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Impact factors for sedimentary geology journals

April 23, 2009

This post is from April 2009 — please be aware that impact factor ratings change over time.

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A colleague of mine put together some impact factor information about peer-reviewed journals that sedimentary geologists might submit to.

Note: I don’t really have any profound message with this post — I’m not trying to say anything — I didn’t study exactly how the impact factors are calculated — I don’t have any comment on impact factors in general — I’m sure I left out some journals (especially ones that carbonate sed geologists might be into) — blah blah blah, and so on and so forth. I simply thought it was interesting information and wanted to share it on my informal blog.

This first list below ranks a bunch of journals by impact factor from 2007 (the most recent year I could find a comprehensive list). I included Nature and Science because (1) it’s interesting to see just how high they are rated and (2) sedimentary geology research does make it in there from time to time.

  • Nature — 28.751
  • Science — 26.372
  • Earth-Science Reviews — 4.310
  • EPSL (Earth & Planetary Science Letters) — 3.873
  • Geology — 3.754
  • GSA Bulletin — 3.354
  • Journal of Geology — 2.607
  • Marine & Petroleum Geology — 2.346
  • Basin Research — 2.310
  • Geological Society of London — 2.304
  • Terra Nova — 2.065
  • Marine Geology — 1.975
  • Journal of Sedimentary Research — 1.890
  • Sedimentary Geology — 1.757
  • AAPG Bulletin — 1.273
  • Geo-Marine Letters — 0.811

When I saw this list I was actually quite surprised that Marine & Petroleum Geology was so high. It’s a good journal and I like it, but I didn’t realize it was doing that well. Maybe I need to get something in there. I’m happy to see Basin Research so high — but maybe that has something to do with just getting a paper accepted (pending revisions) — w00t!! And I’ve forgotten about Terra Nova — there is some intriguing stuff in there from time to time, I need to stay on top of that.

Okay, so that was ranking from 2007 … the next list below is the same journals, but by their 5-year average:

  • Science — 30.361
  • Nature — 30.616
  • Earth-Science Reviews — 6.146
  • EPSL — 4.445
  • Geology — 4.161
  • GSA Bulletin — 3.579
  • Geological Society of London — 2.976
  • Journal of Geology — 2.978
  • Basin Research — 2.743
  • Marine Geology — 2.657
  • Terra Nova — 2.574
  • Marine & Petroleum Geology — 2.266
  • Sedimentology — 2.166
  • Journal of Sedimentary Research — 2.075
  • Sedimentary Geology — 2.038
  • AAPG Bulletin — 1.848
  • Geo-Marine Letters — 1.259

A bit of jockeying of positions, but pretty similar overall.

For those of you who might be preparing your thesis/dissertation work for publication, it’s worth it to think about where you might submit it early on. Even if you’re not very close to submission, check out the home pages for the journals and the author guidelines. Some journals want more interdisciplinary studies, some like fairly short manuscripts, some prefer longer, more detailed works, and so on.

If you want to check out where other geoscience journals fit or make your own customized list, you need to use Journal Citation Reports. It requires a subscription (which is why an academic colleague of mine looked these up … I don’t have access).

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. Jeremy permalink
    April 23, 2009 12:52 pm

    I’m just a sedimentary geology master’s student, but most of the papers I’m instructed to read are from JSR and Sedimentary Geology. Seein them sitting near the bottom of your list has encouraged me to expand my horizions when it comes to the journals that I frequent.

    I’ve got an interesting question that is semi-related: what are the best databases of geology papers for sedimentary geologist? I use AAPG Datapages and Georef, but I’d really like to hear what others use.

  2. April 23, 2009 1:26 pm

    Jeremy … JSR and Sed Geology are only at the bottom of *this* list, there are probably another 100 or so more obscure journals ‘beneath’ these. In addition, note that the journals w/ the highest score are not journals that are specific to one discipline … if you can get something in Geology or GSA Bulletin, there is a wider readership and thus a bigger ‘impact’. So the score isn’t so much a measure of quality (at least not explicitly) but how many people read it and it gets cited. JSR and Sed Geology have high-quality papers on things that seddies care about (obviously) but might not be suitable for a broader audience.

    As for search databases, GeoRef is good and GoogleScholar can be good as well. I only use AAPG Datapages if I’m pretty sure what I’m looking for is w/in the journals and special pubs it covers. In terms of keeping up on new papers, most journals now have RSS feeds that you can put in an aggregator like GoogleReader. It’s a good way to stay on top of things.

  3. April 23, 2009 7:26 pm

    Brian-

    that’s a useful list. I would add Palios to it. I know its not sed geology proper, more ecology oriented, but there are lots of taphonomy oriented papers which have interesting stuff on physical and chemical diagenesis.

    regarding carbonate journals, there used to be a journal with the title Carbonates and Evaporites edited by Gerald Friedman ( Friedman and Sanders fame). Don’t know if it is still in print. I don’t think it ever made much of an “impact” :-)

  4. April 24, 2009 6:50 am

    Suvrat … that’s a good point about Palios (sp?). In that sense, perhaps the Paleo, Paleo, Paleo journal as well … they sometimes have paleoenvironmental reconstruction from sed rx studies in there.

  5. April 24, 2009 9:38 am

    Interesting that all of the journals you listed have lower impact factors today except M&PG, distinctly lower.

  6. April 24, 2009 9:41 am

    Andrew … today as in literally today (4/24/09)? That is interesting … maybe something to do w/ how their calculated?

  7. April 25, 2009 1:21 pm

    “Today” as in 2007 versus 5-year average.

  8. MattW permalink
    April 25, 2009 8:47 pm

    Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface (JGR F) is another one which has significant sed papers and is high impact. Biased towards physical/numerical modeling perhaps, but definitely one to consider submitting to and keeping up with.

  9. April 25, 2009 9:01 pm

    MattW … yeah, that’s right … I totally forgot that one.

  10. May 1, 2009 2:27 am

    I don’t think I have ever read- much less cited- anything from “Earth Science Reviews”

    Where does Economic Geology or Precambrian Research fall?

    I’ve also found a basin dynamic type paper in G3 once, but it sucked.

  11. May 1, 2009 6:43 am

    LL – I was also surprised by Earth-Science Reviews. I’m not sure where those others are in this list, I don’t have access to JCR. But, if you google ‘eigen factor’ you can get a similar ranking.

  12. Hamed permalink
    November 11, 2011 5:57 pm

    I think this list covers some journals that are not just deal with different aspects of sedimentary geology. Most of them deal with wide-range issues of geology in general and they are not particularly sedimentary geology journals. Due to this reason, not only all specific journals of sedimentary geology are in the bottom of the list but also we can not see some specific journals in field of sedimentology such as Facies, Sedimentology, 3 palo Cretaceous research, paleoceanograpy, carbonates and evaporates, and so on which are so reputed between specialists. Hence, the title of the list should be changed to a general name.

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