DOI: 10.1101/505057Jan 2, 2019Paper

Corpus Colossal: A Bibliometric Analysis of Neuroscience Abstracts and Impact Factor

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
William Kenkel


A field's priorities are thought to be reflected by the contents of its high-impact journals. Researchers in turn may choose to pursue research objectives based on what is believed to be most highly valued by their peers. By compiling a corpus of abstracts from within the field neuroscience, I was able to analyze which terms had differential frequencies between 12 high-impact and 13 medium-impact journals. Approximately 50,000 neuroscience abstracts were analyzed over the years 2014-2018. Several broad trends emerged from the analysis of which terms were biased towards high-impact journals. Generally speaking, high-impact journals tended to feature: genetic or psychiatric studies, use of the latest and most sophisticated methods, examinations of the orbitofrontal cortex or amygdala, and/or use of human or non-mammalian subjects. Medium-impact journals tended to feature motor or cardiovascular studies, use of older methods, examinations of caudal brain regions, and/or rats as subjects.

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