Among the numerous medical journals published worldwide, it is The New England Journal of Medicine that can lay claim to having the greatest impact, at least in terms of citations.

The annual impact factors for The New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, Annals of Internal Medicine, The Journal of the American Medical Association, The British Medical Journal and thousands of other medical and scientific journals are calculated each year by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). Impact is a measure of the degree to which a journal’s articles are cited, on average, in the scientific literature. It is an approximation of a journal’s influence.

To determine a journal’s impact, ISI counts citations from all journals during a given year to the articles published in that journal over the previous two years and divides that figure by the total number of articles published in that journal in those...

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