Health sciences added to the Nature Index

Articles from more than 60 medical journals now included in the database to broaden coverage.

Credit: Sebastian Condrea/Getty Images

Articles from more than 60 medical journals now included in the database to broaden coverage.

15 June 2023

Sebastian Condrea/Getty Images

The Nature Index database has been updated to include author affiliation information from primary-research articles in 64 medical journals. Users can now track trends in the health sciences.

The list of health-science journals was determined by a panel of independent clinical researchers and informed by a global survey of the wider research community. The same method was used for the original list when Nature Index launched in 2014 and for when the journal list was last reviewed in 2018.

The panel that was given primary responsibility for selecting the journals comprised 55 clinical researchers, drawn from a range of medical disciplines and geographical regions. The panel was chaired by Yap Seng Chong, dean of Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. The choices were informed by survey responses from 1,200 clinical researchers who were asked where they would most like to publish their best research without considering the impact factor.

The final list of health-sciences journals is intended to represent all the major disciplines and specialities in clinical medicine and surgery, while the panel also aimed for the total number of articles to cover about 4% of all primary research publications in clinical disciplines in the Web of Science database. This was the same percentage used in the process for selecting journals in the natural sciences.

Only primary research articles from the selected medical journals are included in the Nature Index. Clinical trials or epidemiological studies, for example, are included, but not articles such as small case studies or opinion pieces. In 2022, there were a total of 12,777 health-sciences articles included in the Nature Index, including more than 3,500 from multidisciplinary journals already included in the database, such as Nature and Science. It means health-sciences articles represent 17.2% of the total Nature Index article count in 2022, compared with 28.1% for physical sciences, 31.6% for chemistry, 26.3% for biological sciences (renamed from life sciences) and 11.0% for Earth and environmental sciences. These percentages do not sum to 100% as articles can cover more than one subject area.

Almost 12,800 publications in the Nature Index in 2022 come under the new category of health sciences, representing 17% of all articles included in the database in 2022.

The 64 medical journals included in the Nature Index are intended to represent a consensual upper echelon of journals in the health sciences, but the list, alongside the wider journal set, is reviewed periodically.

Newly added health-science journals*:

  • American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
  • American Journal of Epidemiology
  • American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • American Journal of Pathology
  • American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
  • Anesthesiology
  • Annals of Emergency Medicine
  • Annals of Family Medicine
  • Annals of Internal Medicine
  • Annals of Neurology
  • Annals of Surgery
  • Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases
  • Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Arthritis & Rheumatology
  • Blood
  • Brain
  • British Journal of Surgery
  • Chest
  • Circulation
  • Clinical Infectious Diseases
  • Critical Care Medicine
  • Diabetes Care
  • Environmental Health Perspectives
  • European Heart Journal
  • European Urology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Gut
  • Hepatology
  • Human Reproduction
  • International Journal of Epidemiology
  • International Journal of Obesity
  • JAMA Internal Medicine
  • JAMA Pediatrics
  • JAMA Psychiatry
  • JAMA Surgery
  • JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
  • Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery-American Volume
  • Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
  • Journal of Clinical Oncology
  • Journal of Hepatology
  • Journal of Infectious Diseases
  • Journal of Physiology
  • Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
  • Journal of the American College of Cardiology
  • Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
  • Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
  • Journal of the National Cancer Institute
  • Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
  • Kidney International
  • Ophthalmology
  • Pediatrics
  • PLOS Medicine
  • Radiology
  • The BMJ
  • The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
  • The Lancet
  • The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology
  • The Lancet Global Health
  • The Lancet Neurology
  • The Lancet Oncology
  • The Lancet Psychiatry
  • The New England Journal of Medicine
  • Thorax

*Note: Nature Medicine, a journal covering clinical and translational research, is already included in the Nature Index. During the previous review in 2018, its coverage of basic research placed it within scope for the natural-sciences subject area.