Which multidisciplinary journal of science has the greatest impact in terms of citations? It’s Nature by a nose.

From 1979 to 1987, Nature nearly tripled its impact, a measure of quality and utility calculated annually by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI).

Science also dramatically improved its impact rating over the period, while Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS) remained mostly unchanged.

To determine a journal’s impact, ISI counts citations from all journals during a particular year to articles published in the two previous years in a given journal and then divides by the total number of articles published in that journal in those two years. For example, the 1,634 articles published by Science during 1985 and 1986 were cited 23,372 times in 1987 in the Science Citation Index. Dividing 23,372 by 1,634 gives Science an impact rating of 14.3 for 1987.

With a whopping...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?