Journal of Biological Chemistry

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Journal of Biological Chemistry
Molecular biology
Edited byAlex Toker
Publication details
LicenseCC BY / CC BY-NC-ND
5.486 (2021)
Standard abbreviations
ISO 4J. Biol. Chem.
ISSN0021-9258 (print)
1083-351X (web)
OCLC no.54114375

The Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) is a weekly peer-reviewed scientific journal that was established in 1905.[1] Since 1925, it is published by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. It covers research in areas of biochemistry and molecular biology. The editor is Alex Toker.[2][3] As of January 2021, the journal is fully open access.[4] In press articles are available free on its website immediately after acceptance.


The following individuals have served as editors of the journal:

Ranking and criticism of impact factor[edit]

The editors of the Journal of Biological Chemistry have criticized the modern reliance upon the impact factor for ranking journals, noting that review articles, commentaries, and retractions are included in the calculation. Further, the denominator of total articles published encourages journals to be overly selective in what they publish, and preferentially publish articles which will receive more attention and citations.[5]

Due to these factors, the journal's practice of publishing a broad cross-section of biochemistry articles has led it to suffer in impact factor, in 2006 ranking 260 of 6,164, while remaining a highly cited journal.[6] When science journals were evaluated with a PageRank-based algorithm, however, the Journal of Biological Chemistry ranked first.[7] Using the Eigenfactor metric, the Journal of Biological Chemistry ranked 5th among all ISI-indexed journals in 2010.[8] The impact factor of the journal in 2021 was 5.486.[9]

History and classic papers[edit]

The journal was established in 1905 by John Jacob Abel and Christian Archibald Herter, who also served as the first editors; the first issue appeared in October 1905.[10] The location of the journal's editorial offices has included Cornell Medical College (until 1937), Yale University (1937–1958), Harvard University (1958–1967), and New York City (from 1967).[11] As of 2017 the journal is published by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

The most cited paper of all time[12][13][14] was published in the journal by Oliver H. Lowry on Protein measurement with the Folin phenol reagent[15] and describes the Lowry protein assay, and has been cited well-over 300,000 times.[12] In 1990, librarian Eugene Garfield wrote that the "Journal of Biological Chemistry lead the list of journals ranked by the number of SCI Top papers published", with 17 of the top 100 most cited papers published.[14] The next journals on the list were Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, with 6, then Nature, with 5.[14]

Social media[edit]

The journal is very active on social media. In March, the journal hosts "Methods Madness," a tournament styled after March Madness. The event takes place on Twitter and lets users vote for their favorite biochemistry or molecular biology methods.[16]


  1. ^ Official website,
  2. ^ "Journal of Biological Chemistry". Retrieved 2021-08-07.
  3. ^ "Journal of Biological Chemistry names new editor-in-chief". Retrieved 2021-08-07.
  4. ^ "ASBMB journals are now open access". Retrieved 2021-07-01.
  5. ^ Hascall, Vincent C.; Hanson, Richard W. (August 20, 2007). "JBC on Journal Ranking". Notably, The Annual Review of Immunology had the highest Impact Factor score in 2005 with The Annual Review of Biochemistry rating second. This raises the question of whether citations in reviews should, in fact, be included in the data base used to calculate Impact Factors.... High Impact Factor journals, such as Science and Nature, publish letters, commentaries, and even retractions, all of which have citations that are included in the numerator without inclusion of their number in the denominator of the Impact Factor.
  6. ^ Hascall, Vincent C.; Hanson, Richard W. (August 20, 2007). "JBC on Journal Ranking". As a result of this policy, the Journal has grown over the past 20 years in parallel with the growth of research in the biological sciences, to the point that today it is the world's largest and most cited journal. This is not, however, necessarily a good thing for the presumed status of the Journal; it may be highly cited, but in 2006 it ranked only 260 among the 6,164 scientific journals evaluated by Impact Factor metrics.
  7. ^ Hascall, Vincent C.; Bollen, Johan; Hanson, Richard W. (July 27, 2007). "Impact Factor Page Rankled" (PDF). ASBMB Today: 16–19. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 8, 2018. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  8. ^ "Eigenfactor journal rankings for 2010". August 26, 2012.
  9. ^ "Journal of Biological Chemistry". 2021 Journal Citation Reports. Web of Science (Science ed.). Clarivate Analytics. 2022.
  10. ^ Fruton, Joseph S. (June 7, 2002). "The First Years of the Journal of Biological Chemistry". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 277 (23): 20113–20116. doi:10.1074/jbc.R200004200. PMID 11960998.
  11. ^ Edsall, John T. (October 10, 1980). "The Journal of Biological Chemistry After Seventy-Five Years". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 255 (19): 8939–8951. PMID 6997304.
  12. ^ a b Van Noorden, R.; Maher, B.; Nuzzo, R. (2014). "The top 100 papers: Nature explores the most-cited research of all time". Nature. 514 (7524): 550–3. Bibcode:2014Natur.514..550V. doi:10.1038/514550a. PMID 25355343.
  13. ^ Kresge, Nicole; Simoni, Robert D.; Hill, Robert L. (2005). "The Most Highly Cited Paper in Publishing History: Protein Determination by Oliver H. Lowry". Journal of Biological Chemistry. 280.
  14. ^ a b c Garfield, Eugene (1990). "The Most-Cited Papers of All Time, SCI 1945-1988. Part 1A. The SCI Top 100 — Will the Lowry Method Ever Be Obliterated?" (PDF). Current Contents. 7: 3–14. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
  15. ^ Lowry, O. H.; Rosebrough, N. J.; Farr, A. L.; Randall, R. J. (1951). "Protein measurement with the Folin phenol reagent". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 193 (1): 265–75. PMID 14907713.
  16. ^ "JBC Methods Madness". Retrieved 2021-07-01.