Citation analysis: a new approach to assess the uptake of core outcome sets?

Barnes Karen, Jamie J Kirkham, Michael Clarke, Paula Williamson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
153 Downloads (Pure)


The aim of the study was to evaluate citation analysis as an approach to measuring core outcome set (COS) uptake, by assessing whether the number of citations for a COS report could be used as a surrogate measure of uptake of the COS by clinical trial lists.

Study Design and Setting
Citation data were obtained for COS reports published before 2010 in five disease areas (systemic sclerosis,rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, sepsis and critical care, and female sexual dysfunction). Those publications identified as a report of a clinical trial were examined to identify whether or not all outcomes in the COS were measured in the trial.

Clinical trials measuring the relevant COS made up a small proportion of the total number of citations for COS reports. Not all trials citing a COS report measured all the recommended outcomes. Some trials cited the COS reports for other reasons, including the definition of a condition or other trial design issues addressed by the COS report.

Although citation data can be readily accessed, it should not be assumed that the citing of a COS report indicates that atrial has measured the recommended COS. Alternative methods for assessing COS uptake are needed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-159
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2017

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