PubMed increased 1.6-fold between the periods 1991-2000 and 2001-2010. The number of articles with the title word "inguinal hernia" increased 1.7-fold, whereas the rises for incisional and umbilical hernias were more prominent: 3.9- and 2.6-fold. Article titles with the combined keywords "hernia and mesh" and "hernia and laparoscopic" increased 2.8- and 2.4-fold. The most striking combined search was for "umbilical hernia and mesh" with a 20.5-fold rise. The percentage of articles published in the journal Hernia among all articles in all 25 selected journals, including Hernia was 30% on average. Hernia, Surgical Endoscopy and the British Journal of Surgery were the leading journals for publications for inguinal hernia in the last decade.

Conclusions: Growth in hernia papers is greater than the overall growth in PubMed. Articles on incisional hernia increased faster than did those on inguinal and umbilical hernias. The establishment and indexing of Hernia decreased the proportion of hernia publications in other journals. The core journals for herniology are Hernia, Surgical Endoscopy, and the British Journal of Surgery.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Bibliometrics*
  • Hernia, Abdominal*
  • Humans
  • Periodicals as Topic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Periodicals as Topic / trends*