Top 11 Journals in Chemical Science Ranked by Web of Science (WOS) – 2024

List of Top Most Chemical Science Journals Ranked by WoS

Journal Name ISSN 2022 JIF
Nature Reviews Chemistry 2397-3358 36.3
Nature Chemistry 1755-4330 21.8
Chemical Engineering Journal 1385-8947 15.1
Journal of the American Chemical Society 0002-7863 15
Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering 2213-2929 7.7
Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering 2211-3398 6.6
CHEMICAL RECORD 1527-8999 6.6



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 Chemical 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 Chemical Science (2024)

  1. Green Chemistry Advancements:
    • Predicting Environmental Impact: One of the biggest challenges in green chemistry is predicting the environmental impact of new chemicals and processes. Researchers are making breakthroughs in improving predictions and outcomes related to green chemistry [10].
    • Decarbonizing Energy: Efforts to reduce carbon emissions are gaining momentum. Innovations in clean energy sources, carbon capture, and utilization technologies are at the forefront of research.
    • Clinical Validation of CRISPR: CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology continues to evolve. In 2024, we can expect further validation of its clinical applications, including potential treatments for genetic disorders and diseases.
    • Rise of Biomaterials: Biomaterials play a crucial role in medicine, tissue engineering, and regenerative therapies. Researchers are developing novel biomaterials with improved properties and biocompatibility.
    • Treating the “Undruggable”: Scientists are making progress in treating diseases that were previously considered difficult to target with drugs. This includes neurodegenerative diseases and certain types of cancer.
  1. AI Revolution in Chemistry and Drug Discovery:
    • Generative AI: AI algorithms are impacting drug discovery by generating novel chemical structures and predicting their properties. For example, DeepMind’s AlphaFold has revolutionized protein structure prediction, leading to a better understanding of proteins.
    • Machine Learning in Environmental Research: Machine learning techniques are being applied to environmental data analysis, aiding in pollution monitoring, climate modeling, and sustainable practices.
    • Large Language Models in Healthcare: Models like ChatGPT are being tested in healthcare settings, assisting with clinical decision-making and patient care.
  1. Challenges and Considerations:
    • While AI development is exciting, concerns remain about accurate training data, fairness, regulatory oversight, and potential infodemic threats to public health.
    • Researchers are actively addressing these challenges, and we can expect continuous improvements and innovations throughout 2024 [10].


  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. Scientific breakthroughs: 2024 emerging trends to watch.

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