The study seeks to identify the influence of local and regional publications in the production of public health research papers
in the Latin American region. A citation analysis of the papers published in the following three leading journals in the field
of public health was conducted: Revista Médica de Chile (Chile) (RMCh); Archivos Latinoamericanos de Nutrición (Venezuela) (ALAN); and Salud Pública de México (México) (SPM). Papers were analyzed for the period 2003–2007. SciELO (Scientific Electronic Library Online) and the printed
version of the journals were used in the analysis. Overall, 1,273 papers from 122 journal issues were analyzed. References
accounted for a total of 38,459. Over 90% of the production was published through the collaboration of two or more authors.
Author affiliation corresponded in most cases to the country of origin of the journal. References to Portuguese papers accounted
for nearly 5% in ALAN and less than 1% each in SPM and RMCh. Citations among the three journals were not significant. Only
ALAN cited RMCh and SPM over 3% each, of total citations. SPM and RMCh cited each other less than 1% of total citations. With
the exception of ALAN, most public health papers published in RMCh and SPM derived from the national collaboration of researchers
in the field. A small amount of public health knowledge communication was being transferred from Brazil to the region through
RMCh and SPM. A vertical and individual (per journal/country) model of knowledge communication in public health was identified.