• Are citations from clinical trials evidence of higher impact research? An analysis of ClinicalTrials.gov

      Thelwall, Mike; Kousha, Kayvan (Springer, 2016-09-03)
      An important way in which medical research can translate into improved health outcomes is by motivating or influencing clinical trials that eventually lead to changes in clinical practice. Citations from clinical trials records to academic research may therefore serve as an early warning of the likely future influence of the cited articles. This paper partially assesses this hypothesis by testing whether prior articles referenced in ClinicalTrials.gov records are more highly cited than average for the publishing journal. The results from four high profile general medical journals support the hypothesis, although there may not be a cause-and effect relationship. Nevertheless, it is reasonable for researchers to use citations to their work from clinical trials records as partial evidence of the possible long-term impact of their research.