Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

The production and recognition of psychiatric original articles published in languages other than English

Christopher Baethge

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Cologne University Medical School, Kerpener Straße 62, Cologne, 50937, Germany

Deutsches Ärzteblatt, Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, Cologne, Germany

BMC Psychiatry 2013, 13:102  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-13-102

Published: 26 March 2013



Whereas the most influential journals in psychiatry are English language journals, periodicals published in other languages serve an important purpose for local communities of clinicians and researchers. This study aimed at analyzing the scientific production and the recognition of non-English general psychiatry journals.


In a cohort study, the 2009 volume of ten journals from Brazil (1), German language countries (5), France (2), Italy (1), and Poland (1) was searched for original articles. Patterns of citations to these articles during 2010 and 2011 as documented in Web of Science were analyzed.


The journals published 199 original articles (range: 4–46), mostly observational studies. Half of the papers were cited in the following two years. There were 246 citations received, or an average of 1.25 cites per article (range: 0.25-4.04). Many of these citations came from the local community, that is, from the same authors and journals. Citations by other periodicals and other authors accounted for 36% [95%-CI: 30%-42%], citations in English sources for 33% [28%-39%] of all quotations. There was considerable heterogeneity with regard to citations received among the ten journals investigated.


Non-English language general psychiatry journals contribute substantially to the body of research. However, recognition, and in particular recognition by the international research community is moderate.

Journals as topic; Bibliometric analysis; Psychiatry