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Objectives: The research sought to determine the publication types cited most often in public health as well as the most heavily cited journal titles. Methods: From a pool of 33,449 citations in 934 articles published in the 2003–2005 issues of American Journal of Public Health, 2 random samples were drawn: one (n = 1,034) from the total set of citations and one (n = 1,016) from the citations to journal articles. For each sampled citation, investigators noted publication type, publication date, uniform resource locator (URL) citation (yes/no), and, for the journal article sample, journal titles. The cited journal titles were analyzed using Bradford zones. Results: The majority of cited items from the overall sample of 1,034 items were journal articles (64.4%, n = 666), followed by government documents (n = 130), books (n = 122), and miscellaneous sources (n = 116). Publication date ranged from 1826–2005 (mean = 1995, mode = 2002). Most cited items were between 0 and 5 years old (50.3%, n = 512). In the sample of 1,016 journal article citations, a total of 387 journal titles were cited. Discussion: Analysis of cited material types revealed results similar to citation analyses in specific public health disciplines, including use of materials from a wide range of disciplines, reliance on miscellaneous and government documents, and need for older publications.


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Rethlefsen, M. L., & Wallis, L. C. (2007). Public health citation patterns: an analysis of the American Journal of Public Health, 2003–2005. Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA, 95(4), 408-415. doi: 10.3163/1536-5050.95.4.408


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Journal of the Medical Library Association

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