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Case report classics in otolaryngology – head and neck surgery: citation analysis

  • L W Edelmayer (a1), J E Fenton (a2) (a3), S A Yellin (a2), D J Shearer (a2) and D H Coelho (a4)...

To analyse publication and citations trends of case reports within otolaryngology – head and neck surgery literature, with specific attention to the most-cited reports.

Study design

Database query.


Web of Science was searched for article type ‘case reports’ published in the leading otolaryngology – head and neck surgery journals since 1945. Variables including publication dates, citation dates and numbers, author, author number, and others were recorded and analysed for trends. The reports with the most citations (classics) were further studied.


Of nearly 67 000 published articles in leading otolaryngology – head and neck surgery journals, the overall number of case reports as a percentage of the total has substantially decreased over time. A total of 110 case report classics were identified for which citations have increased.


Although the case report may not be worthy of its tarnished record, declining trends in publication suggest a limited future for this valuable research and educational resource.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Dr Daniel H Coelho, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, Virginia, USA Fax: +1 804 828 5799 E-mail:
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Dr D H Coelho takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper

Portions of this study were presented at the 24th and 25th Sylvester O'Halloran Perioperative Scientific Symposia, 2–4 March 2016 and 2–4 March 2017 respectively, Limerick, Ireland.

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The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
  • ISSN: 0022-2151
  • EISSN: 1748-5460
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