Protocol Online logo
Top : Forum Archives: : Paper and Grant Writing, Publishing and Presentation

Top 10 science journals - does anyone has a list? (Jun/20/2006 )

Hello guys,

I am currently looing for a PhD position and want to compare the "quality" of publications of several research groups in different fields.
Does anyone has a top 10 list of the best science journals? It would be good to have a general list (including nature and science) but also one which is more specific. For example top 10 journals for for cell biology, neuroscience, biomedicine (esp. cancer), ecology and so on.

It would be great if someone could help me!



There are several ways to classify the importance of a journal within a field, but I think the most highly regarded is from ISI Journal Citation report. Use of ISI services requires a subscription though. Your undergrad (or masters) university probably has one.

Top 20 list sorted by impact factor:

Annual Reviews in Immunology (52.431)
Cancer Journal for Clinicians (44.515)
New England Journal of Medicine (38.57)
Nature Reviews Cancer (36.557)
Physiological Reviews (33.918)
Nature Reviews Molecular and Cellular Biology (33.17)
Reviews of Modern Physics (32.771)
Nature Reviews Immunology (32.695)
Nature (32.182)
Science (31.853)
Annual Reviews in Biochemistry (31.538)
Nature Medicine (31.223)
Cell (28.389)
Nature Immunology (37.586)
Journal of the American Medical Association (24.831)
Nature Genetics (24.695)
Annual Reviews in Neuroscience (23.143)
Pharmacological Reviews (22.873)
Nature Biotechnology (22.355)
Lancet (21.713)

You'll notice that most of the journal with highest impact factor are review journals. You'd need to look at the data on the ISI web site to get a better idea for rankings of primary journals, as well as impact factors within different fields. Its important to recognize that impact factor alone isn't necessarily directly comparable between different fields (i.e. physics compared to biotechnology).


One has to see what sort of research the lab is doing. Bcoz if they r doing applied science, then they might not have high impact factor publications compared to basic research labs. But even then these labs might be the best in their area of research. So keep that in mind when comparing labs.