Journal of Anesthesia

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 85–93 | Cite as

Citation classics in main pain research journals

  • Zhi Li
  • Fei-Xiang Wu
  • Li-Qun Yang
  • Yu-Ming Sun
  • Zhi-Jie Lu
  • Wei-Feng Yu
Special Article


The number of citations of an article in scientific journals reflects its impact on a specific biomedical field and its recognition in the scientific community. In the present study, we identified and analyzed the characteristics of the 100 most frequently cited articles published between 1970 and 2010 in journals pertaining to pain research and related fields. These articles were identified using the database of the Science Citation Index (1970 to present). The most cited article received 3,017 citations and the least cited article received 302 citations, with a mean of 585 citations per article. These citation classics were published in six high-impact journals, led by Pain (84 articles). Of the 100 articles, 39 were observational studies, 25 were review articles, and 20 concerned basic science. The articles originated from 14 countries, with the United States contributing 47 articles; 67 institutions produced these 100 top-cited articles, led by National Institutes of Health of the United States (8 articles) and University College London (6 articles); 18 persons authored 2 or more of the top-cited articles. This analysis of the top citation classics allows for the recognition of major advances in pain research and gives a historical perspective on the scientific progress of this specialty.


Citation classic Pain Literature survey 


Conflict of interest



  1. 1.
    Bibliometrics (homepage). Available: (accessed 2009 June 30).
  2. 2.
    Baltussen A, Kindler CH. Citation classics in anesthetic journals. Anesth Analg. 2004;98:443–51.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Baltussen A, Kindler CH. Citation classics in critical care medicine. Intensive Care Med. 2004;30:902–10.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hennessey K, Afshar K, Macneily AE. The top 100 cited articles in urology. Can Urol Assoc J. 2009;3:293–302.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Paladugu R, Schein M, Gardezi S, Wise L. One hundred citation classics in general surgical journals. World J Surg. 2002;26:1099–105.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Picknett T, Davis K. The 100 most-cited articles from JMB. J Mol Biol. 1999;293:171–6.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hall GM. BJA citation classics 1945–1992. Br J Anaesth. 1998;80:4–6.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dubin D, Hafner AW, Arndt KA. Citation classics in clinical dermatologic journals. Citation analysis, biomedical journals, and landmark articles, 1945–1990. Arch Dermatol. 1993;129:1121–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Campbell FM. National bias: a comparison of citation practices by health professionals. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1990;78:376–82.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lin AM. US and non-US submissions. JAMA. 1998;280:246–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Garfield E. 100 citation classics from the Journal of the American Medical Association. JAMA. 1987;257:52–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Marx W, Schier H, Wanitschek M. Citation analysis using online databases: feasibilities and shortcomings. Scientometrics. 2001;52:59–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhi Li
    • 1
  • Fei-Xiang Wu
    • 1
  • Li-Qun Yang
    • 1
  • Yu-Ming Sun
    • 1
  • Zhi-Jie Lu
    • 1
  • Wei-Feng Yu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery HospitalSecond Military Medical UniversityShanghaiChina

Personalised recommendations