Impact factor and study design: the Academic Value of Published Research (AVaRes) score

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To compare the citation indices of original articles and case reports in otolaryngology journals and thereby determine whether case reports are of less interest and possibly of academically inferior value to original articles.


All articles in two reputable UK otolaryngology journals (Clinical Otolaryngology and Journal of Laryngology and Otology) for 2000 and 2001 were identified. Citation indices were obtained from ISI Web of Knowledge and compared. Statistical analysis was performed using Microsoft® Office Excel 2003.


Review articles were cited most frequently with a mean of 5.21 followed by original articles with 4.28 citations and case reports with 2.40 citations. The difference in citing between original articles and case reports was statistically significant (P < 0.0001). There was no statistically significant difference in citations between review articles and original articles.


As case reports are clearly of lesser academic value than original and review articles, we suggest a scoring system incorporating journal impact factor and a scoring multiple taking into account study design. This facilitates easier comparison and recognition of publications in curricula vitae during job application.

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