Citation classics in anaesthesia and pain journals: A literature review in the era of the internet

K. Terajima, Anders Åneman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The number of citations an article receives reflects its scientific impact. The introduction of internet-based resources to search and access articles has made it possible to review even whole scientific areas. This study identifies the top 50 most-cited articles over the last 25 years in speciality journals dedicated to anaesthesia and pain, respectively. Methods: Twenty-two journals listed in The Science Citation Index Expanded™ in the field of anaesthesiology and nine major medical journals were screened using the cited reference option to identify articles cited more than 100 times between 1986 and 2002. The top 50 articles in speciality journals and the top 10 articles in major medical journals concerning anaesthesia and pain were retrieved for further analysis. Results: The most-cited articles in speciality journals were published from 1986 to 1997 and received a mean of 222 (anaesthesia) and 279 (pain) citations. Sixty-seven institutions produced the most-cited articles and of those 28 were located outside North America. The articles were published in six journals led by the Journal of Pain (50 articles) and Journal of Anaesthesiology (39 articles). Forty-seven articles were classified as related to clinical experience, 33 were review articles, and 20 discussed basic science. Conclusion: To make an article a possible 'citation classic' in anaesthesiology, it should be published in one of six leading journals and originate from an established institute in North America. Internet resources to publish and cite the literature have to date not advanced any article published in the last 5 years to the top 100 list.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-663
Number of pages9
JournalActa Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003


  • Anaesthesiology
  • Bibliometrics
  • Pain
  • Publications


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