The Journal of Family Practice--1974-1983: analysis of an evolving literature base

J Fam Pract. 1984 Jan;18(1):47-51.


This paper examines the spontaneous evolution of original work in the field of family practice as published in this journal over the past ten years. An analysis was carried out by principal content, by type, and by source of the more than 1,700 papers published during that period. More than one half (currently 60 percent) of published papers have dealt with biomedical subjects; a majority of the remaining papers have dealt with health services and educational subjects. The most common type of paper has been observational research, with case studies, reviews, methods, opinion, and experimental research following in that order. The last five years have seen a continuing increase in the proportion of observational research papers, a slight decrease in reviews and opinion, and a marked decrease in methods papers. Sixty percent of published papers have been contributed by family physicians or others working in family practice settings. About three fourths of papers have been contributed from university or medical school settings, with one fourth from various community settings. All parts of the country have contributed to the publication of original work in the field. The trends that have been identified over the first ten years in terms of focus and content of the literature of record seem quite appropriate for the current and next stages of development of family practice as a clinical specialty.

MeSH terms

  • Family Practice / trends*
  • Periodicals as Topic / trends*
  • United States