Trend analysis of disaster health articles in peer-reviewed publications pre- and post-9/11


  • Gabor Kelen, MD
  • Lauren M. Sauer, BA



disaster medicine, research methodology, publications, trend analysis


Objective: The aim of this study was to determine which journals publish medical disaster-related work, their individual focus, and publication volume preand post-9/11.
Methods: PubMed and Google Scholar were searched using key words to identify peer-review journals (print or electronic) publishing medical and public health disaster-related manuscripts. All medical journals with an average volume of at least five disaster- related publications per year over the 11-year study period (1996-2006) were selected. Identified journals were categorized as either general or specialty medical, or disaster health dedicated. All disaster-related articles in each journal were identified and classified according to 11 subtopics.
Results: Of 16 journals meeting entry criteria, 10 were disaster dedicated. Of these, only six existed pre-9/11. Only six general journals (JAMA, American Journal of Public Health, The Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, Annals of Emergency Medicine, Academic Emergency Medicine) had sufficient publications for analysis. Of the 2,899 disaster articles identified, 1,769 (61 percent) were from the dedicated journals. Publications increased by 320 percent in the general/subspecialty journals and 145 percent for disaster- specific journals in the 5-year period post-9/11 (2002-2006) versus the previous 5-year period (1996- 2000). Among the dedicated journals, Journal of Prehospital and Disaster Medicine published the most (21 percent), followed by Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal (18 percent). Among the general/subspecialty journals, The Lancet published the most (33 percent), followed by JAMA (28 percent) and Annals of Emergency Medicine (18 percent). These journals published the most pre- and post- 9/11. Bioterrorism (36 percent) and Preparedness (18 percent) were the most frequent topic areas for the general/ subspecialty journals, while General Disasters (38 percent) and Preparedness (27 percent) were of the highest interest for the dedicated journals.The greatest increase in the proportion of publications pre- and post-9/11 was by the New England Journal of Medicine (2,340 percent) and Academic Emergency Medicine (1,275 percent). Individual journals appear to emphasize particular subtopic areas.
Conclusions: Interest in publishing medical disaster- related articles has increased tremendously since 9/11 in both general/subspecialty journals as well as disaster-dedicated medical journals. Some journals focus on certain topics. Details of this study should help authors identify appropriate journals for their manuscript submissions.

Author Biographies

Gabor Kelen, MD

Department of Emergency Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Lauren M. Sauer, BA

Department of Emergency Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.


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How to Cite

Kelen, MD, G., and L. M. Sauer, BA. “Trend Analysis of Disaster Health Articles in Peer-Reviewed Publications Pre- and Post-9/11”. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, vol. 3, no. 6, Nov. 2008, pp. 369-76, doi:10.5055/ajdm.2008.0046.



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