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imageBackground
Areas of surgical care in which, traditionally, plastic surgeons were exclusively involved are now routinely offered by other surgical specialists. Whether this shift in clinical responsibilities influenced publication rates of plastic surgeons remains unknown. The current article investigates the proportion of contributions in plastic surgery journals originating from authors with a plastic surgery background as well as publication rates and author demographics.
Methods
A cross-sectional sample study of every publication originating from Annals of Plastic Surgery, Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery was performed for 2006 and 2016. Data about the articles’ methodological design and branch of plastic surgery as well as authors’ country of origin, educational degree and specialty training were analyzed.
Results
From 1721 publications included, head and neck reconstruction was the branch of plastic surgery with the highest number of publications at 18% and most articles (30%) were retrospective cohort studies. From 3381 authors analyzed, a significant proportion originated from United States (34%). More than 85% of authors were physicians as opposed to other health care professionals. The specialty with the highest representation was plastic surgery at 72%, but the proportion decreased in all 3 journals by a mean rate of 3.8% in 2016.
Conclusions
A slight decrease in publication rates from plastic surgeons occurred in Annals of Plastic Surgery, Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery from 2006 to 2016. Publications rates and author characteristics in plastic surgery journals provide valuable insight on plastic surgeons’ contribution to contemporary scientific literature.

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