Medical Hypothesis, Discovery & Innovation in Ophthalmology,
Vol. 9 No. 4 (2020),
28 February 2021
Background: To analyze the academic characteristics, career trajectory, scholarly publications, and demographic background of the 100 most-cited authors in ophthalmic literature.
Methods: In this observational cross-sectional study, a database containing every ophthalmology journal article from 1967 to 2018 was built using Scopus journal article information. The 100 authors with the most citations were identified, along with a control group of authors with at least five publications. Information about each author, such as gender, institution, and educational degrees were found from online web searches. Intra- and inter-group analyses were performed to identify correlations that may lead to having a high level of impact in ophthalmology literature.
Results: Of the 100 most-cited ophthalmologists, 56 practice in the United States (US) and only 12 are female. In an odds ratio (OR) analysis, highly-cited researchers more often lived in the US (OR, 2.97; P < 0.001), were male (OR, 2.4; P = 0.02), and graduated from an elite medical school (OR, 3.89; P = 0.02) and/or residency (OR, 3.67; P = 0.02), but were not from an undergraduate institution (P = 0.75). There was no difference in citation numbers between different ophthalmology subspecialties (P = 0.22) or advanced degrees (PhD, MPH in addition to MD). Women among the top-100-cited authors were more likely to author high impact journal articles (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: Among highly-cited ophthalmologists, practicing in the US and attending a top medical school or residency program may provide training for a successful research career in ophthalmology. Additionally, top female ophthalmologists participate in more influential research.