Background A citation classic is a highly cited work in a field and regarded as an influential contribution to the field’s advancements and literature. Analyzing citation classics and top articles promotes the recognition of research trends within a field. We present the results of the first analysis to identify the 100 most frequently cited research studies on esophageal cancer or esophagogastric junction cancer using the bibliometric analysis method.
Method We searched the Web of Science on September 24, 2020. Articles were listed in descending order by the total number of citations, and the top-100 most-cited original articles on esophageal cancer or esophagogastric junction cancer were extracted and evaluated.
Results The top-100 citation classics in esophageal cancer were published from 1981 to 2018. A significant increase was found in the number of citation classics from the early 1990s to the late 2000s, which was paralleled by an increase in randomized controlled trials focusing on the clinical treatment of tumors. The medians of the total and annual citations in our analysis were 444.50 (interquartile range [IQR] 346.25-684.50) and 30.08 (IQR 19.10-56.60), respectively. The majority of articles were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (n=26), originated in the United States (n=38) and focused on clinical therapies (n=59). The median impact factor of the journals was 27.603 (IQR 9.727-32.956).
Conclusion Our analysis provides a historical perspective on the scientific progress of esophageal cancer and contributes to the recognition of important advances in this specialty.