Document Type : Original Article
Department of Medical Journalism, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
English Department, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
Background: Readability is one of the critical factors in choosing a suitable text to teach the students or ordinary people. Studies have shown that the readability of a text depends on the number of citations, type of article, journal impact factor, and journal scope. This study aimed at determining the readability in the most widely cited original English articles published in Iranian Medical Journals in 2018 and comparing them with the same type of articles in British and American Medical Journals; we also sought to determine the association between the level of readability of articles with the journal’s impact factor (IF) and the total number of citations.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, according to the search conducted in the database of the Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences, we searched different databases of ISI journals, and the results showed us 80 journals. We selected one American and one British journal for each Iranian journal, which was similar in terms of the journal’s scope and impact factor. Then, the most cited original article in the latest issue of 2018 in each journal was extracted for review. Afterwards, we recorded five indicators of Iranian, American, or English journals, Impact Factor, number of citations to the article, journal’s scope, and GFI score in a data collection form. The obtained data were analyzed using SPSS version 25.
Results: Comparison of mean Impact Factor, number of citations to articles, and GFI score between the three Iranian, English, and American Journal groups was statistically significant (p-value <0.05). Iranian journals' low GFI score of articles has caused the articles to be less cited (p-value = 0.022).
Conclusion: The mean readability score of articles published in Iranian journals seems to be lower than that of American and British journals. The low level of readability score has a direct correlation with the low number of citations to articles
- William H.D. The Principles of Readability. Costa Mesta: Impact Information. 2004:1300-1309.
- Hayden, J. D. Readability in the British journal of surgery. Br. J. Surg. 2008;95:119–124.
- Weeks W.B, Wallace AE. Readability of British and American medical prose at the start of the 21st century. Br. Med. J. 2002;325: 1451–1452. Abstract
- Rochon PA, Bero LA, et al. Comparison of review articles published in peer-reviewed and throwaway journals. JAMA. 2002;287:2853–2856. Abstract
- Gazni, A. Are the abstracts of high impact articles more readable? Investigating the evidence from top research institutions in the world. J. Inf. Sci. 2011;37: 273–281.
- Shelley IIM, Schuh J. Are the best higher education journals really the best? A meta-analysis of writing quality and readability. J. Sch. 2001;33:11–22.
- Roberts J.C, Fletcher R.H, Fletcher, S.W. Effects of peer review and editing on the readability of articles published in Annals of Internal Medicine. JAMA. 1994;272:119–121. Abstract
- Feng Li, Stephen M. Annual Report Readability, Earnings, and Stock Returns. Ross School of Business University of Michigan. Working Paper Series Working. 2006,45:221-247.
- Berninger MS, Gaar E, Kiesel F, Schiereck D. Confused But Convinced: Article Complexity and the Number of Citations. SSRN Electronic Journal. 2017.
- Bubela T, Nisbet MC, Borchelt R, Brunger F, Critchley C, Einsiedel E, Geller G, Gupta A, Hampel J, Hyde-Lay R, Jandciu EW, Jones SA, Kolopack P, Lane S, Lougheed T, Nerlich B, Ogbogu U, O'Riordan K, Ouellette C, Spear M, Strauss S, Thavaratnam T, Willemse L, Caulfield T. Science communication reconsidered. Nat Biotechnol. 2009;27(6):514-8.
- Tabatabaei E, Bagheri, M. Readability of Reading Comprehension Texts in Iranian Senior High schools Regarding Students’ Background Knowledge and Interest. Journal of Language Teaching and Research .2013;4(5):1027-1035.
- Zarea Gavgani V, Mirzadeh-Qasabeh S, Hanaee J, Hamishehkar H. Calculating reading ease score of patient package inserts in Iran. Drug Healthc Patient Saf. 2018;10:9-19