Journal Characteristics

Three Basic Types of Journals:
  •   High Impact Journals
- Cell, Nature, Science
  •   Mid Impact Journals
- Journal of Neuroscience
- Journal of Biological Chemistry
  •   Low Impact Journals
- Neuroscience

Criteria Journals use to Determine Publication

High Impact Journals
- will not publish an article unless they believe that it marks a fundamental
breakthrough in its field
Mid Impact Journals
- only accept high quality articles in a specific discipline
Low Impact Journals
- generally accept all articles, unless the referees believe that the paper is hopelessly flawed

An Example of a High Impact Paper
Adult pancreatic beta-cells are formed by self duplication rather than stem-cell differentiation
NATURE VOL 429 6 MAY 2004
Impact Factor = 31
This paper demonstrated that stem cell therapy will not work for Type-I diabetes
The last line of the abstract:
These results suggest that terminally differentiated beta-cells retain a significant proliferative capacity in vivo and
cast doubt on the idea that adult stem cells have a significant role in beta-cell replenishment.

What Makes This a ‘Nature’ Paper?
  •   The results are significant and interesting to a large audience
  •   The results change the direction of other researchers
  •   The techniques are ‘cutting-edge’ and can be used to study other diseases

An Example of a Mid Impact Paper
Transgenic Mouse Model of Tau Pathology in Astrocytes Leading to Nervous System Degeneration
The Journal of Neuroscience  April 6, 2005  Vol 25
Impact Factor = 8.3
This paper describes a mouse model that can be used to study a specific human disease
The last line of the abstract:
Thus, these transgenic mice recapitulate key features of astrocytic pathology observed in human tauopathies and
demonstrate functional consequences of this pathology including neuron degeneration in the absence of neuronal
tau inclusions.

What Makes This a ‘Journal of Neuroscience’ Paper?
  •   The results are important and interesting to a select target audience
  •   The paper describes the creation of a transgenic mouse that can be used to study human        
neurodegenerative diseases
  •   The experiments are comprehensive and very well-designed

Example of a Low Impact Paper
Functional roles of NMDA receptor NR2A and NR2B subunits in the acute intoxicating effects of ethanol in mice
     Synapse June 2005 Vol 56
      Impact Factor = 3.6
This paper describes the role of a neuroreceptor in alcohol intoxication
The last line of the abstract:
These findings confirm a major role for NMDA receptors in the acute intoxicating actions of ethanol and provide
tentative support for a prepotent role of the NR2B subunit in these effects.

What Makes This a ‘Synapse’ Paper?
  •   The results are interesting to a small audience
  •   The results add to a large body of research
  •   The techniques are good (nothing special)
Writing Resources Home
Writing Resources Home
An Impact Factor of 3.6
is still good.