How is Cancer Research Reported by the Cancer Council’s Cancer Daily News (#148)
For over 10 years the NSW Cancer Council’s Library staff has been providing the Cancer Daily News (CDN) newsfeed to researchers and the public, summarizing cancer research papers as reported by Google, Yahoo, Reuters, BBC and ABC health news. We sought to ascertain how this coverage reflected the burden of disease related to cancer.
Methods: we collected 3-year data (July 2010-June 2013) on CDN reports on: featured
cancer sites, first authors’ institution and country and publication journals. We analyzed the correlation between the DALY’s related to different cancers and the coverage they received in CDN using a scatter plot. CDN stories were grouped into topics reflecting specific research interests of the readership.
Results: A mean of 1176 stories were reported annually, 85% cited from scientific journals. The 2996 research papers cited originated from over 50 countries; mostly from USA (40%) , UK (26%) , and Australia (6%), cited relative closely in proportion to their presence in oncology research over 3 years. Breast cancer (with a 12% disease burden) represented 19% of new sitems, followed by prostate (10%), lung (6%) and skin (6%) cancers, (responsible for 7%, 18% and 4% of disease burden respectively correlation coefficient 0.894). Most stories covered therapeutic areas including new drugs, clinical trials, and palliative care (29.7%), followed by lifestyle and cancer (particularly smoking and sun protection 12%), and nutrition (including food, drink, dietary supplements 8%). The 5 most cited journals were New England Journal of Medicine (5%), Journal of the National Cancer Institute (4%), Lancet (6%), JAMA (4%) and Journal of Clinical Oncology (11%).
Conclusion: These findings suggest that CDN reporting of cancer research is fairly balanced in terms of its site-specific coverage and domains of research and that high impact factor journals have higher exposure. Whether media reporting in turn influences the citation of papers will require further examination.
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