<imgsrc=”” border=”0″ align=”left” alt=”image”>Background
A journal’s quality is often assessed by its impact factor, a measure of the number of times a journal’s published articles are cited in the scientific literature. However, the impact factor may not adequately measure a journal’s influence on practice. As an alternative approach, we analyzed referenced articles of the 2015 and 2021 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Treatment Guidelines, arguably the most influential document on STI prevention and care in the Unites States.
Referenced articles in the 2015 and 2021 guidelines were abstracted and analyzed by source and year of publication, and sources were ranked by frequency of citation.
Of 892 citations in 2015 and 1454 citations in 2021, the most frequently cited reference sources included the journals Sexually Transmitted Diseases (14.0% and 12.8% in 2015 and 2021, respectively), Clinical Infectious Diseases (7.5% and 8.2%), and Sexually Transmitted Infections (5.6% and 6.4%).
Sexually transmitted infection specialty journals influence STI prevention and practice beyond what would be expected from the journals’ impact factor alone.