Citation classics in the nutrition and dietetics literature: 50 frequently cited articles

Kenneth K.H. Lo, April H.C. Wong, Wilson W.S. Tam, Suzanne C. Ho

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To identify the most cited articles under the category of ‘Nutrition and Dietetics’ and the reasons behind high citation rates; and to investigate reasons for journals having high impact factors (IFs). Methods: The 50 most cited articles were selected in August 2013 after sourcing all journals published from 1956 to 2013 under the category ‘Nutrition and Dietetics’ in the Institute for Scientific Information Journal Citation Reports: Science Edition 2012 database. Journals were categorised by country, number of top cited papers published in particular journal, language, year of publication of the first volume and IF. Articles were classified based on country location of the study design, research area, first author's institution and organisation. Relationship between country of origin and high IF was determined. Results: Twenty-seven of 76 journals originated from USA, and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published 17 of the 50 most cited articles. The most common study designs of the most cited articles ranged from ‘basic science’ and ‘development and validation of tools’ (1960–1979) to ‘literature and systematic reviews’ (after 2000). The most frequently studied fields shifted from ‘nutritional status, dietary intake, and body composition’ and ‘obesity and eating disorder’ (1960–1979) to ‘vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals’ (after 2000). Conclusions: The majority of top cited articles and journals originate from the USA. The common study designs and research topics in ‘Nutrition and Dietetics’ have changed over the years. An evolution from basic science to translational research and changing awareness from nutrition deficiency to disease prevention were observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-368
Number of pages13
JournalNutrition and Dietetics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • citation classic
  • dietetics
  • nutrition
  • publication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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