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Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship
Summer 2009
DOI:10.5062/F43B5X3W

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[Refereed]

Journals Not Included in BIOSIS Previews Have a Notable Impact in Biology

Claudia Lascar
Assistant Professor and Reference Librarian
clascar@ccny.cuny.edu

Philip Barnett
Professor and Reference Librarian
pbarnett@ccny.cuny.edu

Science/Engineering Library
City College of New York (CUNY)
New York, New York

Copyright 2009, Claudia Lascar and Philip Barnett. Used with permission.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to reveal influential journals used by life scientists; journals not currently included in BIOSIS Previews, but included in either PubMed or Science Citation Index Expanded. These 252 journals were revealed by the Eigenfactor, an iterative ranking scheme which quantitatively measures the scientific influence of academic publications based upon their usage by scholars. This method has allowed us to determine which journals not covered by BIOSIS Previews have a notable impact in biology. Such an analysis is important for individual scientists, libraries, professional societies and funding organizations. This analysis illustrates the benefit of searching multiple databases for more accurate article retrieval in biology.

Introduction

When researchers need to obtain all the primary journal literature on a topic, how often do end-user scientists or their mediators need to supplement a Chemical Abstracts search for chemistry, an INSPEC search for physics, or a BIOSIS Previews search for biology? Even though chemistry, physics, and biology have these large, well-established databases, do researchers in these fields truly have access to the most extensive coverage of journal literature in these disciplines? To begin to answer this question, we examined the current journal coverage in one of these venerable databases, BIOSIS Previews, to determine whether researchers in biological sciences have access to the most extensive coverage of journal literature through this abstracting index.

The BIOSIS Previews database started as BA-Previews in 1969 and changed to its current name in 1975. It monitors more than 5,000 journals, as well as non-journal literature such as books, symposia, meeting abstracts, software, and patents (Thomson Reuters 2006; 2009a; 2009b). The history and development of this product and its producer has been described by Freedman (1995). Thomson Reuters took ownership of BIOSIS Previews in 2004.

Thomson Reuters describes the subject scope of BIOSIS Previews in their fact sheets and product description (Thomson Reuters 2006; 2009a; 2009b) as providing "information in virtually every life sciences discipline, including traditional biology (botany, ecology, zoology), interdisciplinary subjects (biochemistry, biomedicine, and biotechnology), and related areas such as instrumentation and methods" (Thomson Reuters 2009a). Their source coverage policy states that, "Publications must be peer-reviewed, and the editors and editorial boards must be representative of the publication's subject area. The journal's editorial roster must also display diversity of institutional affiliation and geographic base. Furthermore, it is important that the source be regular in its publication schedule and that its contents are timely" (Ten Have 2006).

Specific subjects included in BIOSIS Previews are zoology, microbiology, and botany, as well as interdisciplinary and applied areas such as agriculture, biomedicine, biochemistry, pharmacology, veterinary science, and biotechnology. Furthermore, journals in disciplines that are closely aligned with biology are monitored. These disciplines include geology, energy, hydrology, oceanography, forestry, chemistry, and physics. Excluded are journals focusing on the more applied aspects of human life sciences, such as patient care, nursing, health care and hospital administration, medical education, legal medicine, medical practice, and technique such as surgical journals. BIOSIS Previews does not cover journals that emphasize clinical practice, such as the practice of medicine, patient care, practice-related techniques, or allied health-related titles, unless the journal focus is on research (Ten Have 2006). Even with these considerations and limitations in mind, Thomson Reuters does add journals to BIOSIS Previews. For example, 168 titles were added during the year ending in September 2005 (Fitzgerald 2005).

Several previous studies have compared the subject coverage of BIOSIS Previews with other databases. In each of these studies, the investigators performed specific subject searches both in BIOSIS Previews and other biologically oriented databases to compare the respective retrievals. These comparisons include, marine biology (Markham & Huber 2005), a single genus (Jones 2005), entropy in evolution (Fedunok 2005), ecology and ecosystem management (Haas et al. 1999), a specific search within alternative medicine (Snow 1998), clinical medicine (Brandsma et al. 1990), alternatives to animal testing (Snow 1990), human nutrition (Nixon 1989), four vitamins (Kusama & Koremura 1988), agriculture and forestry (Brooks 1980), and poison control (Lorent 1979).

While these studies showed the relative strength, weaknesses, and degree of unique coverage of BIOSIS Previews compared to some of its competitors, their subject specificity prevents them from fully answering the question of how extensively it currently covers the research literature in the life sciences.

We intend to address a different aspect of this many-faceted question by determining whether important journals in the life sciences not currently covered in BIOSIS Previews, are covered by two databases not entirely biologically oriented, MEDLINE and Science Citation Index Expanded.

Methods

Over the last fifty years the Impact Factor has become a measure of journals' relative importance in the fields of science, with implications for grants, tenure and hiring decisions. Eugene Garfield, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Institute for Scientific Information -- now Thomson Reuters -- introduced in 1955 the idea of the Impact Factor as a bibliographical tool for Science Citation Index (Garfield 2006). Impact Factor is the mean number of citations to articles published in a journal over a two-year period. This tool has been criticized as having several weaknesses, such as its inability to assess the citation quality, inclusion of self-citations in the analysis, and the poor comparability between different scientific fields (Cameron 2005). These limitations of the Impact Factor and advances in computational mathematics/information retrieval have prompted many researchers recently to find alternatives (Banks & Dellavalle 2008). The new instruments include the h-index (Hirsch 2005); Strike Rate Index (Barendse 2007); Y-factor, (Bollen et al. 2006); Eigenfactor (Bergstrom 2007); MESUR (Bollen et al. 2008); and SCImago (Falagas et al. 2008).

To define and identify journals not currently covered by BIOSIS Previews, we have chosen to use the Eigenfactor, developed by Carl T. Bergstrom at the University of Washington and described in detail at {http://www.eigenfactor.org/methods.php}. The Eigenfactor uses Thomson Reuters data, but ranks journals according to an iterative ranking scheme similar to that used by Google's PageRank algorithm. The concept is not new. In 1976, Pinski and Narin are credited with developing the algorithm for calculating influence weights of citing articles based on the number of times that they had been cited (Pinski & Narin 1976). Brin and Page (1998) have applied the notion of weighting hyperlinks in their PageRank algorithm used to calculate the importance of web pages used by Google search engine.

The Eigenfactor score does not measure the quality of the journal based entirely on the simple citation counts as provided by the Impact Factor, instead it takes into account "the scientific influence of a journal on the scholarly literature or, comparably, the total value provided by all of the articles published in that journal in a year" (Bergstrom 2007). As a consequence, this tool makes a definite distinction between prestigious journals, such as Nature, and obscure publications within a particular discipline (Bergstrom et al. 2008). The Eigenfactor algorithm takes a random journal and follows a random citation in that journal to another journal, then selects another random citation from the second journal and follows that to the next journal, and so on. By using the whole citation network, the algorithm accounts for differences in the publication patters of different disciplines and sub-disciplines (Bergstrom et al. 2008).

Eigenfactor.org is an open-access resource, while the Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports (JCR), the source of the Impact Factor data, requires a paid subscription. This web site displays the Eigenfactor score for each of the journals listed in the 2006 JCR. If a journal doubles in size while the quality of its articles remains constant, we would expect its Eigenfactor score to double, since its total importance to the scientific community has doubled.

We chose to compare BIOSIS Previews to MEDLINE and to Science Citation Index Expanded. We chose MEDLINE because its PubMed version is free, it covers a large portion of the life sciences (Bianchi 2002), and it is widely used (Herskovic et al. 2007). We picked Science Citation Index Expanded, the most current version of the venerable Science Citation Index, because it is obviously selective. Science Citation Index Expanded which is part of the Web of Science "overcomes information overload and focuses on essential data from over 6,650 of the world's leading scientific and technical journals across 150 disciplines" (Thomson Reuters 2009d). The lists of journals currently covered in these three databases are freely available on the World Wide Web and updated frequently: BIOSIS Previews (Thomson Reuters 2009c), Science Citation Index Expanded (Thomson Reuters 2009e), and PubMed (National Library of Medicine 2009).

We first compared the entire BIOSIS Previews list of journals (total journals 4,653) to a control list of 2,609 life sciences journals. This control list consists of journals ranked by the Eigenfactor score within the 2006 JCR subject categories covered by BIOSIS Previews (Table 1). 2006 is the latest year for which the Eigenfactor data are available. Titles in this control list not currently indexed by BIOSIS Previews were then checked to see whether they were included in PubMed (which indexes 5,246 journals) and in Science Citation Index Expanded (which indexes 7,907 journals). Only journals indexed by PubMed or Science Citation Index Expanded, but not BIOSIS Previews are listed in Table 2a and Table 2b.

Table 1. The JCR Subject Categories Analyzed

The numbers in parentheses are the numbers of journals in each JCR Subject Category for 2006 at: http://www.eigenfactor.org/

Agriculture, Dairy & Animal Science (47)
Agriculture, Multidisciplinary (31)
Agriculture, Soil Science (29)
Agronomy (52)
Anatomy & Morphology (18)
Biochemical Research Methods (57)
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (270)
Biodiversity Conservation (26)
Biology (68)
Biophysics (69)
Biotechnology & Applied Microbiology (144)
Cell Biology (163)
Developmental Biology (34)
Ecology (118)
Entomology (71)
Evolutionary Biology (37)
Fisheries (43)

Forestry (37)
Genetics & Heredity (133)
Horticulture (105)
Limnology (100)
Marine & Freshwater Biology (85)
Microbiology (91)
Mycology (17)
Oceanography (131)
Ornithology (19)
Paleontology (37)
Parasitology (23)
Physiology (82)
Plant Sciences (155)
Reproductive Biology (24)
Veterinary Sciences (149)
Virology (23)
Zoology (121)

We used the sort feature of MS Word to alphabetize the journal lists, then stripped the extraneous data using the software's basic edit commands. By assigning a different font color to each of the lists, we easily were able to identify the unique journal titles in each database.

Each control list title not covered in BIOSIS Previews was checked in WorldCat for possible title changes. Only those titles included in either PubMed, Science Citation Index Expanded, or both of these databases were kept for further analysis.

Results

256 titles from the control list are not indexed by BIOSIS Previews but are indexed by either PubMed or Science Citation Index Expanded or both.

To ensure that each of these titles is currently being indexed in PubMed and Science Citation Index Expanded, searches were performed on each title to see if current articles from these journals were actually included in these databases. Only four of these titles did not have recent coverage. These titles with their corresponding JCR category are:

  1. Advances in veterinary medicine (Veterinary Sciences). While this title appears on the list of current List of Journals Indexed for MEDLINE, the 1999 issue appears to be the last one published.
  2. Journal of biochemistry and molecular biology (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology). While this title appears on the current List of Journals Indexed for MEDLINE, the most recent paper included in PubMed is over a year old (November 2007). The Journals Database at pubmed.gov indicates that this journal is not currently indexed in MEDLINE.
  3. SMPTE motion imaging journal (Horticulture, Limnology, Oceanography). While the web site for this journal posts its current issue, the latest issue covered by Science Citation Index Expanded is over a year old.
  4. Solid State Physics (Horticulture, Limnology, Oceanography). 2006 is the latest date included in Science Citation Index Expanded.

Table 2a lists the 252 journals currently indexed by PubMed (92 titles) or Science Citation Index Expanded (239 titles) arranged according to their JCR subject categories. The four titles which do not have current coverage are excluded. The Eigenfactor Scores of these 252 journals indicate that they are needed by practicing biologists because they are cited often by other influential journals.

51 of these titles can be found in Zoological Record. currently published by Thomson Scientific, formerly BIOSIS and the Zoological Society of London until 2004.

Many journals belong to more than one subject category, as indicated in Table 2b. The scope of these journals illustrates the multidisciplinary nature of biology and its relationship to apparently unrelated fields. Many of the journals which fall concomitantly under the three subjects -- horticulture, limnology, and oceanography -- illustrate this characteristic. They are included because their Eigenfactor score identifies them as significant within these subject categories.

Table 2a. Eigenfactor list of biology journals not currently indexed by BIOSIS Previews but indexed by PubMed or Science Citation Index Expanded

Agriculture, Dairy & Animal Science

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Journal of applied poultry research

 

Yes

Rangeland ecology & managementZR

 

Yes

Agriculture, Multidisciplinary

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Agricultural history

 

Yes

Agriculture and human values

 

Yes

Journal of agriculture and rural development in the tropics and subtropics

 

Yes

Journal of agriculture of the University of Puerto RicoZR

 

Yes

Journal of sustainable agriculture

 

Yes

Landbauforschung Völkenrode

 

Yes

Pesquisa agropecuária brasileiraZR

 

Yes

Philippine agricultural scientist

 

Yes

Renewable agriculture and food systems

 

Yes

Scientia agricola

 

Yes

Agronomy

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Alleopathy journal

 

Yes

Industrial crops and products

 

Yes

International sugar journal

 

Yes

Irrigation and drainage

 

Yes

Postharvest biology and technology

 

Yes

Anatomy & Morphology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Anatomical record

 

Yes

Clinical anatomy

Yes

Yes

Microscopy research and technique

 

Yes

Surgical and radiologic anatomy

Yes

Yes

Biochemical Research Methods

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Chromatographia

 

Yes

IEEE transactions on nanobioscience

Yes

Yes

Journal of fluorescence

Yes (S)

Yes

Journal of magnetic resonance

Yes (S)

Yes

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Amyloid

Yes

Yes

Biochemistry and molecular biology education

 

Yes

Bioinorganic chemistry and applications 

 

Yes

Cell communication & adhesion

Yes

Yes

Chemistry & biodiversity

Yes

Yes

Journal of food biochemistry

 

Yes

Journal of molecular modeling

Yes

Yes

Macromolecular bioscience

Yes

Yes

Molecular interventions

Yes

Yes

Natural product reports

Yes

Yes

Pteridines

 

Yes

Seikagaku. The Journal of Japanese Biochemical Society

Yes

 

Trends in glycoscience and glycotechnology

 

Yes

Biodiversity Conservation

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Global change biologyZR

 

Yes

Biology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


American biology teacher

 

Yes

Microscopy research and technique

Yes

Yes

Rivista di biologia

Yes

Yes

Biology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Microscopy research and technique

 

Yes

Biophysics

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Colloids and surfaces. B, Biointerfaces

Yes

Yes

High altitude medicine & biology

Yes

Yes

Journal of biomechanical engineering

Yes

Yes

NMR in biomedicine

Yes

Yes

Physica medica

Yes

Yes

Pteridines

 

Yes

Biotechnology & Applied Microbiology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Agrofoodindustry hi-tech

 

Yes

Biofutur

 

Yes

Biopharm international

 

Yes

Biotechnology law report

 

Yes

Chimica oggi: Chemistry today

 

Yes

Current nanoscience

 

Yes

Current opinion in molecular therapeutics

Yes

Yes

Expert opinion on biological therapy

Yes

Yes

Food and bioproducts processing

 

Yes

Genetic engineering & biotechnology news

 

Yes

Journal of food safety

 

Yes

Journal of rapid methods and automation in microbiology

 

Yes

Metabolic engineering

Yes

Yes

Minerva biotecnologica

 

Yes

Molecular therapy

Yes

Yes

Nanomedicine (London, England)

Yes

Yes

Nature reviews. Drug discovery

Yes

Yes

New genetics and society

 

Yes

Plant biotechnology journal

Yes

Yes

Cell Biology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Acta histochemica

Yes

Yes

Aging cell

Yes

Yes

Cell communication & adhesion

Yes

Yes

Cytopathology

Yes

Yes

Endothelium: journal of endothelial cell research

Yes

Yes

Traffic (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Yes

Yes

Developmental Biology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Evolution & developmentZR

Yes

Yes

Ecology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Frontiers in ecology and the environmentZR

 

Yes

Global change biologyZR

 

Yes

Journal of soil and water conservation

 

Yes

Rangeland ecology & managementZR

 

Yes

Rangeland journal

 

Yes

Revue d'écologie: la terre et la vieZR

 

Yes

Entomology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Agricultural and forest entomologyZR

 

Yes

American bee journal

 

Yes

Deutsche entomologische ZeitschriftZR

 

Yes

SociobiologyZR

 

Yes

Evolutionary Biology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Anthropological scienceZR

 

Yes

Evolution & developmentZR

Yes

Yes

Fisheries

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Bulletin of the European Association of Fish PathologistsZR

 

Yes

California cooperative oceanic fisheries investigations reportsZR

 

Yes

CCAMLR scienceZR

 

Yes

Forestry

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Allgemeine Forst und Jagdzeitung

 

Yes

European journal of forest research

 

Yes

Forest products journal

 

Yes

Forestry chronicleZR

 

Yes

Holzforschung

 

Yes

International forestry review

 

Yes

Wood and fiber science

 

Yes

Wood science and technology

 

Yes

Genetics & Heredity

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Clinical dysmorphology

Yes

Yes

Community genetics

Yes

Yes

Evolution & developmentZR

Yes

Yes

Genetic engineering & biotechnology news

 

Yes

Molecular diagnosis & therapy

Yes

Yes

Molecular therapy

Yes

Yes

New genetics and society

 

Yes

Prenatal diagnosis

Yes

Yes

Twin research and human genetics

Yes

Yes

Horticulture

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Advances in enzymology and related areas of molecular biology

Yes

 

American journal of health behavior

Yes

 

Annual review of nuclear and particle science

 

Yes

Arkivoc

 

Yes

Astronomy reports

 

Yes

Bulletin of experimental biology and medicine

 

Yes

Chemical communications

Yes (S)

Yes

CIRP annals: manufacturing technology

 

Yes

Comptes rendus GeoscienceZR

 

Yes

EDN

 

Yes

Food and drug law journal

Yes

Yes

Hastings Center report

Yes

Yes

IEEE transactions on aerospace and electronic systems

 

Yes

IEEE transactions on information theory

 

Yes

Il nuovo cimento della Società Italiana di Fisica B

 

Yes

Journal of asthma

Yes

Yes

Journal of personality assessment

Yes

 

Journal of sedimentary research

 

Yes

Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association

Yes

Yes

Journal of the Professional Association for Cactus Development

 

Yes

Journal of universal computer science

 

Yes

Journal of vacuum science & technology B

 

Yes

Nursing education perspectives

Yes

 

Ophthalmic genetics

Yes

Yes

Otolaryngology--head and neck surgery

Yes

Yes

Management science

 

Yes

Polymer science. Series C

 

Yes

Postharvest biology and technology

 

Yes

Proceedings of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen

 

Yes

Radiation measurements

 

Yes

Radiation physics and chemistry

 

Yes

Research quarterly for exercise and sport

Yes

Yes

Reviews in analytical chemistry

 

Yes

Revue d'écologie : la terre et la vieZR

 

Yes

Russian journal of general chemistry

 

Yes

Separation science and technology

 

Yes

SIAM journal on control and optimization

 

Yes

Sub-cellular biochemistry

Yes

 

Limnology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Advances in enzymology and related areas of molecular biology

Yes

 

American journal of health behavior

Yes

 

Annual review of nuclear and particle science

 

Yes

Arkivoc

 

Yes

Astronomy reports

 

Yes

Chemical communications

Yes (S)

Yes

CIRP annals: manufacturing technology

 

Yes

Bulletin of experimental biology and medicine

 

Yes

Comptes rendus GeoscienceZR

 

Yes

EDN

 

Yes

Food and drug law journal

Yes

Yes

Hastings Center report

Yes

Yes

IEEE transactions on aerospace and electronic systems

 

Yes

IEEE transactions on information theory

 

Yes

Il nuovo cimento della Società Italiana di Fisica B

 

Yes

Journal of asthma

Yes

Yes

Journal of personality assessment

Yes

 

Journal of sedimentary research

 

Yes

Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association

Yes

Yes

Journal of the Professional Association for Cactus Development

 

Yes

Journal of universal computer science

 

Yes

Journal of vacuum science & technology B

 

Yes

Management science

 

Yes

Nursing education perspectives

Yes

 

Ophthalmic genetics

Yes

Yes

Otolaryngology--head and neck surgery

Yes

Yes

Polymer science. Series C

 

Yes

Proceedings of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen

 

Yes

Radiation measurements

 

Yes

Radiation physics and chemistry

 

Yes

Research quarterly for exercise and sport

Yes

Yes

Reviews in analytical chemistry

 

Yes

Revue d'écologie : la terre et la vieZR

 

Yes

Russian journal of general chemistry

 

Yes

Separation science and technology

 

Yes

SIAM journal on control and optimization

 

Yes

Sub-cellular biochemistry

Yes

 

Water and environment journalZR

 

Yes

Water resources research

 

Yes

Marine & Freshwater Biology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Bulletin of the European Association of Fish PathologistsZR

 

Yes

International review of hydrobiologyZR

 

Yes

Journal of marine systemsZR

 

Yes

Microbiology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Clinical microbiology and infection

Yes

Yes

Enfermedades infecciosas y microbiologia clinica

Yes

Yes

Environmental microbiologyZR

Yes

Yes

European journal of clinical microbiology & infectious diseases

Yes

Yes

Journal of clinical microbiologyZR

Yes

Yes

Reviews in medical microbiology

 

Yes

Oceanography

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Acta oceanologica SinicaZR

 

Yes

Advances in enzymology and related areas of molecular biology

Yes

 

American journal of health behavior

Yes

 

Annual review of nuclear and particle science

 

Yes

Applied ocean research

 

Yes

Arkivoc

 

Yes

Astronomy reports

 

Yes

Atmosphere-ocean

 

Yes

Bulletin of experimental biology and medicine

 

Yes

Chemical communications

Yes (S)

Yes

CIRP annals: manufacturing technology

 

Yes

Comptes rendus GeoscienceZR

 

Yes

Continental shelf researchZR

 

Yes

Deep-sea research. Part II, Topical studies in oceanographyZR

 

Yes

Dynamics of atmospheres and oceans

 

Yes

EDN

 

Yes

Environmental fluid mechanics

 

Yes

Food and drug law journal

Yes

Yes

Geo-marine letters

 

Yes

Hastings Center report

Yes

Yes

IEEE journal of oceanic engineering

 

Yes

IEEE transactions on aerospace and electronic systems

 

Yes

IEEE transactions on information theory

 

Yes

Il nuovo cimento della Società Italiana di Fisica B

 

Yes

Izvestiya Atmospheric and oceanic physics

 

Yes

Journal of asthma

Yes

Yes

Journal of marine systemsZR

 

Yes

Journal of navigation

 

Yes

Journal of oceanographyZR

 

Yes

Journal of personality assessment

Yes

 

Journal of physical oceanography

 

Yes

Journal of sedimentary research

 

Yes

Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association

Yes

Yes

Journal of the Professional Association for Cactus Development

 

Yes

Journal of universal computer science

 

Yes

Journal of vacuum science & technology B

 

Yes

Management science

 

Yes

Marine geology

 

Yes

Marine geophysical researches

 

Yes

Marine technology and SNAME news

 

Yes

Marine Technology Society journalZR

 

Yes

Naval engineers journal

 

Yes

Nursing education perspectives

Yes

 

Ocean & coastal managementZR

 

Yes

Ocean dynamics

 

Yes

Ocean engineering

 

Yes

Ocean modelling

 

Yes

OceanologiaZR

 

Yes

Ophthalmic genetics

Yes

Yes

Otolaryngology--head and neck surgery

Yes

Yes

PaleoceanographyZR

 

Yes

Polymer science. Series C

 

Yes

Progress in oceanographyZR

 

Yes

Proceedings of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen

 

Yes

Radiation measurements

 

Yes

Radiation physics and chemistry

 

Yes

Research quarterly for exercise and sport

Yes

Yes

Reviews in analytical chemistry

 

Yes

Revue d'écologie : la terre et la vieZR

 

Yes

Russian journal of general chemistry

 

Yes

Separation science and technology

 

Yes

SIAM journal on control and optimization

 

Yes

Sub-cellular biochemistry

Yes

 

TAO: Terrestrial, atmospheric, and oceanic sciences

 

Yes

Tellus. Series A, Dynamic meteorology and oceanography

 

Yes

Ornithology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


ArdeolaZR

 

Yes

Paleontology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Comptes rendus PalevolZR

 

Yes

GFFZR

 

Yes

Journal of micropalaeontologyZR

 

Yes

Journal of quaternary science

 

Yes

Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie. AbhandlungenZR

 

Yes

PaleoceanographyZR

 

Yes

Proceedings of the Geologists' AssociationZR

 

Yes

Stratigraphy and geological correlation

 

Yes

Parasitology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Malaria journalZR

Yes

Yes

Physiology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Advances in physiology education

Yes

Yes

Applied physiology, nutrition, and metabolism = Physiologie appliquee, nutrition et metabolisme

Yes

Yes

Chemical sensesZR

Yes

Yes

Clinical journal of sport medicine

Yes

Yes

Hypertension in pregnancy

Yes

Yes

Journal of electromyography and kinesiology

Yes

Yes

Journal of mammary gland biology and neoplasia

Yes

Yes

Journal of physiology and pharmacology

Yes

Yes

Klinische Neurophysiologie

 

Yes

Pediatric exercise science

Yes

Yes

Stress (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Yes

Yes

Plant Sciences

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Journal of Asian natural products research

Yes

Yes

Journal of bryology

 

Yes

Journal of natural productsZR

Yes

Yes

Plant biotechnology journal

Yes

Yes

Reproductive Biology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


European journal of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology

Yes

Yes

Reproductive biomedicine online

Yes

 

Twin research and human genetics

Yes

Yes

Veterinary Sciences

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Acta veterinaria Scandinavica

Yes

Yes

Anthrozoos

 

Yes

Archivos de medicina veterinariaZR

 

Yes

Australian veterinary practitioner.

 

Yes

Bulletin of the Veterinary Institute in Pulawy

 

Yes

Canadian Association of Radiologists journal = Journal l'Association canadienne des radiologistes

Yes

Yes

Canadian veterinary journal. La revue veterinaire canadienne

Yes

Yes

Cattle practice

 

Yes

COMPEL: the international journal for computation & mathematics in electrical & electronic engineering

 

Yes

Compendium

Yes

Yes

Equine veterinary education

 

Yes

In practice

 

Yes

Ippologia

 

Yes

Irish veterinary journal

 

Yes

Journal of avian medicine and surgeryZR

Yes

Yes

Journal of camel practice and research

 

Yes

Journal of equine veterinary science

 

Yes

Journal of exotic pet medicineZR

 

Yes

Journal of feline medicine and surgery

Yes

Yes

Journal of swine health and production

 

Yes

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Yes

 

Journal of veterinary dentistry

Yes

Yes

Journal of veterinary diagnostic investigationZR

Yes

Yes

Journal of veterinary emergency and critical care

 

Yes

Journal of veterinary medical education

Yes

Yes

Kleintier-Praxis

 

Yes

Lab animal

Yes

Yes

New Zealand veterinary journalZR

Yes

Yes

Philosophical magazine

 

Yes

Pferdeheilkunde

 

Yes

Praktische Tierarzt

 

Yes

Precision engineering

 

Yes

Point vétérinaire

 

Yes

Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Part L, Journal of materials, design and applications

 

Yes

Revista Cientifica de la Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias

 

Yes

Revue de médecine vétérinaire

 

Yes

Society & animalsZR

 

Yes

Tieraerztliche Praxis. Ausgabe G, Grosstiere/NutztiereZR

 

Yes

Turkish journal of veterinary & animal sciences

 

Yes

Veterinární medicínaZR

 

Yes

Veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia

Yes

Yes

Veterinary and comparative orthopaedics and traumatology: V.C.O.T

Yes

Yes

Veterinary clinics of North America. Equine practice

Yes

Yes

Veterinary dermatology

Yes

Yes

Veterinary medicine

 

Yes

Veterinary pathologyZR

Yes

Yes

Veterinary record

Yes

Yes

Veterinary technician

 

Yes

Veterinary therapeutics: research in applied veterinary medicine

Yes

Yes

Vlaams diergeneeskundig tijdschrift

 

Yes

Wiener tierärztliche Monatsschrift

 

Yes

Virology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Antiviral therapy

Yes

Yes

Journal of clinical virology

Yes

Yes

Journal of viral hepatitis

Yes

Yes

Zoology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


International journal of primatologyZR

 

Yes

Italian journal of zoologyZR

 

Yes

Russian journal of nematologyZR

 

Yes

Veterinary and comparative orthopaedics and traumatology: V.C.O.T

Yes

Yes

(S) indicates that PubMed selectively indexes these journals
ZR indicates that the journal is included in Zoological Record

Table 2b. Eigenfactor list of biology journals not currently indexed by BIOSIS Previews but indexed by PubMed or Science Citation Index Expanded

Journals in more than one JCR category

Agriculture, Dairy & Animal Science and Ecology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Rangeland ecology & managementZR

 

Yes

Agronomy and Horticulture

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Postharvest biology and technology

 

Yes

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Biophysics

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Pteridines

 

Yes

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Cell Biology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Cell communication & adhesion

Yes

Yes

Biodiversity Conservation and Evolutionary Biology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Global change biologyZR

 

Yes

Anatomy & Morphology and Biology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Microscopy research and technique

 

Yes

Biotechnology & Applied Microbiology and Genetics & Heredity

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Genetic engineering & biotechnology news

 

Yes

Molecular therapy

Yes

Yes

New genetics and society

 

Yes

Biotechnology & Applied Microbiology and Plant Sciences

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Plant biotechnology journal

Yes

Yes

Developmental Biology and Evolutionary Biology and Genetics & Heredity

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Evolution & developmentZR

Yes

Yes

Ecology and Horticulture and Limnology and Oceanography

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Revue d'écologie : la terre et la vieZR

 

Yes

Fisheries and Marine & Freshwater Biology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Bulletin of the European Association of Fish PathologistsZR

 

Yes

Genetics & Heredity and Reproductive Biology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Twin research and human genetics

Yes

Yes

Horticulture and Limnology and Oceanography

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Advances in enzymology and related areas of molecular biology

Yes

 

American journal of health behavior

Yes

 

Annual review of nuclear and particle science

 

Yes

Arkivoc

 

Yes

Astronomy reports

 

Yes

Bulletin of experimental biology and medicine

 

Yes

Chemical communications

Yes (S)

Yes

CIRP annals: manufacturing technology

 

Yes

Comptes rendus GeoscienceZR

 

Yes

EDN

 

Yes

Food and drug law journal

Yes

Yes

Hastings Center report

Yes

Yes

IEEE transactions on aerospace and electronic systems

 

Yes

IEEE transactions on information theory

 

Yes

Il nuovo cimento della Società Italiana di Fisica B

 

Yes

Journal of asthma

Yes

Yes

Journal of personality assessment

Yes

 

Journal of sedimentary research

 

Yes

Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association

Yes

Yes

Journal of the Professional Association for Cactus Development

 

Yes

Journal of universal computer science

 

Yes

Journal of vacuum science & technology B

 

Yes

Management science

 

Yes

Nursing education perspectives

Yes

 

Ophthalmic genetics

Yes

Yes

Otolaryngology--head and neck surgery

Yes

Yes

Polymer science. Series C

 

Yes

Proceedings of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen

 

Yes

Radiation measurements

 

Yes

Radiation physics and chemistry

 

Yes

Research quarterly for exercise and sport

Yes

Yes

Reviews in analytical chemistry

 

Yes

Russian journal of general chemistry

 

Yes

Separation science and technology

 

Yes

SIAM journal on control and optimization

 

Yes

SMPTE motion imaging journal

 

Yes

Solid state physics

 

Yes

Sub-cellular biochemistry

Yes

 

Marine & Freshwater Biology and Oceanography

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Journal of marine systemsZR

 

Yes

Oceanography and Paleontology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


PaleoceanographyZR

 

Yes

Veterinary Sciences and Zoology

 

PubMed

Science Citation Index Expanded


Veterinary and comparative orthopaedics and traumatology: V.C.O.T

Yes

Yes

(S) indicates that PubMed selectively indexes these journals
ZR indicates that the journal is included in Zoological Record

Discussion

Our analysis shows that using citation data as a measure of journal influence can provide insight into the reading patterns of scientists in sub-fields of biology, as exemplified by the data in Tables 2a and 2b. The Eigenfactor score captures a model of research familiar to Bergstrom, who is a working biologist (http://octavia.zoology.washington.edu/Homepage.html), by which "readers follow citations as they move from journal to journal" (Bergstrom 2007). This model of research is suited to the widespread and heavy use of the HTML reference lists associated with electronic journal articles which allows smooth transition to other related articles instead of the far more cumbersome approach required by the use of print resources. Electronic publishing, coupled with open access, has produced a growing body of literature with high impact due to increased accessibility to scientists (Tenopir and King 2008). Evans attributes that this phenomenon of increased searching and less browsing has contributed to the narrowing of scientific citation patterns and the elimination of marginally relevant referenced articles (Evans 2008).

Our analysis also shows that researchers in the basic life sciences require access to applied and clinical medical journals. This finding is not surprising considering that life sciences research has the potential of providing partial solutions to several of the most daunting problems that our species and our planet face in the 21st century. The means by which research practices are actually carried out today in the life sciences are profoundly affected by advances in other fields such as applied mathematics, computer science, statistics, physics, and engineering. As a consequence of incorporating these advances, life sciences research is undergoing a significant transformation requiring new approaches of thinking and working. One such approach is the establishment of public-private partnerships, such as Bio-X at Stanford University (http://biox.Stanford.edu), and Columbia University's Science and Technology Ventures ({http://www.techventures.columbia.edu/}). Another approach is the development of new disciplines in biology. The field of systems biology which studies complex biological processes by means of both computer modeling and in vivo approaches represents a new way of practicing biology. Systems biology is starting to help the healthcare industry diagnose, treat and ultimately prevent diseases (Camacho and Collins 2009). Developmental biology which focuses on organ regeneration is another example of the new paradigm of biology as an applied science (Xu et al. 2008).

Our study confirms these interdisciplinary collaborations using the citation data method of the Eigenfactor. Along with titles in basic biology, Tables 2a and 2b also reveal applied and clinical journals -- just the type of publications BIOSIS Previews acknowledges that are not the focus of its coverage. This lack of inclusion is relevant to the librarian providing mediated searches, who, may now know that she/he would need to search other databases (such as, Web of Science, PubMed, CAB Abstracts). Library patrons, scientists and students, however may not know to do this, or in many cases cannot do it for lack of access to the Web of Science. Thomson-Reuters has developed the ISI Web of Knowledge, an integrated Web-based platform that allows concomitant searches of the Web of Science, Current Contents Connect, and BIOSIS Previews. Thus the system searches across all three subscription-based products when one performs an "All Databases Search". An alternative would be for the editors of BIOSIS Previews to consider including some of the biology journals currently included in Science Citation Index Expanded.

The question of how comprehensively BIOSIS Previews should cover the research literature in biology is an issue the BIOSIS editors have been wrestling with and examining since the 1950s (Steere et al. 1976, page 108; Freedman 1995). Of course, adding even more titles to BIOSIS Previews would increase the overlap in coverage between this database and the other databases. Regarding including all journals in any subject field in a database, Cleverdon (1984) discusses evidence that articles from a relatively small set of journals account for the large majority of papers considered important enough to be cited, and that most end users do not read all the relevant papers retrieved in a literature search. The implications and cost of both database searching and duplicate coverage to the indexing services in BIOSIS Previews and other databases has been addressed by Salisbury and Noguera (2002), Poyer (1984), and Steere et al. (1976, page 196).

Conclusions

The Eigenfactor method has allowed us to determine in a quantitative manner which journals not indexed by BIOSIS Previews have a notable impact in biology. Such an analysis is important for individual scientists, abstract and information producers, libraries, professional societies and funding organizations. This analysis demonstrates the benefit of searching multiple databases for more complete article retrieval in biology.

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