Top 20 Journals in Medical Science Ranked by Web of Science (WoS) – 2024

Medical research, also known as health research or biomedical research, is the use of scientific methods to gain knowledge about human diseases, illness prevention and treatment, and health promotion. It involves research in a wide range of fields, including biology, chemistry, pharmacology, and toxicology. The goal of medical research is to develop new medicines or medical procedures, or to improve the application of those already available.

Medical research can be classified into primary and secondary research. Primary research involves clinical/experimental studies, while secondary research consolidates available studies as reviews, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses. 

Medical research can also be distinguished by study type into three main areas: basic (experimental), clinical, and epidemiological research. Clinical and epidemiological studies can be further subclassified as either interventional or noninterventional.

List of Top Most Medical Science Journals Ranked by WoS (2024)

Journal ISSN / eISSN 2022 JIF
LANCET 0140-6736 168.9
BMJ-British Medical Journal 0959-535X 105.7
NATURE MEDICINE 1078-8956 82.9
Nature Reviews Disease Primers 2056-676X 81.5
Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology 1759-4774 78.8
Lancet Respiratory Medicine 2213-2600 76.2
World Psychiatry 1723-8617 73.3
Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology 1759-5045 65.1
CELL 0092-8674 64.5
Lancet Psychiatry 2215-0374 64.3
LANCET ONCOLOGY 1470-2045 51.1
ANNALS OF ONCOLOGY 0923-7534 50.5
CANCER CELL 1535-6108 50.3


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 10 Journals in Oncology Ranked by Web of 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 Medical Science Research (2024)

  1. Advanced Biomarker Discovery: Researchers are making significant progress in identifying unique biological markers using advanced biomarker discovery techniques. These markers help streamline early disease detection and personalized treatment [10].
  2. Collaborative Research Platforms: Collaborative efforts across institutions and disciplines are driving medical research forward. Platforms that facilitate data sharing, collaboration, and interdisciplinary research are becoming more prevalent [10].
  3. Novel Drug Development: Innovations in drug development are accelerating. Researchers are exploring new approaches to drug design, including AI-driven methods and precision medicine [10].
  4. Medical Regulatory Technology: Regulatory technology is evolving to ensure patient safety and streamline approval processes for new treatments. This includes advancements in real-world evidence collection and digital health monitoring [10].
  5. Nano Immunization: Nanotechnology is being harnessed for vaccine development. Nano-sized particles can enhance immune responses and improve vaccine efficacy [10].
  6. Molecular Analytics: Researchers are leveraging molecular analytics to gain deeper insights into disease mechanisms. Techniques like single-cell RNA sequencing and proteomics are helping unravel complex biological processes [10].
  7. Immersive Technologies: Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are being used in medical education, surgical planning, and patient care. These immersive technologies enhance training and visualization [10].
  8. Translational Medicine: Bridging the gap between basic research and clinical applications, translational medicine is a key trend. Researchers are focused on translating scientific discoveries into practical treatments and interventions [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. Rutten, L. J. F., Ridgeway, J. L., & Griffin, J. M. (2024, April). Advancing Translation of Clinical Research Into Practice and Population Health Impact Through Implementation Science. In Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Vol. 99, No. 4, pp. 665-676). Elsevier.


Last update: 02-May-2024

Leave a Reply

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.