Fragmentation of bio-medicolegal knowledge has led to a proliferation of ultra-specialised sub-disciplines and branches, often published in 'field-oriented' scientific journals.The aim of this work is to provide an in-depth analytical picture of bio-medicolegal sources of publication, within and outside the traditional conception of legal medicine. An extensive search of bio-medicolegal articles published in the last five and a half years was performed on the MEDLINE database according to MeSH terms combined with free-text protocols. We performed a systematic analysis of targeted journals after merging, selecting and categorising all retrieved records, taking into account data from the 2009 JCR Science Edition (released on June 2010); 1,037 different journals were identified, of which only 48 (4.6%) focus specifically on bio-medicolegal matters, and of which only seven (14.6%) have an impact factor (IF). Despite this apparent dispersion, 47% of articles were published in bio-medicolegal journals (BML), of which 70.2% were in journals with IF (BML-IF). Articles published in BML-IF journals (33% of total papers) reach almost 50%, mainly in "Forensic Science International", "International Journal of Legal Medicine" and "Journal of Forensic Sciences". Instead, publications in not specifically bio-medicolegal journals (Not BML-IF) are greatly scattered and even fragmented in about 650 journals.The sub-disciplines that appear most frequently in Not BML-IF rather than BML-IF journals are Forensic Psychiatry (48.2% vs. 5.1%), Criminology (37.1% vs. 8.3%), Malpractice (50.7% vs. 4.0%), Medical Law and Ethics (46.4% vs. 6.9%) and Clinical Forensic Medicine (39.5% vs. 21.3%). The proposed bibliometric analysis revealed the preference of Forensic Pathology, Criminalistics (Biological), Forensic Genetics, Forensic Anthropology and Forensic Entomology for journals traditionally considered pertinent to the medico-legal discipline, with a considerable dispersion involving Toxicology, Psychiatry, Criminology and Malpractice, which were published in less well-known journals. This dispersion could be reduced adapting specialised forensic sections and increasing the IF of forensic journals, in order to respond suitably to the present demand for visibility by bio-medicolegal scientists, clearly oriented towards enhancing the objective impact of their curricula and attempting to attract funding to their research projects.
Journal publishing bio-medicolegal research in Europe / Boscolo, R.; Viel, G.; Cecchi, Rossana; Terranova, C.; Vogliardi, S.; Bajanowski, T.; Ferrara, S. D.. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LEGAL MEDICINE. - ISSN 0937-9827. - 126:(2012), pp. 129-137. [10.1007/s00414-011-0620-3]