The best climate science journals (according to google)

Google Scholar have announced a citation service. Not only do you get to look up the citation statistics of the journals, but they’ll also provide you with your personal stats.

I’m writing at the moment, and wondering where to send stuff. Unfortunately, the search is based on journal title, rather than scientific discipline, but 20 minutes with the search engine provided me with the table below. The stats are based on the h5 index, where “h5-index is the h-index for articles published in the last 5 complete years. It is the largest number h such that h articles published in 2007-2011 have at least h citations each”.

Here is the list of journals where I’ve read climate articles in the last few years. I’m sure I’ve missed a few.


Journal h5 index h5 median
Nature 295 427
Science 265 388
arXiv* 256 367
PNAS 189 237
Journal of Geophysical Research 73 95
Geophysical Research Letters 71 95
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics* 64 82
Journal of Climate 61 81
Nature Geoscience 54 70
Climatic Change 51 78
Earth and Planetary Science Letters 49 60
Global Environmental Change 47 73
Phil. Trans. A 44 61
BAMS 43 73
Global Biogeochemical Cycles 40 54
Climate Dynamics 38 51
Environmental Research Letters* 34 52
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences* 33 44
Risk Analysis 32 42
Tellus B 30 37
EOS 27 43
Tellus A 26 36
The Cryosphere* 16 23
Wiley Interdisc. Reviews: Clim. Change 14 25
Geoscientific Model Development* 11 14
Nature Climate Change 8 13


* indicates an open access journal.

Obviously journals like Nature Climate Change, WIRE: Climate Change, and Geoscientific Model Development suffer from being new. Many of the most highly cited papers in the big journals are from 2007 – the earliest year in the analysis.

There are nice surprises for some of the open access journals – it turns out that the arXiv is a major player, and that Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics beats many of the established journals.

One comment

  1. Doug McNeall · · Reply

    An old friend, (Liz Slade, @lzsl) pointed me to a really nice article on the future of measuring scientific impact.

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