The best climate science journals (update)

What are the best/most influential/most read/most overrated journals in climate science? This turns out to be quite hard to judge, as climate science these days can seemingly include everything from economics, to biochemistry, and back to psychology. Google Scholar has a list of what it thinks are the best journals in atmospheric science. Here is an updated version of what google scholar thinks of a collection of journals that cross my radar from time to time, updated from this post in 2012.

The indices seem to have increased quite a lot in the last couple of years, so people are either publishing more, or citing more. Nature Climate Change as a new journal is – as predicted – a big mover over the last couple of years. It’s heartening to see Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics strengthen its position as the leading open access journal (the arXiv is split out by subject now, none of which appear to include climate).

Journal h5 index h5 median
Nature 377 529
Science 316 446
PNAS 216 280
Nature Communications 121 163
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics* 92 119
Geophysical Research Letters 90 121
Nature Geoscience 89 134
Journal of Geophysical Research 87 112
Nature Climate Change 78 123
Journal of Climate 76 102
Global Environmental Change 74 113
Climatic Change 67 98
Earth & Planetary Science Letters 65 84
Climate Dynamics 62 78
Biogeosciences 62 85
Phil. Trans. A 58 99
BAMS 56 81
Environmental Research Letters* 54 72
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences* 54 75
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 49 59
Global Biogeochemical Cycles 44 57
The Cryosphere* 41 65
Climate of the Past* 35 51
Wiley Interdisc. Reviews: Clim. Change 41 68
Geoscientific Model Development* 35 78
Earth System Science Data* 19 54
Earth System Dynamics Discussions* 13 2
  • 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 2010-2014 have at least h citations each
  • h5-median for a publication is the median number of citations for the articles that make up its h5-index.
  • *Denotes open access journal

I’m not sure why Earth System Dynamics Discussions shows up, but not Earth System Dynamics. Actually, this makes sense, as I know I have a paper in ESD cite me, but this doesn’t show up on Scholar.

For another opinion on the best climate journals, you could look here.

Thanks to @mammuthus and @KellyHerid for suggesting Nature Comms.

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