We use the Nobel Foundations Scientific Background material to determine which journals have published Nobel Prize-awarded papers in physics since 1995. Analysing all references in the Nobel Prize Scientific Background material reveals that the journal Physical Review Letters published 28.5% of the Nobel Prize-awarded papers. It is followed by the Astrophysical journal, which accounts for 11.2%, Science, accounting 5.6% and Nature, accounting 4.7%. This is contrary to the journals respective Impact Factors, where Physical Review Letters and the Astrophysical Journal have much lower impact factors than Nature and Science. If works cited for background by the Nobel Foundation in the Scientific Background material are included in the analysis, the most referenced journal is still Physical Review Letters, now followed by Physical Review. The conclusion is that the most ground-breaking scientific work in physics is not necessarily published in the journals with the highest Impact Factor.
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Bjørk, R. The journals in physics that publish Nobel Prize research. Scientometrics 122, 817–823 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-019-03312-8
- Nobel Prize
- Impact Factor