Top 10 Journals in Geological Science Ranked by Web of Science (WOS) – 2024

List of Top Most Geological Science Journals Ranked by WoS

Journal name ISSN 2022 JIF
Nature Reviews Earth & Environment 2662-138X 42.1
Energy & Environmental Science 1754-5692 32.5
Nature Climate Change 1758-678X 30.7
Nature Sustainability 2398-9629 27.6
Nature Geoscience 1752-0894 18.3
Annual Review of Environment and Resources 1543-5938 16.4
Current Climate Change Reports 2198-6061 9.5



In academia, publishing articles showcases expertise and credibility. Journals with high impact factors signal significance in the field. Understanding how to gauge a journal’s impact can enhance your publication strategy. Impact factor, a key metric, reflects a journal’s influence over time. Calculating it involves dividing the number of citations by the total articles published. Assessing personal impact also matters, considering citations to your own work. This article explores the significance, methodology, and implications of impact factors, empowering academics and professionals to navigate the publishing landscape strategically and enhance their scholarly footprint.

Read More: Top Open Peer-Reviewed Journals in Geological Science

What is Impact factor?

The impact factor (IF) or journal impact factor (JIF) of an academic journal is a scientometric index calculated by Clarivate that reflects the yearly mean number of citations of articles published in the last two years in a given journal, as indexed by Clarivate’s Web of Science.

As a journal-level metric, it is frequently used as a proxy for the relative importance of a journal within its field; journals with higher impact factor values are given the status of being more important, or carry more prestige in their respective fields, than those with lower values.

While frequently used by universities and funding bodies to decide on promotion and research proposals, it has been criticised for distorting good scientific practices [1-3].

Why is the impact factor important?

Impact factor, an index based on the frequency with which a journal’s articles are cited in scientific publications, is a putative marker of journal quality [4]. A journal’s impact factor holds immense sway over funding, submissions, and the reputation of publishers and academics. Upholding publication quality not only boosts citation rates but also enhances a journal’s ranking. High impact factor journals signal meticulous management and prestige, fostering a virtuous cycle of scholarly engagement and recognition.

How to calculate the journal impact factor?

Journal Impact Factor (JIF) is calculated by Clarivate Analytics as the average of the sum of the citations received in a given year to a journal’s previous two years of publications (linked to the journal, but not necessarily to specific publications) divided by the sum of “citable” publications in the previous two years [5].

The calculation is based on a two-year period and involves dividing the number of times articles were cited by the number of articles that are citable.

Calculation of 2010 IF of a journal:

A = the number of times articles published in 2008 and 2009 were cited by indexed journals during 2010.
B = the total number of “citable items” published in 2008 and 2009.
A/B = 2010 impact factor

The Impact Factor is reported in Journal Citation Reports (JCR)
CiteScore, which is similar to the IF but is based on a 4-year period.

Impact Factor Controversy

The impact factor (IF), widely used in academia, has sparked debate due to its limitations. It quantifies a journal’s influence based on citations received by its articles within a specific time frame (usually two years). However, critics argue that it oversimplifies research quality and favors certain fields [6]. Indeed, the fact that it is simple to understand – it is roughly the average number of citations that primary research papers published in two consecutive years gather in the following year – makes it all too easy to point out its shortcomings: the metric also includes citations to non-primary content (such as reviews and news articles); for many fields, citations accumulate slowly and thus the two-year time window seems too short; and the average number of citations per paper can be skewed by a few highly cited ones, of which high-impact journals have a big share [7]. Furthermore, a recent study found that papers published in predatory journals, which often lack rigorous peer review, have little scientific impact. Around 60% of these papers hadn’t attracted any citations at all, and less than 3% received more than 10 citations [8]. As we rethink science publishing, there’s a growing need for a broader, more-transparent suite of metrics to judge journals beyond the traditional impact factor [9]. Researchers and institutions should consider these complexities when evaluating scholarly work and avoid relying solely on impact factors for assessing journal quality.

Recent Biggest Discoveries and advances in Geological Science (2024)

  1. AI in R&D:
    • The field of artificial intelligence (AI) continues to evolve, particularly in chemistry and drug discovery. Generative AI is impacting drug discovery, machine learning is being used more in environmental research, and large language models like ChatGPT are being tested in healthcare applications and clinical settings. Notably, DeepMind’s AlphaFold, a protein structure prediction software, has revolutionized our understanding of proteins [10].
    • Therapeutic antibody discovery driven by AI is also gaining popularity, with platforms like the RubrYc Therapeutics antibody discovery engine advancing research in this area.
  1. Green Chemistry:
    • Green chemistry aims to minimize the environmental impact of chemical processes. Some emerging trends include:
      • Improving Predictions and Outcomes: One of the biggest challenges in green chemistry is predicting the environmental impact of new chemicals and processes. Researchers are working on enhancing predictive models to assess the eco-friendliness of chemical reactions.
      • Sustainable Materials and Processes: Scientists are exploring innovative ways to reduce the environmental footprint of chemical reactions. This includes developing new materials and processes that are more sustainable and eco-friendly.
  1. Ancient Rocks and Earth’s Magnetic Field:
    • Geologists recently uncovered ancient rocks in Greenland that bear the oldest remnants of Earth’s early magnetic field. These findings may extend the age of the Earth’s magnetic field by hundreds of millions of years and shed light on the planet’s early conditions that helped life take hold [11].
  1. Volcanic Carbon Dioxide Emissions:
    • Inspired during fieldwork in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges, geoscientists proposed that all-time low volcanic carbon dioxide emissions triggered a 57-million-year-long global event. This discovery provides insights into Earth’s ancient climate and geological processes [12].
  1. Marine Ecosystems and Dolomite U-Pb Geochronology:
    • A recent study used dolomite U-Pb geochronology to gain fresh insights into the development of ancient marine ecosystems. By identifying variations in ancient star dunes, researchers unraveled a 13,000-year-old mystery.


  1. Waltman L, Traag VA (1 March 2021). “Use of the journal impact factor for assessing individual articles: Statistically flawed or not?”. F1000Research. 9: 366. doi:10.12688/f1000research.23418.2
  2. Curry S (February 2018). “Let’s move beyond the rhetoric: it’s time to change how we judge research”. Nature. 554 (7691): 147. Bibcode:2018Natur.554..147C. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-01642-w
  3. Hutchins, BI; Yuan, X; Anderson, JM; Santangelo, GM (September 2016). “Relative Citation Ratio (RCR): A New Metric That Uses Citation Rates to Measure Influence at the Article Level”. PLOS Biology. 14 (9): e1002541. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1002541
  4. Saha S, Saint S, Christakis DA. Impact factor: a valid measure of journal quality? J Med Libr Assoc. 2003 Jan;91(1):42-6. PMID: 12572533; PMCID: PMC141186.
  5. Measuring a journal’s impact.
  6. The impact-factors debate: the ISI’s uses and limits – Nature.
  7. The diversifying nature of impact – Springer Nature.
  8. Chawla, Dalmeet Singh. “Predatory-journal papers have little scientific impact.” Nature(2020).
  9. Wouters, P., Sugimoto, C. R., Larivière, V., McVeigh, M. E., Pulverer, B., de Rijcke, S., & Waltman, L. (2019). Rethinking impact factors: better ways to judge a journal. Nature569(7758), 621-623.
  10. Top scientific discoveries and breakthroughs for 2024 | CAS.
  11. Ten New Insights in Climate Science 2023/2024.
  12. Geology News — ScienceDaily.

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