Who is Publishing in Facial Cosmetic Surgery? A Citation Analysis Across Specialties Over Five Decades

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Abstract

Background

Competition among our sister cosmetic specialties continues to increase. Once a field dominated by plastic surgeons, there is a clear trend toward increased competition from core and non-core disciplines. While these marketplace trends are obvious, how such competition has affected academia or peer reviewed publications is less clear.

Objectives

We analyzed the most cited peer reviewed facial aesthetic literature over the past five decades to see if marketplace trends are echoed in a similar manner across the academic disciplines of plastic surgery, otolaryngology, dermatology, and ophthalmology.

Methods

The top 50 cited articles for each decade from the 1970s to the 2010s were identified for the topics of facelift, rhinoplasty, browlift, and blepharoplasty using the Thomson/Reuters Web of Knowledge. Data collected were: the number of citations/article, first authors' specialty affiliation, and journal specialty affiliation. Data were plotted graphically and trends were analyzed.

Results

With regards to first authorship, plastic surgery had the highest percentage across all surgeries at every time point, except for rhinoplasty from 2010-present, when otolaryngology had a higher percentage (48% vs 40%). Observed trends demonstrated: (1) increasing contributions from otolaryngology in rhinoplasty, facelift, and browlift; and (2) increasing contributions from ophthalmology in blepharoplasty. Plastic surgery journals are the most common platform for publication across all four surgeries.

Conclusions

Plastic surgeons, and plastic surgery journals, still remain a strong force in academic facial cosmetic surgery. However, it appears that the competition from non-plastic surgeons observed in clinical practice is being mirrored in the area of journal publications. We as a specialty need to continue to strive for high quality academic productivity.

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