Publication productivity by family medicine faculty: 1999 to 2009

Fam Med. 2012 May;44(5):312-7.


Background and objectives: Scholarly work is an important part of all medical specialties. A decline in publications by academic family medicine faculty during the 1990s was documented. The purpose of this study was to compare the publication productivity of family medicine academicians during the 2000s to that in the 1990s.

Methods: A random sample of 1,500 individuals was drawn from the 2009 Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) membership. We then performed a PubMed search to identify publications by each of the subjects for the year 2009. Publications by STFM members in 1999 were identified from results of a previous study. We then compared differences between 1999 and 2009 in the percentage of STFM members publishing papers, the number of published papers per member, and the number of journals in which publications appeared.

Results: The percentage of STFM members publishing at least one article increased from 8.5% (95% confidence interval [CI]=7.2%--10.0%) in 1999 to 20.9% (95% CI=18.9%--23.0%) in 2009. The mean number of publications by those who published increased from 1.73 (95% CI=1.68--1.78) to 2.22 (95% CI=2.13--2.31). STFM members were 2.85 (95% CI=2.29--3.55) times more likely to publish at least one paper in 2009 than in 1999. Publications appeared in 202 different journals in 2009 compared to 75 in 1999.

Conclusions: A higher percentage of family medicine academicians published papers in 2009 than in 1999. There were also more papers published per individual, and publications appeared in a wider range of journals.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Bibliometrics*
  • Faculty, Medical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Family Practice / education
  • Family Practice / statistics & numerical data*
  • Periodicals as Topic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Societies, Medical / statistics & numerical data
  • Societies, Medical / trends