Study objective: We sought to examine how a cohort of published emergency medicine research is cited in scientific journals. Methods: Data were collected on all research submitted to the 1991 Society for Academic Emergency Medicine meeting and subsequently published. Outcome measures included all citations of these studies found in journals listed in the Science Citation Index, as well as the impact factors (citations per manuscript per year) of citing journals. Results: Two hundred four of the 493 submitted studies were published and met study entry criteria; the average article was cited 2.04 times a year during the study period. Twelve percent were never cited, and 39% were cited only once or twice. Thirty percent were published in non-emergency medicine journals, and these were cited at least twice as often (and by almost 3 times as many journals) as apparently similar studies published in emergency medicine journals. The percentage of studies never cited by anyone was about threefold higher when published in emergency medicine journals. Forty-two percent of the citations of research published in emergency medicine journals came from within the specialty. Emergency medicine journals provided only 16% of the citations of emergency medicine research published in non-emergency medicine journals because these studies were cited 3 times as often by authors in other disciplines. Rejection of research for presentation at the meeting did not predict the number or quality of citations or citing journals. Conclusion: Research submitted to the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine meeting and subsequently published is cited about as often as the average scientific journal article but receives more impact, is cited more widely, and is more likely to be cited by a broader range of authors when published by non-emergency medicine journals. The ability of emergency medicine journals to compete with larger non-emergency medicine journals for their larger audiences may help shape perceptions of the specialty.