A Bibliometric Analysis of Ophthalmology, Medicine, and Surgery Journals: Comparing Citation Metrics and International Collaboration

Todd D. Whitescarver1, *, Casey L. Anthony2, Annette K. Hoskin3, 4, James K Aden5, Scott E. Gardner6, Pablo De Gracia7, Rupesh Agrawal8, Fasika Woreta9, Grant A. Justin1
1 Department of Ophthalmology, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, USA
2 School of Medicine, Emory University, Emory School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA
3 Save Sight Institute, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, GA, USA
4 Lions Eye Institute, Sydney, Australia, GA, USA
5 Department of Graduate Medical Education, Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, TX, USA
6 College of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA
7 School of Optometry, University of Detroit Mercy, Novi, Michigan, USA
8 Department of Ophthalmology, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore
9 Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Medical Center, Baltimore, USA

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Creative Commons License
© 2023 Whitescarver et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at theDepartment of Ophthalmology, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, USA;
Tel: (609) 468-2468; E-mail:



To evaluate SCImago’s top ranked ophthalmology journals, comparing them with the top medical and surgical journals.


Data over 20 years was extracted for the top-ranked 20 ophthalmology, top 5 medical, and top 5 surgical journals based on SCImago Journal Ranking (SJR). Trends in SJR, self-citations, external citations per document, uncited documents, international collaboration, citations per document, and total citations were identified. ANCOVA analysis was utilized to further characterize average trends over time between medicine, ophthalmology and surgery.

Results and Discussion:

The fields of medicine, ophthalmology, then surgery had the highest SJR while medicine, surgery, then ophthalmology had the highest h-indices. Medicine had 1.01 uncited per cited article, compared to 0.54 and 0.43 for ophthalmology and surgery. Percent of self-citation was 5.9% for ophthalmology, 5.0% for surgery, and 0.56% for medicine; however, self-citations per article were the highest for surgery. International collaboration was highest for ophthalmology (19.14%) compared to surgery (16.75%) and medicine (8.00%). Medicine increased disproportionately in SJR (p= 0.0037), citations per document (p <0.001), and total citations (p<0.001) compared to surgery and ophthalmology over the last 20 years. Ophthalmology had the largest decrease in the percent of uncited articles (p=0.0006).


Ophthalmology has a lower h-index compared to surgery and medicine but was comparable when using more qualitative measures including SJR and uncited articles. Ophthalmology has the highest number of self-citations and the greatest level of international collaboration.

Keywords: International collaboration, SCImago, Top ranking, Self-citation, SJR, Ophthalmology.