CRISE - Charles Cardinal - Twenty-five years of CRISIS: A bibliometric study of the IASP journal

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To contact the author: charlescardinal@hotmail.com Since 1980, when the first issue of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) journal CRISIS was released, it contributed to add more than 600 articles on suicide knowledge and research. This study analyzes the research articles published in this journal, from 1980 to 2004, by using bibliometric techniques. Bibliometry is the application of mathematical and statistical methods to books, articles and other communication mediums. The variables studied are the authorship, geographical distribution of articles, age groups, genders, at-risk populations and their evolution through time. The citations used in articles published in the last five years are analyzed. Research questions 1. What is the contribution of each country to suicide research published in Crisis; 2. Which authors contributed the most to Crisis; 3. What is the proportion by age group, gender and at-risk groups in the topics studied in research articles; 4. What are the resources most used in research articles in Crisis from 2000 to 2004; 5. What are the most cited research articles from Crisis.

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CRISE - Charles Cardinal - Twenty-five years of CRISIS: A bibliometric study of the IASP journal

  1. 1. Twenty-five years of Crisis: A bibliometric study of the IASP journal Charles Cardinal, MLIS Centre for Research and Intervention on Suicide and Euthanasia (CRISE) Université du Québec à Montréal Goal of this study The goal of this study is to better understand the evolution of the suicidology literature from the perspective of research articles published in Crisis, by applying bibliometrics methods. What is bibliometry Bibliometry can be defined as the “use of statistical methods in analysis of a body of literature to reveal the historical development of subject fields and patterns of authorship, publication, and use.» (Young, 1983). Bibliometry is used for library management, to evaluate or compare performance in term of publications, evaluate the impact of publications and journals, identify emerging or unexplored fields of research in a discipline and help in decision-making. David Lester 19 Jouko Lonnqvist 7 Manfred Wolfersdorf 7 Keith Hawton 6 Antoon A. Leenaars 6 Unni Bille-Brahe 5 Paul Corcoran 5 Rene F. W. Diekstra 5 Andrej Marusic 5 Konrad Michel 5 Danuta Wasserman 5 Paul S. Yip 5 Diego De Leo 4 Robert D. Goldney 4 Heidi Hjelmeland 4 Michael J. Kelleher 4 Ad J. F. M. Kerkhof 4 Armin Schmidtke 4 Tore C. Stiles 4 Most productive authors 1980-2004 Geographical Distribution 1980-2004 Research papers with old and very old people as subjects has declined by more than 10% between 1980-84 to 2000-04 2,1% (11 authors) of all authors have published 5 to 7 articles, 5.6% (29) 3 or 4 articles, 12,5% (65) 2 articles, and 79,7% (416) only one article. Fem ale all M ale allFem ale only M ale only nd/na 62,3% 61,5% 2,7% 1,9% 35,8% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Gender 1980-2004 Even though suicide rates are higher for men, males and females have similar proportions of reserach articles (difference less than 5% in some periods). Suicide attempts 23,8% Mental disorders 21,5% Alcohol and drug disorders 4,6% Bereaved 3,8% Elderly 3,8% Inmates 3,5% Physical illness 3,1% Migrants 1,2% Sexual identity 0,8% Indigenous 0,4% Rural areas 0,4% NA/ND 40,8% At-risk groups 1980-2004 C hildA dolescent A dultM iddle-aged O ld V ery old nd/na S1 11,2% 41,9% 47,7% 36,9% 33,1% 24,6% 43,1% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Journal Title Nbre of references American Journal of Psychiatry 107 British Journal of Psychiatry 105 Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 99 Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 78 Archives of General Psychiatry 71 Crisis 58 Age groups 1980-2004 Most used resources 2000-2004 1980-84 1985-89 1990-94 1995-99 2000-04 1 author 50.0% 30.0% 26.1% 19.7% 11.3% 2 authors 35.7% 45.0% 34.8% 24.2% 35.0% 3 to 5 authors 14.3% 20.0% 30.4% 45.5% 45.0% 6 to 9 authors 0.0% 5.0% 6.5% 6.1% 7.5% 10 and more 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 4.5% 1.3% Autorship pattern 1980-2004 Authors Title Year Citation 1 Bagley & Tremblay Suicidal behaviors in homosexual and bisexual males 1997 32 2 Diekstra Suicidal behavior in adolescents and young adults: the international picture 1989 32 3 Cleiren, Diekstra, Kerkhof et al. Mode of death and kinship in bereavement: focusing on "who" rather than "how" 1994 24 4 Leenaars Suicide across the adult life-span: an archival study 1989 23 5 Bille-Brahe, Kerkhof, De Leo et al. A repetition-prediction study on European parasuicide populations. Part II […] 1996 20 6 Hawton, Fagg, Simkin et al. The epidemiology of attempted suicide in the Oxford area, England (1989-1992) 1994 20 7 Pirkis, Burgess & Dunt Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among Australian adults 2000 20 8 McIntosh & Kelly Survivors' reactions: suicide vs. other causes 1992 16 9 van Egmond, Garnefski, Jonker et al. The relationship between sexual abuse and female suicidal behavior 1993 16 10 Wolk-Wasserman Some problems connected with the treatment of suicide attempt patients: transference and countertransference aspects 1987 16 International co-authorship: Collaboration between authors from different countries has expanded since 1995-1999. We count only 4 articles between 1980 to 1994 that have co-authors from different countries. In 1995-1999, there was 15 articles and in 2000-2004, 16 articles. Discussion and Conclusion Crisis is a journal recognized by suicidologists worldwide and people who are involved in suicide prevention. However there is an absence of contributions from many countries and unequal participation. Some continents and specific area have almost no publications (e.s. South and Central America, Africa, Muslim countries). The proportion of contributions by country does not seem to correspond to their national suicide rates. For example, Canada has a suicide rate lower (18,4 for men and 5,2 for women) than Japan (35,2 for men and 13,4 for women) (WHO, 2004) but has 21 more publications. What could explain the fact that a country such as Russia, which has one of the highest suicide rates (WHO, 2004), did not have any publication? Explanations of the production of published suicide research include the language (limit for the non-English speaking countries), national investments in research, government imperatives concerning public health issues, researchers’ interests, culture, etc. We remark that the importance of certains subjects (by age group or gender) does not correspond to the importance as indicated by suicide rates. Although males have a higher suicide rates in most countries (WHO, 2004), we did not find more publications on males. The elderly do not have the same proportion of articles as their suicide rates. Future research could answer the question of what pushes researchers to conduct research on a specific group. By comparing articles in Crisis with articles from Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior (Cardinal, 2005), and other types of publication (books, grey literature), and even to other forms of scientific communications (conferences, academic session), we may obtain more relevant information concerning the production of scientific knowledge in suicidology. This could help directed research and identify themes and populations that are unexplored or under investigated. Methodology We used unidimensional bibliometric methods for this study which involves counting specific indicators in articles. Paper copies of each issue of the journal were used. Only research articles have been considered. Literature reviews, theoretical articles, single case studies were not included. To determine the geographical origins, we used the correspondance address of the author. If this information was not available, we used the affiliation of the first author. To identify the caracteristics of subjects of the research articles (age groups, gender, at-risk groups), we examined the article. We paid a particular attention to the sections « Description of the subjects » and tables of results. Some articles did not mention clearly those caracteristics or had more than one caracteristic (adolescents and adults, for example). For age groups, we used the classification of the National Library of Medicine, which is used in its worldwide known database, PubMed. We compared 6 groups of age, Child (12 years-old and less), Adolescent (13 to 18 years-old), Adult (19 to 44), Middle-Aged (45 to 64), Old (65 to 79), Very Old (80 and more). For the at-risk groups, we refered to the Guidelines for Suicide Prevention developped by the IASP Executive Committee, published in Crisis, vol. 24, no 4. Eleven (11) groups were identified. To identify the resources most used by authors in Crisis, we compiled all the references in the bibliography of those articles for the period 2000 to 2004. For the most cited articles, we used the database Web of Science (generally known as Citation Index). Most cited articles 1980-2004 For resources in bibliographies that have more than 10 references (33), 64% are from the field of psychiatry, 17.2% from suicidology, 12.4% from medicine, 6.1% from psychology, and public health (1%). The average delay between the age of the references and their use in research articles in Crisis is 10.3 years. Research questions 1. What is the contribution of each country to suicide research published in Crisis; 2. Which authors contributed the most to Crisis; 3. What is the proportion by age group, gender and at-risk groups in the topics studied in research articles; 4. What are the resources most used in research articles in Crisis from 2000 to 2004; 5. What are the most cited research articles from Crisis. Results We identified 260 research articles in Crisis from 1980 to 2004. By dividing them in to 5 five-years periods, we identified 28 articles published in 1980- 84, 40 in 1985-89, 46 in 1990-1994, 66 in 1995-99, and 80 in 2000-04. Adolescents is the only group that has a noticable rise in the number of reseach papers between the period 1980-84 to 2000-04 (from 42,9% to 50%). Having more authors per article may be explain by the complexity of research, more efficient communication technologies and greater recognition of the contribution of people who work on the research XXIII World Congress – International Association for Suicide Prevention : Scaling the Summit – Suicidal Behaviour in Diverse Cultures 12-16 September 2005 – Durban, South Africa CRISE is supported financially by Correspondance: Charles Cardinal charlescardinal@hotmail.com References Cardinal, C. (2005). Three decades of Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. Paper presented at the AAS Conference. World Health Organisation. (2004). Suicide Global Charts. Retrieved August 22, 2005 from http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide/charts/en/ Young, H. (Ed.) (1983). The ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science. Chicago : American Library Association.

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