Acta Diabetologica

, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 13–26 | Cite as

The top 100 most cited scientific reports focused on diabetes research

Original Article



The number of citations that a paper has received reflects the impact of the article within a particular medical research area. However, which articles are cited most frequently in diabetes research is unknown. We aimed to identify the most frequently cited 100 articles that describe advances focused on diabetes research.


Science Citation Index Expanded database was used to determine the 100 most cited articles in diabetes research. The key characteristics of the top 100 cited articles, including citation ranking, year of publication, publishing journal, type of study, h-index, PMC citation, patent citation, country of origin, funding source, and authorship, were analyzed.


The number of citations ranged from 10292 to 1121. The 100 most cited articles were published between 1962 and 2010. New England Journal of Medicine published the largest number of the most cited articles (n = 23), followed by Diabetes Care (n = 14) and Nature (n = 12). The greatest number of contributions came from the USA, followed by the UK and Canada. RCT was the most popular article type, followed by basic science studies and observational studies. There was a positive correlation between total citations and h-indexes and PMC citations, while there was no correlation with patent citations.


The most influential report in diabetes research seems to be RCT, which is performed to confirm the effectiveness and outcome of anti-diabetes drugs in patients with diabetes. This study presents insight into the historical development of diabetes research, and provides foundations for further investigations.


Diabetes Citation Publication 


  1. 1.
    Zhao Z, Sun C, Wang C et al (2014) Rapidly rising incidence of childhood type 1 diabetes in Chinese population: epidemiology in Shanghai during 1997–2011. Acta Diabetol 51:947–953CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cadario F, Cerutti F, Savastio S, Rabbone I, Tumini S, Bruno G (2014) Increasing burden, younger age at onset and worst metabolic control in migrant than in Italian children with type 1 diabetes: an emerging problem in pediatric clinics. Acta Diabetol 51:263–267CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    International Diabetes Federation (2013) IDF Diabetes atlas. 6th edn. Accessed 12 Feb 2015
  4. 4.
    Raffield LM, Cox AJ, Carr JJ et al (2015) Analysis of a cardiovascular disease genetic risk score in the diabetes heart study. Acta Diabetol 52:743–751CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gillum LA, Gouveia C, Dorsey ER et al (2011) NIH disease funding levels and burden of disease. PLoS one 6:e16837PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hunter CM, McKinnon RA, Esposito L (2014) News from the NIH: research to evaluate “natural experiments” related to obesity and diabetes. Transl Behav Med 4:127–129PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Raciti GA, Longo M, Parrillo L et al (2015) Understanding type 2 diabetes: from genetics to epigenetics. Acta Diabetol 52:821–827CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pugliese G (2014) Updating the natural history of diabetic nephropathy. Acta Diabetol 51:905–915CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Tang X, Gong W, Yuan F, et al (2015) Top-cited articles in digestive system disease from 1950 to 2013. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. (Epub ahead of print) Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Oh YS, Galis ZS (2014) Anatomy of success: the top 100 cited scientific reports focused on hypertension research. Hypertension 63:641–647PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Tas F (2014) An analysis of the most-cited research papers on oncology: which journals have they been published in? Tumour Biol 35:4645–4649CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Tam WW, Wong EL, Wong FC, Hui DS (2013) Citation classics: top 50 cited articles in ‘respiratory system’. Respirology 18:71–81CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Nason GJ, Tareen F, Mortell A (2013) The top 100 cited articles in urology: an update. Can Urol Assoc J 7:E16–E24PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Brandt JS, Downing AC, Howard DL, Kofinas JD, Chasen ST (2010) Citation classics in obstetrics and gynecology: the 100 most frequently cited journal articles in the last 50 years. Am J Obstet Gynecol 203:355.e1–355.e7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Pagni M, Khan NR, Cohen HL, Choudhri AF (2014) Highly cited works in radiology: the top 100 cited articles in radiologic journals. Acad Radiol 21:1056–1066CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Wong EL, Tam WW, Wong FC, Cheung AW (2013) Citation classics in nursing journals: the top 50 most frequently cited articles from 1956 to 2011. Nurs Res 62:344–351CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kavanagh RG, Kelly JC, Kelly PM, Moore DP (2013) The 100 classic papers of pediatric orthopaedic surgery: a bibliometric analysis. J Bone Joint Surg Am 95:e134CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Huo YQ, Pan XH, Li QB et al (2015) Fifty top-cited classic papers in orthopedic elbow surgery: a bibliometric analysis. Int J Surg 18:28–33CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Jia Z, Ding F, Wu Y, He Q, Ruan D (2015) The 50 Most-cited articles in orthopaedic surgery from Mainland China. Clin Orthop Relat Res 473:2423–2430CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Tam WWS, Wong ELY, Wong FCY, Cheung AWL (2012) Citation classics in the integrative and complementary medicine literature: 50 frequently cited articles. Eur J Integr Med 4:e77–e83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    No authors listed (1993) The effect of intensive treatment of diabetes on the development and progression of long-term complications in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial Research Group. N Engl J Med 329:977–986CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Rosas SR, Schouten JT, Cope MT, Kagan JM (2013) Modeling the dissemination and uptake of clinical trials results. Res Eval 22:179–186PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Randle PJ, Garland PB, Hales CN, Newsholme EA (1963) The glucose fatty-acid cycle. Its role in insulin sensitivity and the metabolic disturbances of diabetes mellitus. Lancet 1:785–789CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Neel JV (1962) Diabetes mellitus: a “thrifty” genotype rendered detrimental by “progress”? Am J Hum Genet 14:353–362PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Porta M (2014) Acta Diabetologica is 50 and well: long live Acta! Acta Diabetol 51:1–3CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Freshwater D (2006) Impact factors and relevance of research outputs: one step forward, two back? J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs 13:473–474CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Verma IM (2015) Impact, not impact factor. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 112:7875–7876PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Hirsch JE (2005) An index to quantify an individual’s scientific research output. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 102:16569–16572PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Zhang CT (2013) The h’-index, effectively improving the h-index based on the citation distribution. PLoS one 8:e59912PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Acuna DE, Penner O, Orton CG (2013) Point/Counterpoint. The future h-index is an excellent way to predict scientists’ future impact. Med Phys 40:110601CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Thomaz PG, Assad RS, Moreira LF (2011) Using the impact factor and H index to assess researchers and publications. Arq Bras Cardiol 96:90–93CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    No authors listed (1998) Intensive blood-glucose control with sulphonylureas or insulin compared with conventional treatment and risk of complications in patients with type 2 diabetes (UKPDS 33). UK Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) Group. Lancet 352:837–853CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Lehmann JM, Moore LB, Smith-Oliver TA, Wilkison WO, Willson TM, Kliewer SA (1995) An antidiabetic thiazolidinedione is a high affinity ligand for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR gamma). J Biol Chem 270:12953–12956CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Knowler WC, Barrett-Connor E, Fowler SE et al (2002) Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with lifestyle intervention or metformin. N Engl J Med 346:393–403CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Zeggini E, Weedon MN, Lindgren CM et al (2007) Replication of genome-wide association signals in UK samples reveals risk loci for type 2 diabetes. Science 316:1336–1341PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Aiello LP, Avery RL, Arrigg PG et al (1994) Vascular endothelial growth factor in ocular fluid of patients with diabetic retinopathy and other retinal disorders. N Engl J Med 331:1480–1487CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Shapiro AM, Lakey JR, Ryan EA et al (2000) Islet transplantation in seven patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus using a glucocorticoid-free immunosuppressive regimen. N Engl J Med 343:230–238CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Chen H, Charlat O, Tartaglia LA et al (1996) Evidence that the diabetes gene encodes the leptin receptor: identification of a mutation in the leptin receptor gene in db/db mice. Cell 84:491–495CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Spielman RS, McGinnis RE, Ewens WJ (1993) Transmission test for linkage disequilibrium: the insulin gene region and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). Am J Hum Genet 52:506–516PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Seglen PO (1997) Why the impact factor of journals should not be used for evaluating research. BMJ 314:498–502PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Kuhn TS (1962) Historical structure of scientific discovery. Science 136:760–764CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EndocrinologyGuang’anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Graduate SchoolBeijing University of Chinese MedicineBeijingChina
  3. 3.Department of EndocrinologyAffiliated Hospital of Shandong University of Traditional Chinese MedicineJinanChina

Personalised recommendations