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Sports Medicine Clinical Trial Research Publications in Academic Medical Journals Between 1996 and 2005—An Audit of the PubMed MEDLINE Database
  1. Andrew W Nichols (nicholsa{at}
  1. University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine, United States


    Objective: The purpose of this study is to identify sports medicine-related clinical trial research articles in the PubMed MEDLINE database published between 1996 and 2005, and conduct a review and analysis of topics of research, experimental designs, journals of publication, and the internationality of authorships. Hypothesis: Sports medicine research is international in scope with improving study methodology and an evolution of topics. Design: Structured review of articles identified in a search of a large electronic medical database. Setting: PubMed MEDLINE database. Participants: Sports medicine-related clinical research trials published between 1996 and 2005. Interventions: Review and analysis of articles that meet inclusion criteria. Main Outcome Measurements: Articles were examined for study topics, research methodology, experimental subject characteristics, journal of publication, lead authors and journal countries of origin, and language of publication. Results: The search retrieved 414 articles, of which 379 (345 English language and 34 non-English language) met inclusion criteria. The number of publications, increased steadily during the study period. Randomized clinical trials were the most common study type and the “Diagnosis, Management, and Treatment of Sports-Related Injuries and Conditions” was the most popular study topic. The knee, ankle/foot, and shoulder were the most frequent anatomic sites of study. Soccer players and runners were the favorite study subjects. The American Journal of Sports Medicine had the highest number of publications and shared the greatest international diversity of authorships, with the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The USA, Australia, Germany, and UK, produced a good number of the lead authorships. Ninety-one percent of articles and 88% of journals were published in English. Conclusions: Sports medicine-related research is internationally diverse, clinical trial publications are increasing, and the sophistication of research design may be improving.

    • Athletic injuries
    • International medicine
    • Research Methods: Quantitative
    • Scholarly publishing
    • Sports medicine

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