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Fragmented publishing: a large-scale study of health science

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Fragmented or multiple publishing is generally considered negative, as authors may inflate their number of articles through duplicate publications and salami publications. However, there are valid and defensible arguments for a single research study generating multiple publications. The existing literature confirm the existence of fragmented publishing; however, the extent of the phenomenon is questioned. The present study is a large-scale analysis within the health sciences of more than 50,000 studies and the resulting publications. The data allows us to analyze differences across subdisciplines as well as over time. The results show that the majority of the fragmented publications are journal articles. This study also shows that the extent of fragmented publishing is tied to subdisciplines. Increased as well as decreased fragmented publishing are found when we compare across the subdisciplines as the development is tied to subdisciplines. The implications are discussed.

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  1. The groups are available in Table 2. At the time, this was available at


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Correspondence to Tove Faber Frandsen.



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Table 3 Number of publications per study in the entire time period as well as 1970–1985 and 2000-2015

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Frandsen, T.F., Eriksen, M.B., Hammer, D.M.G. et al. Fragmented publishing: a large-scale study of health science. Scientometrics 119, 1729–1743 (2019).

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