A bibliometric analysis of 81 articles that represent excellence in nursing publication.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


To analyze publication patterns of 81 articles included in a "virtual journal."


From May-July 2017, editors submitted articles from their journals representing distinction in nursing research, education, or practice. Brief responses explained their rationale for article selection. This sample embodied a unique exemplar of excellence in nursing publication and warranted further bibliometric analysis, which was undertaken from February to May 2018.


Using Scopus, each article (N = 81) was searched to obtain bibliographic information and subsequent second and third generation citations. Three concepts guided the analysis: (a) persistence, rate of subsequent citations over time; (b) reach, geographic distribution of subsequent citations; and (c) dissemination, specialty of follow-on citations represented as nursing or another discipline. Patterns amongst the second and third generation of citations were also examined.


Of the 81 articles, 43 (53%) were cited at least once, resulting in 721 second generation citations. There was long-term persistence (N = 2094) over the third and fourth generation citations. There was a wide geographic reach, representing 41 states in the United States and 44 countries. Dissemination was broad with citations in the medical literature eclipsing nursing in the third generation. The highest cited articles were all research reports. Patterns of silos and ripple effect were identified. No pattern could be identified for the 31 articles with zero subsequent citations.


This study revealed the impact of articles perceived as exemplar representations of 80 different nursing journals. Nursing research is being widely read and cited, both in and outside the profession.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Nicoll, LH; Carter-Templeton, H; Oermann, MH; Ashton, KS; Edie, AH; Conklin, JL

Published Date

  • December 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 74 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 2894 - 2903

PubMed ID

  • 30168158

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1365-2648

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0309-2402

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/jan.13835


  • eng