November 23, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Where to submit my paper? A guide to stem cell journals

Cell Stem CellSo you’ve got a great draft paper on stem cells or regenerative medicine, but you’re wondering, “Which of the stem cell journals do I submit it too?”

I get asked this question fairly often so I decided to do a post on it. Sometimes I ask myself this question about a paper we have nearly completed. A few years back a did a comprehensive (and sometimes humorous) post on stem cell journals including impact factors and I touched on the fact that there are many iffy stem cell journals out there.

Nature/Science/Cell do publish stem cell articles, but your odds are relatively long with these journals unless you’re some kind of stem cell superstar. There are other non-stem cell journals that also publish stem cell work fairly often and some are worth considering such as Genes & Development, Development, PNAS, and MCB to name a few. There are others as well including Differentiation.

The journal Cell Stem Cell is an excellent choice for your stem cell paper, but your paper better be rigorous, comprehensive, and very novel. This journal has the highest impact factor of any stem cell publication, but we are not supposed to care about that anymore, right? I believe this journal is the highest research impact overall regardless of impact factor. See screenshot above from the Cell Stem Cell homepage.

Another great option is Stem Cells, a journal that publishes a much higher volume of still high quality stem cell publications. The Editor-in-Chief is my colleague Jan Nolta, who is a stellar scientist. The sister journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine is excellent too.

Other options that are very worthwhile include Stem Cell Reports, Regenerative Medicine, and Stem Cells & Development. 

There are many others that are perfectly fine, but not read too often.

Then going further there are perhaps dozens of stem cell journals with odd names. I get a lot of emails from these kind of journals and some are likely predatory. Publishing there won’t help you and could hurt you. I got one recently that sure seemed to be trying to sound like Cell Stem Cell…it’s name was something like Journal of Cell, Stem Cells.

The bottom line. In terms of choosing a stem cell/regenerative medicine journal to submit to, you need to ask yourself how strong and novel your paper is, how long you are willing to wait for the full review process including initial review and re-review with revisions, and how much do you care about getting rejected if you aim too high?

Good luck!

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