Although bibliometric analysis affords significant insight into the progression and distribution of information within a particular research field, detailed longitudinal studies of this type are rare within the field of nursing. This study aimed to investigate, from a bibliometric perspective, the progression and trends of core international nursing journals over the longest possible time period. A detailed bibliometric analysis was undertaken among 7 core international nursing periodicals using custom historical data sourced from the Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports®. In the 32 years between 1977 and 2008, the number of citations received by these 7 journals increased over 700%. A sustained and statistically significant (p < 0.001) 3-fold increase was also observed in the average impact factor score during this period. Statistical analysis revealed that all periodicals experienced significant (p < 0.001) improvements in their impact factors over time, with gains ranging from approximately 2- to 78-fold. Overall, this study provides one of the most comprehensive, longitudinal bibliometric analyses ever conducted in the field of nursing. Impressive and continual impact factor gains suggest that published nursing research is being increasingly seen, heard and cited in the international academic community.
International Journal of Nursing Studies Vol. 47, Issue 12, p. 1491-1499