The Best Biomedical Research Journals for Staying Informed

In medicine, things are always rapidly changing, and the influx of research often leaves most of us toppling over data, articles, and new ideas to comb through. It’s important for the future healthcare professional and medical scientist to stay up-to-date on the latest advances, changes, and revolutions in biomedical science. For example, the boom of cancer immunotherapies over the past two years has overwhelmed the scientific literature and has been a hot topic of discussion in popular media outlets such as the New York Times. While these articles are often easier to read, highlighting anecdotal stories among interviews with important physicians and scientists involved in the research, they often fail to include primary research and the details of mechanism behind the science. Consequently, reading these articles featured in the media are intellectually interesting, yet lack the “meat” of the primary research. Instead of blasting a search on PubMed to find the latest news in research, I’ve compiled a list of the most relevant, highly esteemed, and trustworthy journals that are necessary in the arsenal of the future doctor and medical researcher. Most of them have highlights sections, editorials, and reviews as well to keep you informed on relevant topics without becoming tangled up in the depths of the original research article itself (though sometimes that is worth it and necessary). This is not a comprehensive list and is influenced heavily by my own research experiences and niche (in cardio-oncology). I’ve mentioned a short reason why I find the journals to be relevant and important for your perusal as a future doctor! These are the best biomedical research journals out there:

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) – NEJM has one of the highest impact factors for biomedical research journals, touting the latest research in medicine, particularly in the translational science-sphere

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) – JAMA is another incredible journal for staying updated on latest medical advances, though it has lower impact factor that NEJM, many news worthy articles are often published in JAMA first

The Lancet ­­– This is a British medical journal that features relevant, highly-cited articles

Science – Undoubtedly one of the most influential journals in all science – not just medicine – articles featured here are important to know of!

NatureNature is another high impact factor journal with groundbreaking discoveries. Look for the sub-category Nature Medicine for articles relevant to the biomedical sciences

Cell – This journal published basic science data that informs medical decisions and future directions of research

Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) – This journal, while specific to cardiology, includes latest discoveries in the field of cardiovascular medicine

Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO) – JCO is another specialty-specific journal but includes the latest research in cancer drug discovery and clinical outcomes

Circulation Research – My research is in cardio-oncology, so I’m acquainted with the cardiology and oncology journals, but Circulation Research features cardiovascular medicine-related research discoveries

eLife – This is a newer journal that aims to transform the peer-reviewed and publishing process. eLife is categorizing based on research discipline as well as medical specialty and is easy to read and understand

If there are additional journals you think necessitate mentioning, comment any suggestions you may have for other journals needed in the toolbox. It is our duty to remain educated, informed, and analytical of the wealth of knowledge that is biomedical research. These journals will help us achieve those goals.

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Mary Barber

Mary Barber studies Chemistry and English Literature at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. An average day for her includes running from microbiology lecture to having discussions on the writings of Nabokov to designing experiments in the lab – she says it’s a little crazy but always fun. Her passions (currently) include studying cardiovascular disease caused by cancer therapies, writing, and monthly dates baking cupcakes with cancer patients. One day when she grow up Mary hopes to be a physician researcher, treat patients with heart problems, write books, and do yoga every day.