Rehabilitation: the Cinderella of neurological research? A bibliometric study

Ital J Neurol Sci. 1995 Oct;16(7):473-7. doi: 10.1007/BF02229325.


Rehabilitation is under-represented in the neurological literature on disabling diseases. A Medline search was conducted to retrieve the articles published between January 1991 and June 1994 under the main headings of Stroke, Parkinson's disease, Multiple sclerosis, Brain injury, Ataxia and Dementia. These were then combined with the sub-heading Rehabilitation. The former search yielded 27724 articles, the latter 1272 (4.6%). In 1992, the Journal of Citation Reports (JCR) assigned to Journals publishing rehabilitation papers an average Impact Factor (IF) of 0.7-2.8 (median 1.8): that is, 31-90% (depending on the various main headings, median 68%) of the average IF given to Journals publishing non-rehabilitation papers. In the present study, the weight of the literature was defined as the product of the number of articles multiplied by the IF of the corresponding Journal (IF = 0 for non-JCR Journals). Across the various neurologic conditions, the weight of the Rehab literature was 0.1-7% (median 2%) of the weight of the non-Rehab literature. The results suggest that neurology is still reluctant to face the disability challenge.

MeSH terms

  • Bibliometrics*
  • Humans
  • Neurology*
  • Rehabilitation*
  • United States