SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • citation;
  • dissemination;
  • literature;
  • nurses;
  • nursing;
  • research

Aim.  The purpose of our study was to describe the dissemination of research into the clinical nursing literature.

Background.  The literature provides a means of transferring knowledge from a research study through citations of the work by other authors.

Design.  This was a citation analysis study to explore the dissemination of research into the clinical nursing literature, beginning with the publication of an original research study and including all of the citations to that article through 2009.

Methods.  The authors searched five academic nursing research journal titles, using CINAHL, for original research reports that had clinical relevance and were published between 1990–1999. The search process yielded a final data set of 28 research articles. For each of the articles, the authors searched three databases, CINAHL, Web of Science® and Google Scholar, to determine the citation patterns from the date of publication to August 2009.

Results.  All of the research studies were cited in articles published in clinical journals although there was a wide range in the number of citations, from 3–80. The 28 research articles had a total of 759 citations; 717 (94·5%) of those citations were in articles published in clinical nursing journals. The median length of time between publication of the original study and the first citation was 1·5 years. Some of the studies were still being cited for 18 years after publication of the original work.

Conclusions.  All of the original research reports examined in this study were cited in articles in clinical journals, disseminating the research beyond the original work to reach clinicians.

Relevance to clinical practice.  Clinical nursing journals keep readers up-to-date and informed about new practices in nursing and serve another important role: they disseminate research that is clinically relevant by publishing original studies and papers that cite research reports.