Quality and Impact Analysis: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

By Pascal Rocha da Silva, Frontiers analyst

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience was launched in 2008. In just 6 years, it has become the #1 most-cited journal in psychology, the #1 most-cited open access journal dedicated to neuroscience and the 10th most-cited journal in all of neuroscience. It is also the 2nd and 3rd largest journal in all of psychology and neuroscience, respectively.

The Impact Factor (IF), defined as the total number of citations in a given year divided by the number of citable articles over the previous two-year period, is the most commonly accepted metric of journal quality (but not of an individual paper or researcher). It was formally established by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) in 1975. As the IF can be heavily skewed by a few highly-cited papers, total citations generated over the same two-year period provide a more accurate indication of the overall influence or impact of the articles published by a journal in a field. Frontiers is a pioneer in the use of article-level and author-level metrics and encourages every author to use these to track the development of his or her readership on a more granular level.

Analysis within the categories of Neuroscience and Psychology

There are 252 journals listed in the category of Neurosciences in the 2014 Journal Citation Reports provided by Thomson Reuters in 2015. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience is one of the 36 Gold open-access journals.

In Psychology, there are 597 journals listed in the 11 categories found in the 2014 Journal Citations Reports (JCR) provided by Thomson Reuters in 2015. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience is one of the 19 Gold open-access journals.

Below, we present the results of our comparative analysis on the impact factor (IF) achieved, article volume published, and the total number of citations achieved in 2014 based on articles published over the two preceding years, 2012 and 2013. (Click here to see the volume and number of citations of other Frontiers journals).

Comparison of impact factors and volume among all open-access journals (36) in Neuroscience

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Figure 1. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience compared to 36 open-access journals listed in the Neuroscience category. The journal analysis is based on 2014 Journal Citations Reports published by Thomson Reuters, 2015. There are another nine Frontiers journals whose names were not listed due to space constraints. These are represented by large dots. In descending order of impact factor: Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, Frontiers in Neuroscience, Frontiers in Neural Circuits, Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, Frontiers in Neuroinformatics, Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience.

Comparison of impact factors and volume among all journals (252) in Neuroscience

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Figure 2. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience compared to all 252 journals (subscription and open access) listed in the Neuroscience category. The journal analysis is based on 2014 Journal Citations Reports published by Thomson Reuters, 2015. There are another nine Frontiers journals whose names were not listed due to space constraints. These are represented by large dots. Starting with the highest impact factor: Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, Frontiers in Neuroscience, Frontiers in Neural Circuits, Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, Frontiers in Neuroinformatics, Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience.

Comparison of total citations in 2014 for articles published in the previous two years among all journals (252) in Neuroscience

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Figure 3. Top 20 most-cited journals in Neuroscience in 2014 (citations in 2014 were counted for articles published in 2012 and 2013) in the Neuroscience category. The journal analysis is based on 2014 Journal Citations Reports published by Thomson Reuters, 2015.  

Comparison of impact factors and volume among all open-access journals (19) in Psychology

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Figure 4. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience compared to 19 open-access journals listed in all 11 JCR Psychology categories. The journal analysis is based on the 2014 Journal Citations Reports published by Thomson Reuters, 2015.

Comparison of impact factors and volume among all journals (597) in Psychology

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Figure 5. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience compared to all 597 journals (subscription and open access) listed in all 11 JCR Psychology categories. The journal analysis is based on 2014 Journal Citations Reports published by Thomson Reuters, 2015.

Comparison of total citations in 2014 for articles published in the previous two years among all journals (597) in Psychology

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Figure 6. Top 20 most-cited journals in Psychology in 2014 (citations in 2014 were counted for articles published in 2012 and 2013) in all 11 JCR Psychology categories. The journal analysis is based on the 2014 Journal Citations Reports published by Thomson Reuters, 2015.

Summary

Amongst the 36 open-access journals listed in the category of NeuroscienceFrontiers in Human Neuroscience:

  • Ranks 14th on impact factor – 24% higher than the average for Neuroscience;
  • Is the largest open-access journal in Neuroscience – 11 times larger than the average article volume in open access journals in Neuroscience.

Amongst all of the 252 journals listed in the category of NeuroscienceFrontiers in Human Neuroscience:

  • Is in the top 33% on impact factor;
  • Is the world’s 3rd largest Neuroscience journal – 6 times larger than the average article volume in Neuroscience journals;
  • Is the 10th most cited Neuroscience journal in 2014 based on articles published in 2012 and 2013.

Amongst the 19 open-access journals listed in the categories of PsychologyFrontiers in Human Neuroscience:

  • Ranks 1st on impact factor – 3.4 times higher than the average for Psychology;
  • Is the 2nd largest journal in Psychology (second to Frontiers in Psychology, see analysis) – 19 times larger than the average article volume in open-access journals in Psychology.

Amongst all of the 597 journals listed in the categories of PsychologyFrontiers in Human Neuroscience:

  • Is in the top 9% on impact factor – 89% higher than the average for Psychology;
  • Is the world’s 2nd largest psychology journal (second to Frontiers in Psychology) – 15 times larger than the average article volume in all journals in Psychology;
  • Is the most-cited journal in 2014 based on articles published in 2012 and 2013.

Further Significance

The results are more significant if one considers that:

  1. Frontiers does not engineer the IF by setting a rejection rate, and instead operates an impact neutral peer-review process.
  2. The impact factor of Frontiers in Human Neuroscience has been continuously increasing from 1.548 in 2009 to 3.626 in 2014 JCR, despite a 38 times increase in volume over this period. This defies the long-held belief that publishing high volumes reduces quality.

In summary, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, one of the youngest journals publishing peer-reviewed scholarly articles in human neuroscience and psychology, has become the most-cited and 2nd largest journal in all of Psychology, the most-cited open access journal in Neuroscience as well as the 10th most-cited and 3rd largest journal in all of Neuroscience.

Frontiers in Psychology, also listed in the 2014 JCR category of Psychology, is the 2nd most-cited and largest Psychology journal. Other Frontiers journals listed in the 2014 Journal Citation Reports follow a similar pattern – view the analysis here.

Key to success

At Frontiers, we publish all articles that are scientifically correct. We engineered the Collaborative Peer Review with a review mandate focused on enhancing article quality by means of rigorous and constructive feedback from expert reviewers, quick and direct interactions between authors, reviewers and the editor enabled by our review forum platform, and we enhance transparency by acknowledging reviewers and editors on the published articles. This performance analysis indicates that the impact neutral Collaborative Peer Review conducted in Frontiers together with an outstanding editorial board has become a powerful model for publishing academic papers.

All of this is only possible with a stellar editorial board of researchers (see infographic). Frontiers congratulates Specialty Chief Editors Hauke R Heekeren and Srikantan S Nagarajan, the outstanding board of Associate Editors and the diligent work of the Review Editors (http://journal.frontiersin.org/journal/human-neuroscience#editorial-board) as well as the Frontiers Journal Management team for this spectacular achievement.

A special congratulation goes also to former Specialty Chief Editor Robert T Knight, who formed and led Frontiers in Human Neuroscience from 2008-2014, and the Field Chief Editor of Neuroscience, Idan Segev.

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience fact sheet (as of November 2015):

 Website: http://journal.frontiersin.org/journal/human-neuroscience#
 Launched: 2008
Impact Factor: 3.634
 Number of Research Topics: 155
 Number of editors: 1192
 Number of articles published: 3387
 Number of article views: 327,070 / month
 Number of article downloads: 81,831 / month

The same analysis of volume, impact factor and number of citations of other Frontiers journals can be found here.

Editorial Board (Specialty Chief and Associate Editors, see full board):

Hauke R Heekeren, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany | Specialty Chief Editor

Srikantan S Nagarajan, University of California San Francisco – UC Berkeley, San Francisco, USA | Specialty Chief Editor

Aron K Barbey, University of Illinois, Urbana, USA | Associate Editor

Jean-Claude Baron, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom | Associate Editor

Jennifer S Bee, University of Texas, Austin, TX, USA | Associate Editor

Lynne E Bernstein, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA | Associate Editor

Olivier Bertrand, INSERM, Bron, France | Associate Editor

Sven Bestmann, UCL, London, United Kingdom | Associate Editor

Merim Bilalić, Alpen Adria University Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria | Associate Editor

James Blair, NIMH, Rockville, USA | Associate Editor

Olaf Blanke, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland | Associate Editor

Charlotte A Boettiger, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA | Associate Editor

Christoph Braun, University of Tübingen, Germany / University of Trento, Italy | Associate Editor

Andrew J. Butler, Georgia State University, Atlanta, USA | Associate Editor

Qing Cai, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China | Associate Editor

Alain Dagher, Montreal Neurological Institute & Hospital, Montreal, Canada | Associate Editor

Pierfilippo De Sanctis, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, USA | Associate Editor

Leon Y Deouell, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel | Associate Editor

Francesco Di Russo, University of Rome “Foro Italico”, Rome, Italy | Associate Editor

Bogdan Draganski, University Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland | Associate Editor

Emrah Duzel, Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg, Germany / University College London (UCL), UK / DZNE, Germany | Associate Editor

Stephen A Engel, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN, USA | Associate Editor

John J Foxe, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, New York | Associate Editor

Joseph M Galea, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom | Associate Editor

Satrajit S Ghosh, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA | Associate Editor

Joshua Oon Soo Goh, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan | Associate Editor

Klaus Gramann, Berlin Institute of Technology, Berlin, Germany | Associate Editor

Adrian G Guggisberg, Hôpitaux universitaires de Genève, Geneva, Switzerland | Associate Editor

Yong He, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China | Associate Editor

Hans-Jochen Heinze, University of Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany | Associate Editor

Agustin Ibanez, INECO_UDP, Buenos Aires, Argentina | Associate Editor

Silvio Ionta, University Hospital Centre (CHUV) and University of Lausanne (UNIL) | Associate Editor

Arthur M Jacobs, Experimental and Neurocognitive Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin | Associate Editor

Lutz Jäncke, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland | Associate Editor

Tetsuo Kida, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Japan | Associate Editor

Frank Krueger, George Mason University, Fairfax, USA | Associate Editor

Edmund C Lalor, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland | Associate Editor

Mikhail Lebedev, Duke University, Durham, USA | Associate Editor

Chiang-shan R Li, Yale University, New Haven, USA | Associate Editor

Vladimir Litvak, UCL Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom | Associate Editor

Daniel S Margulies, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany | Associate Editor

Mark E McCourt, North Dakota State University, Fargo, USA | Associate Editor

Sophie Molholm, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, USA | Associate Editor

Thomas D Parsons, University of North Texas, Computational Neuropsychology and Simulation, Denton, USA | Associate Editor

Josef Parvizi, Stanford University, USA | Associate Editor

Alvaro Pascual-Leone, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School, USA | Associate Editor

Luiz Pessoa, University of Maryland, College Park, USA | Associate Editor

Lorenzo Pia, Psychology Department & Neuroscience Institute of Turin (NIT), University of Turin, Italy | Associate Editor

Gordon Pipa, Institute of Cognitive Science Osnabrück, Germany  | Associate Editor

Burkhard Pleger, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany | Associate Editor

Richard A P Roche, Dept of Psychology, Maynooth University, Co Kildare, Ireland | Associate Editor

Guillaume A Rousselet, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom | Associate Editor

Leonhard Schilbach, Max-Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany | Associate Editor

Carol Seger,Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA | Associate Editor

Rachael D Seidler, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA | Associate Editor

Alexander J Shackman, University of Maryland, College Park, USA | Associate Editor

Jae Kun Shim, University of Maryland College Park, USA | Associate Editor

Michael A Silver, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA | Associate Editor

Christopher Summerfield, Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom | Associate Editor

Xing Tian, New York University Shanghai, Shanghai, China | Associate Editor

Nathalie Tzourio-Mazoyer, CNRS CEA Université Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France | Associate Editor

Kai Vogeley, University Hospital Cologne, Köln, Germany | Associate Editor

Jean Vroomen, University of Tilburg, Tilburg, Netherlands | Associate Editor

Patrik Vuilleumier, University Medical Centre and University Hospital Geneva, Switzerland | Associate Editor

Tor Wager, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA | Associate Editor

Henrik Walter, Charite Universitätsmedizin, Dept. of Psychiatry, Berlin, Germany | Associate Editor

Marty G Woldorff, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA | Associate Editor

Shuhei Yamaguchi, Shimane University, Izumo, Japan | Associate Editor

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