Do journals contribute to the international publication of research in their field?

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This episode features Professor Catherine Walshe (International Observatory on End of Life Care, Lancaster University, UK). Publication bias is known, but usually associated with direction of research findings. Bibliographic analysis of databases shows publication rates differ between countries, and an increase in total number of publications over time. No journal focused analysis has yet been undertaken to understand their role in the geographical dissemination of knowledge. Papers in highest ranked palliative care journals are typically cited between 1-9 times in the time period used to calculate an annual impact factor, with some journals having high numbers of uncited papers. Most authors in the highest ranked palliative care journals come from North American (54.18%) or European (27.94%) institutions. Preliminary sensitivity tests show that the odds of an author being from a North American institution increase 16.4 times if the journal is North American, and of being from a European institution 14.0 times increased if the journal is European. Palliative care research publication is clustered geographically, and readers may not be widely exposed to potentially relevant research from other cultures or contexts if they only read journals from their own continents.

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