We assessed the publication trends of papers on schizophrenia through an analysis of the articles published by three general psychiatric journals (Archives of General Psychiatry (AGP), the British Journal of Psychiatry (BJP), and the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry (ANZJP) from three continents.
For each of the journals, we covered the period between 1980 and 1994. We carried out both a quantitative analysis, assessing the trends over time in the publication of papers on schizophrenia, and a qualitative analysis, classifying the articles into eight scientific fields.
During the study period a total of 943 articles dealing with schizophrenia were published in the three journals evaluated; the proportion of papers focusing on schizophrenia was higher in the AGP and in the BJP (18 and 15%) as compared with the ANZJP (5.6%). A substantially higher proportion of basic science articles was published in the AGP as compared with the BJP and the ANZJP, whereby a somewhat larger representation of epidemiological and psychosocial research was found in the latter journals.
Given the importance of schizophrenia in psychiatric research and practice, it will be useful to regularly monitor the research trends in this specific field.