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The Use of Solicited Publishing by Academic Surgeons

  • Vi Nguyen
    Affiliations
    University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, CA
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  • Rebecca A. Marmor
    Affiliations
    University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, CA

    Department of Surgery, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
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  • Sonia L. Ramamoorthy
    Affiliations
    University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, CA

    Division of Colorectal Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
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  • Todd W. Costantini
    Affiliations
    University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, CA

    Division of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care, Burns and Acute Care Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
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  • Joel M. Baumgartner
    Affiliations
    University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, CA

    Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Moores Cancer Center, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
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  • Jennifer Berumen
    Affiliations
    University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, CA

    Division of Hepatobiliary Surgery and Abdominal Transplantation, Department of Surgery, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
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  • Garth R. Jacobsen
    Affiliations
    University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, CA

    Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Center for the Future of Surgery, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
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  • Jason K. Sicklick
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author: Division of Surgical Oncology, Moores Cancer Center, University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Health Sciences, 3855 Health Sciences Drive, Room 2313, Mail Code 0987, La Jolla, CA 92093-0987.
    Affiliations
    University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, CA

    Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Moores Cancer Center, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
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Published:April 30, 2018DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.surg.2018.01.027

      Abstract

      Background

      Few details are known about open-access surgery journals that solicit manuscripts via E-mail. The objectives of this cross-sectional study are to compare solicitant surgery journals with established journals and to characterize the academic credentials and reasons for publication of their authorship.

      Methods

      We identified publishers who contacted the senior author and compared their surgery journals with 10 top-tier surgical journals and open-access medical journals. We assessed the senior authorship of articles published January 2017–March 2017 and utilized a blinded survey to determine motivations for publication.

      Results

      Throughout a 6-week period, 110 E-mails were received from 29 publishers distributing 113 surgery journals. Compared with established journals, these journals offered lesser publication fees, but also had lesser PubMed indexing rates and impact factors (all P < .002). Professors, division chiefs, and department chairs were the senior authors of nearly half of US-published papers and spent ≈$83,000 to publish 117 articles in journals with a median impact factor of 0.12 and a 33% PubMed indexing rate. Survey responses revealed a dichotomy as 43% and 57% of authors published in these journals with and without knowledge of their solicitant nature, respectively. The most commonly reported reasons for submission included waived publication fees (50%), invitation (38%), and difficulty publishing elsewhere (12%).

      Conclusion

      Despite their sparse PubMed indexing and low impact factors, many senior academic faculty publish in solicitant surgery journals. This study highlights the importance for the academic surgical community to be cognizant of the quality of a journal when reviewing the literature for research and evidence-based practice.
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