Which journals publish human neuroscience papers? Definitely not Nature and Science. Here are the top 25 EEG journals (and some top FMRI journals).
An earlier post talked about the total stats of human neuroscience publishing and the daunting task of knowing a literature of half a million papers published. However, half a million is a small number when you consider the publications on other topics. For instance there are over 700,000 papers just on kinases – enzymes that catalyze the transfer of a phosphate generally from ATP to a substrate and there are over 600,000 papers about neurons. Human Neuroscience is a much smaller field than molecular and cellular biology.
Which journals publish these human neuroscience papers?
Definitely not Nature and Science
A bit of investigation of publications referenced on Pubmed shows that Nature published 9 papers on EEG between 1962 and 1976 and then did not publish another EEG paper until 1999. Since then it has published a total of 4. Since 1995 it published 28 FMRI papers. Together this represents just .07% of the total papers it has published since 1995 (47,004). In contrast it published 1,392 papers on kinases and 1,740 papers on neurons during the same period. The journal Science had a similar pattern with 9 EEG and 22 FMRI papers since 1995 out of 46,264 total papers published and 1,158 papers on kinases and 1,722 on neurons. Further, 0.35 and 0.6% of the total papers published on the topics kinases and neurons are in Nature and Science in contrast only .01% of human neuroscience (specifically EEG and FMRI). As someone who moved from molecular and cellular physiology to human neuroscience I was very surprised by this stark absence of human neuroscience in these journals. Given the numbers it would appear to be not simply a bias but a fundamental rejection of a more integrated systems approach to understanding the human mind in favor of reductionist framework of investigation into the molecular and cellular pieces and machinery that comprise it – one that can typically only be done in animal models. Indeed, the editorial staff at these journals tend to come from molecular and cellular backgrounds. In contrast the community that works with EEG and FMRI tend to come from medicine or disciplines outside of biology such as physics, mathematics and electrical engineering. It is a very different crowd.
The table shows the number of articles on these topics by a few select journals.The more general interest neuroscience journals do better but still not as much as you would expect. J. Neurosci for instance published 414 EEG and 881 FMRI papers since 1995 which represents only 4.5% of all the papers it published.
Top 25 EEG journals (and some top FMRI journals)
So who has published the close to 500,000 papers out there. Here are the top 25 journals in terms of the number of EEG papers and a top 10 list for FMRI (we didn’t do a complete analysis of the FMRI literature as EEG so some important journals could well have been overlooked). Neuroimage is close to the top for both with Clin. Neurophysiol. a major journal for EEG and Human Brain Mapping a major journal for fMRI. There are of course hundreds of journals with smaller numbers.
Also see related post EEG and FMRI Research by Country.