This study characterizes the literature of the radiation therapy profession, identifies the journals most frequently cited by authors writing in this discipline, and determines the level of coverage of these journals by major bibliographic indexes.


Cited references from three discipline-specific source journals were analyzed according to the Mapping the Literature of Allied Health Project Protocol of the Nursing and Allied Health Resources Section of the Medical Library Association. Bradford’s Law of Scattering was applied to all journal references to identify the most frequently cited journal titles.


Journal references constituted 77.8% of the total, with books, government documents, Internet sites, and miscellaneous sources making up the remainder. Although a total of 908 journal titles were cited overall, approximately one-third of the journal citations came from just 11 journals. MEDLINE and Scopus provided the most comprehensive indexing of the journal titles in Zones 1 and 2. The source journals were indexed only by CINAHL and Scopus.


The knowledgebase of radiation therapy draws heavily from the fields of oncology, radiology, medical physics, and nursing. Discipline-specific publications are not currently well covered by major indexing services, and those wishing to conduct comprehensive literature searches should search multiple resources.


radiation therapy, radiotherapy, bibliometrics, citation analysis

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