Top Stem Cell Journals list for 2013: some surprises

Much earlier this year I did a poll and published my own thoughts on the top 10 stem cell journals.

Topping my list was Cell Stem Cell at #1 and Stem Cells at #2.

I also recently did text mining on the titles of articles in these 2 journals (here and here) finding some fascinating similarities and differences.

What are the best stem cell journals now looking ahead to 2013?

Of course there many ways to judge journals: impact factor, total publications in a given area, etc.

A journal that publishes very high-impact papers but an extremely low # of those is not going to have a net impact as high as one might imagine. Conversely, a journal that publishes a tremendous number of very low impact papers (think citations =0-5) is also not going to have much net impact.

Top Stem Cell Journals List

In terms of total # of papers in 2012 with “stem cell” or “stem cells” in the title in the panel at right is the top 20 list of journals based on sheer # of papers.

You can see the heavy influence of hematopoietic stem cell papers on the outcome of this ISI search, but I think it is also notable that PLoS One is #4 and Stem Cells and Development is #5.

My 2012 favorite 2 stem cell journals, Cell Stem Cells and Stem Cells ranked only #6 and #11 respectively.

But again keep in mind this is only quantity, not necessarily quality of pubs on stem cells.

If we at least in part judge journal/paper “quality” (perhaps a dangerous word) based on inter-year citations (i.e. papers with large numbers of citations in the same year they were published–see results below) and look at the journals, Cell Stem Cell and Stem Cells are highly ranked for 2012. But there are also some other notables.

Top stem cell papers

The #1 paper is in Blood.

Stem Cells and Development has an exciting paper on blood vessel stem cells published in May 2012, already #8 and likely to be a very high impact paper over the years. Biomaterials also has two papers in the top 10.

However, maybe just judging by interyear 2012 citations is a bit narrow, right?

What if you expand the search to the last 3 years (below)?

Things change dramatically. My prediction was that Cell Stem Cell would dominate and it does overall, but look at the top 3 articles, which were all in PNAS.

Top Stem Cell JournalsAll of a sudden PNAS seems to be a top player in the stem cell journal field. But every other article in the top 10 stem cell papers in terms of citations was published in Cell Stem Cell except one in Stem Cells. Wow.

I guess what one calls the “top” stem cell journals depends on your criteria, but to me Cell Stem Cell still comes out on top.

Other really good places to publish your stem cell papers include Stem Cells, Stem Cells and Development, PLoS One, PNAS.  Of course submitting a paper to a particular journal is your choice, but getting it published there is quite another matter.

Interestingly, we do not see any Nature family journals here in these lists. I would also put in a plug for the journal Regenerative Medicine, which I am an editorial board member of and which I believe publishes some really great articles too.

I think it is also notable that two of those top PNAS papers are specifically on “differentiation” and have that word in their titles, a word only very rarely used in papers in Cell Stem Cell according to my text mining here.