November 24, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

The Best Stem Cell Journals: Analysis and Perspectives

I did a poll (below) on the best stem cell journals overall and the results of our readers were overwhelming. They loved this poll. Also as an update in 2020, you might find this more recent post on the “best” stem cell journals to be of interest.

Stem Cell Poll

What is the best stem cell journal? What are the top 10?

Cell Stem Cell was named “Best Stem Cell Journal” by a more two-to-one margin over its nearest competitor Nature.

A surprise for me is that Stem Cells was not ranked higher. I really like that journal. Regenerative Medicine came in a surprising third, but it’s on the rise.

Would the most important criteria be the number of publications or their quality/impact?

In terms of sheer output of papers with “Stem Cell” or “Stem Cells” in the title since 2007, not surprisingly the results (below) are quite different.

JournalBlood, which no one voted for in this blog’s poll, is #1 by far. I think overall these results indicate the massive number of papers on hematopoietic stem cells cranked out by that field.

Those finishing both well in our blog poll and high in productivity showed up with Stem Cells, PLOS ONE, and Cell Stem Cell, finishing at 5th, 7th, and 9th respectively for productivity.

Clearly productivity is not everything, but keep in mind that in academia great weight is placed on scientists’ total number of publications.

My own rankings? I put Cell Stem Cell and Stem Cells  as my top 2, which fits with my 2011 Stem Cell Awards, in the category for top journals.

Alexey commented that PLOS ONE deserves credit for being an open access journal.

What about impact? If one judges this by number of citations, just comparing my favorite 2 journals, interestingly since 2007, Stem Cells has a 2:1 advantage over Cell Stem Cell, but one might consider that Stem Cells has been around a heck of a lot longer and many of those citations are of papers that were published when Cell Stem Cell didn’t even exist, which seems unfair. However, if one limits the head-to-head to just 2010-2011, Stem Cells wins again, but just by 10%. Again, many of those citations may be from past years. I think what this data tells us is that these are two outstanding journals in the stem cell field. Stem Cells (Impact Factor 7.9) has the longer history, while Cell Stem Cell (Impact Factor 25.9) is super-hot since it began in 2007.

I don’t expect everyone to agree on the best stem cell journal and my poll was not scientific, but I think we all probably agree that the number of stem cell journals is likely to continue to increase.