Monday, May 3, 2010

Journals for biological anthropology papers?

One of the challenges of publishing is deciding where to submit. At lunch today with several other biologically- and medically-minded anthropologists from a range of different departments in the Midwest, we discussed where to send our papers for publication. What audience do we hope to target with which piece of research or theoretical exploration? How will the particular venue in which we seek to publish affect our department's and college's assessment of our scholarly activity (i.e. renewal/promotion/tenureability)? Some colleagues shared that their departments seemed to value publications in the broader anthropology journals more than those in "specialist" journals like AJPA, AJHB, etc. even though the impact factors for some of the bioanthro journals are higher than those for Current Anthropology, for example. These are things that are important for junior faculty to find out, and it will likely vary according to your local climate.

Thought I'd share the list we came up with and add some suggestions of my own, and solicit other suggestions from fellow BANDITs. The list I present is biased toward my interests and those of my lunch dates (primatology, anatomy, developmental biology, reproduction, nutrition) so please help add to it!

Broader (4-fields?) anthropological journals:
American Anthropologist
Current Anthropology
Annual Reviews of Anthropology

"Specialist" journals:
American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Yearbook of Physical Anthropology
American Journal of Human Biology
American Journal of Primatology
International Journal of Primatology
Journal of Medical Primatology
Journal of Human Evolution
Evolutionary Anthropology
Journal of Bone and Mineral Research
Journal of Osteoarchaeology
Annals of Human Biology
Human Biology
Anatomical Record
Journal of Morphology
Developmental Dynamics
Developmental Biology
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Current Biology
Human Reproduction
Fertility and Sterility
Biology of Reproduction
Journal of Reproductive Immunology
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Journal of Nutrition
American Journal of Epidemiology
International Journal of Epidemiology
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Hormones and Behavior


  1. Too bad there isn't much in the way of open access journals in our field.
    Funded in large part by tax-payer dollars we do research, write it up, submit it and have it reviewed gratis by others who are funded in large part by tax-payer dollars. Then when the work gets published tax-payers have to pay corporations to get access.

  2. Related to the last note, I increasingly see anthropologists publishing in PLoS One and PLoS Biology. I have also found the BMC series of open access journals to be pretty good (i.e. BMC Evolutionary Biology). However, I don't know how helpful these are for gaining tenure and having a focused dialogue with other anthropologists.

  3. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
    I would suggest the following molecular and genetic journals which publish a considerable number of articles of interest to biological anthropologists.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA
    Journal of Molecular Evolution
    Molecular Biology and Evolution
    Genome Research
    Genome Biology
    American Journal of Human Genetics
    European Journal of Human Genetics
    Molecular Ecology

  4. I published a paper in Plos One last year. That journal has terrific editors, fast turn around time, and is of course publicly available to the international research community. Unfortunately they do not have an impact factor yet because it is a new journal. However they do keep metrics on your article and its individual impact. Of course, Plos Biology has a very high impact factor so it remains to be seen what Plos One will do.

    Gwen Robbins

  5. A BANDIT follower on Facebook makes this excellent point:
    "Very nice! I've saved this to share with current and future students. It's good advice for writing any type of paper, not just one being submitted for publication."

    Consider including this article in your syllabus if you require your students to produce a "publishable" research paper.