Ion channel journal trends

In the previous ANALYTICS article we saw that the number of ion channel-related papers per year has steadily been declining since 2013. Now we’ll talk about JOURNALS.

Here is a combined graph showing the number of ion channel articles per year, the number of ion channel journals per year, as well as the average number of articles per journal per year.

ion channel journal trends

It appears that the number of journals publishing ion channel-related research has been going down since 2015. This goes in line with the article trend. What is more interesting is that the number of articles per journal per year has steadily been decreasing since 2000.

So, while both the number of journals and articles increases, the number of articles per journal decreases. That means that the journal growth rate is higher than the article growth rate. This indicates an increasing interest from journals to ion channel research. And this growing interest brought to the field yet another 1000 journals. Yes, another 1000 journals since 2000!!??

That’s a lot, but it seems that this trend has led to the saturation of the market. Apparently, now there is not enough fish for all fishermen, so they started to go out of business. We’ve seen it since 2015.

This situation raises an interesting question: what number of journals is OK for the field? 1 journal is not enough. On the other hand, 3314 journals, which have published at least 1 ion channel-related article since 2010, it’s too much. So, how many? That’s a difficult question. A lot of different factors should be taken into account.

To me, the maximal number of journals in the field should be limited to the number at which the average number of articles per journal per year is at a steady-state level. Now, what level is OK? In order to get the idea, we can look at the third graph. We see that the system has been rather stable and effective for about 10 years (1991-2000) at a level of roughly 7.5 articles per journal per year. At that level, the number of articles was increasing, the number of journals was increasing accordingly, and it seems that everything worked just fine. How many journals were in the ion channel field at that time? About 1500. With 600 to 1000 active journals per year.

What do we have now? If we count journals that have published at least 1 ion channel article in the last 2 years, we’ll get 1736 journals. 1488 out of them were active in 2018. That’s too much for now. Taking into account that the publishing process is taking up a considerable amount of time now, we cannot expect that the number of ion channel articles per year will start to grow any soon. Therefore, the only solution that comes to mind is to decrease the number of journals in the ion channel field.

But which journals should go? That’s very simple – those that do not care enough about ion channels. And the good news is that we can help “uncaring” journals to leave the field by focusing on the most “ion channel-friendly” journals.

Why submit your ion channel research to journals which publish 1 ion channel paper per year? These journals don’t care about ion channels enough to be honored to publish your study. And the readership of such journals is not interested in ion channels either. So, why publish there?

Wouldn’t it be better to publish your valuable work in one of the “ion channel-friendly” journals in order to get it delivered right to people who care? In the end, scientists publish their works in order to advance the field, not just to get a new publication record in their CV.

Do you want to know what the most “ion channel-friendly” journals are? See here.

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