SLA Biomedical and Life Sciences Division

The DBIO Top Ten Journals

The DBIO Top Ten Journals were chosen based on the winners of 100 most influential journals in biology and medicine over the last 100 years. More information.

The Clinical and Molecular, as well as the Molecular, Cellular and General Science teams, were each allotted three journals. The Natural History team, owing to its greater longevity, got four journals.

The team of Clinical experts and the team of Molecular, Cellular and General Science experts, separately asked themselves a single question:

  1. On what category of journals within our areas of assigned expertise do most of the other journals in our area depend upon the most to make their own more specialized progress?

The Natural History team took a different tack. They asked themselves two questions.

  1. What foundational disciplines gave birth to the modern evolutionary synthesis that, along with ecology, forms the basis of contemporary Natural History?

Their answers were Botany, Zoology, Anthropology and Paleontology

  1. They then asked:  Which were the first-place winning journals in each of these four separate foundational fields?

The winning titles are listed below:

The Clinical team decided to identify its allotment of 3 winners, from the three top finishers in the category of General Internal Medicine and Clinical Investigation. These were (in order of votes):

The New England Journal of Medicine

JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association

BMJ: The British Medical Journal (which beat out The Lancet by two votes)

The Molecular, Cellular and General Science team decided to identify its 3 winners from the top three finishers in the category of Journals Of General Science That Routinely Report  Significant Biology and Medicine. These were (in order of votes):



Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA

The Natural History team identified its 4 winners towards the Top Ten from the disciplines of Botany, Zoology, Anthropology and Paleontology. They were:

The American Journal of Botany

The Journal of Zoology

The American Journal of Physical Anthropology (which finished in a three-way tie with the Journal of Human Evolution, and the American Journal of Human Biology, but then  won according to tie-breaking rules on grounds of longevity)

The Journal of Paleontology


Nature: The Journal of the Centennial of SLA


The Journal of the Centennial of SLA was chosen by a write-in portion at the end of the regular DBIO 100 ballot. Any journal, whether previously nominated and included within the main body of the poll by the expert teams, or not, was eligible to be written in and counted. 
While there were fourteen journals included, three captured almost 75% of the vote. Nature, reversing its position in the Top Ten,  came out on top, followed by the New England Journal of Medicine, and then by Science. (It is of some note that that The Lancet also reversed its position and received more votes than the BMJ.)

Elsevier: The Publisher of the Centennial of SLA


Elsevier won in this category by virtue of having more winning journals (20) than any other. Wiley was next with 14, with the Nature Publishing Group and Wolter-Kluwer Health/ Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins in the high single digits.  Elsevier also had the most titles nominated in the poll (82 out of the 403) and the highest winning percentage (24%).



Rev. June 2009