Examining Trends in Dermatology Publications: A 10-Year Follow-up

November 2021 | Volume 20 | Issue 11 | Features | 1248 | Copyright © November 2021


Published online October 26, 2021

Reem Qabas Al Shabeeb MDa,b, Kamaria Nelson MDc, Kelley Pagliai Redbord MDd

aSchool of Medicine and Health Sciences, The George Washington University, Washington, DC 
bDepartment of Internal Medicine, Inova Fairfax Medical Campus, Falls Church, VA
cDepartment of Dermatology, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
dDermatology and Dermatologic Surgery Group of Northern Virginia, Vienna, VA

Abstract
Introduction: Examining trends in adult and pediatric dermatology publications by Mimouni et al for 15 years (1993–2007) showed that there was a higher yearly increase in articles with higher level of evidence such as clinical and randomized controlled trials with a slower rise in articles with a lower level of evidence such as letters and case reports.1 We wanted to see if trends in dermatology research have differed over the following 10 years (2008–2017).
Methods: We used the methodology of Mimouni et al to find the total number and categorization of publications in adult and pediatric dermatology from 2008 to 2017. We used MEDLINE to search the terms ‘skin’ AND ‘disease’ OR ‘dermatology’ for adults and pediatrics. A regression analysis (SAS 9.4) was used to understand the change in frequency across the years.
Results and Discussion: By analyzing publications from 2008 to 2017, speculations mentioned in Mimouni et al held true regarding the statistically significant increase in total number of publications in addition to meta-analyses and practice guidelines, which was not shown in the 1993–2007 analysis. The statistically significant increase previously mentioned in clinical trials, case reports, and pediatric randomized controlled trials was lost in the 2008-2017 data.
Conclusion: Trends in pediatric and adult dermatology publications in 2008–2017 differ from those identified in 1993–2007. There is a new significant increase in higher level of evidence not reported previously such as meta-analyses and practice guidelines. This is good for dermatology, and we hope the trend continues to further the specialty.

J Drugs Dermatol. 2021;20(11)1248-1251. doi:10.36849/JDD.6088

INTRODUCTION

Cccording to Mimouni et al, dermatology publication trends from 1993 to 2007 revealed a faster increase in high level of evidence studies such as clinical and randomized controlled trials, and a slower rise in articles providing low level of evidence such as case reports and letters.1,2 Mimouni et al speculated that the expansion of electronic resources and the internet revolution may create changes different than the trends reported.1 They also speculated that the rise in clinical and randomized controlled trials reported in their study would lead to a rise in meta-analyses in the upcoming years.1 We sought to evaluate if dermatology publication trends identified in 1993–2007 holds true for the next decade or if there are any changes. Examining these trends will aid dermatologists in understanding the evidence level of new publications and guiding researchers in areas where our field lacks.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

We followed the methodology of Mimouni et al to find the total number and categorization of publications in adult and pediatric dermatology. MEDLINE is a free service provided by the US National Library of Medicine that is commonly used in academia to find medical literature.3 A MEDLINE search, http:www. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/, of the keywords ‘skin’ AND ‘disease’ OR ‘dermatology’ from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2017 was performed. Adult publications were determined by selecting ‘all adults’ (19 years and above) while pediatric publications were determined by selecting ‘all child’ (0–18 years). The search category was limited to ‘humans’ and to articles written in English. We also utilized MEDLINE’s classification of articles into different categories such as clinical trials, editorials, letters, meta-analysis, practice guidelines, randomized controlled trials, reviews, case reports, and systematic reviews. A simple regression analysis using SAS version 9.4 (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC) was performed to analyze trends. A p-value of ≤0.05 was considered significant and a p-value of ≤0.10 was considered marginally significant.

RESULTS

From the years 2008 to 2017 there were 72,765 adult publications and 29,831 pediatric. Raw results obtained from MEDLINE for adult and pediatric dermatology publications along with the categorization are depicted in Tables 1 and 2.