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Vance Lehman MD   The Mayo Clinic

November 4, 2020

The aim of this review is to first provide essential background information about journals most relevant to neuroradiology and then to provide a quick reference list.


There are three main types of Medical Journals by Merit:

  1. Indexed in PubMed. These journals should be the target of the vast majority, if not all, of publication submissions. Generally, this is the bar that is used for consideration for academic advancement.
  2. Not indexed, but not predatory. There are instances you might consider submitting to a journal in this category (e.g. only journal that is a good/realistic fit; hopeful up-and-coming journal you would like to support; you do not need more indexed articles), but this should be the exception. Over time, some successful journals will become indexed.
  3. Predatory Journal. Avoid these! The distinction lies in the opportunistic manner of practice. For example, they may accept a submission without any real peer-review process. Publication fees can be excessive and, once-accepted, legally binding. You are obligated to pay perhaps thousands of dollars to have your article published in a sub-optimal journal. These may have titles/color schemes very similar to respectable journals, intending to confuse authors. They may recruit editors from respectable institutions.

Here is a link to a brief editorial on the topic by former AJNR editor-in-chief, Dr. Mauricio Castillo: Castillo M. Predators and Cranks. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 2014;34(11):2051-205.

If you are not highly familiar with a journal, double-check the type of journal carefully (e.g. confirm the articles are listed in PubMed) before submitting an article.

Key Features of a Journal

There are many features of a journal that are useful to identify. These include the following:

  1. Scope of topics.
  2. Target audience (specialty). Consider if your article might be of most use/interest to radiologists or clinicians of a certain specialty. Additionally, reviewers for specialty clinical journals presumably tend to be specialty clinicians rather than radiologists (but varies).
  3. Impact factor. A measure of how often articles are, on average cited. In general, the higher the impact factor, the more prestigious the journal. However, the impact factor is also affected by items such as the topic popularity and is not the sole indicator of the value of a journal.
  4. Acceptance rate. Some journals will give an indication on the web page.
  5. Types of articles considered. E.g. original research, review article, pictorial review, technical report, case report/series, commentary, etc.
  6. Topic/Invitation editions versus general submission. Can submit to most journals at will. Other models exist, for example: Seminars in US, CT, MRI is by invitation, and Neurosurgical Focus announces topics of consideration.
  7. Frequency of publication. (issues per year/time to print or online posting varies)
  8. Open access vs subscription model. Open access can increase article visibility but may incur a charge.
  9. Application of a publication fee. Note that fees are now common with indexed journals as free open access articles have increased in prevalence.
  10. Review process/time. Some journals attempt to review expediently while others can take a long time. For instances in which you would like to attempt to publish quickly or think the article might get scooped, consider the former. Conversely, the allotted turnaround time for revisions can vary from a couple of weeks (e.g. Neurosurgical Focus) to months. Additionally, the authors’ identity is usually anonymous to the reviewers, but not always; this varies by journal.
  11. Geographic location. Some journals preferentially publish articles from a certain country or geographic region (e.g. Canadian Association of Radiologists Journal). Double-check though, as some journals associated with a certain country or region publish articles originating broadly.

Identifying Journals and Journal Features

Lists of Journals and associated metrics/some key features can be found in “Incites Journal Citation Reports” (Incites JCR). Journals can be identified by name, category, or keywords. ‘Ranks’ of journals within a category can be identified. However, a complete list of relevant journals is not found with a single search on this site, in part due to the method of classification (e.g. is a journal a ‘radiology’ journal or a ‘neuroimaging’ journal?).

A Special Case: Case reports and Clinical Images

Radiologic findings of some uncommon/rare entities are largely presented in case reports/small case series. Many of these are clinically focused reports in clinical journals that include an image and a description. Radiologist authorship for these is variable. These journals may be found in a wide variety of categories/specialties including neurology, rheumatology, or even dermatology. You can consider submitting as a letter to the editor for some journals.

It is true that single case reports can be difficult to publish, but there are options. Here are some examples of journals that could be considered:

Journal Notes
Journal of Radiology Case Reports High degree of formatting requirements/questions/images (including scrolling) for a case report. Can pay money for a ‘fast pass’ to have considered for review (not necessarily recommending), or submission can take some time.  Solicits numerous reviewers, which can result in many revisions to address. Website can be finicky. Publication fee.
Radiology Case Reports Now indexed in PubMed.
BJR Case Reports This is a sister Journal of BJR.  Now indexed.
Clinical Imaging  
World Journal of Radiology  
Open Neuroimaging Journal  
Radiology Limited publication of ‘Images in Radiology.’
Neurology Teaching Neuroimages
Neurology: Clinical Practice Sister Journal of Neurology.  Can take a little time for case reports to show up on PubMed after online publication.
JAMA Neurology “Images in Neurology”
The Neurohospitalist Categories include “Images in Clinical Neurology” and “Case Reports.”
Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology Will consider case reports or related letters to the editor.  Focus in on neurology in India but will consider submissions worldwide.
Case Reports in Neurology  
Neurosurgery (Oxford) Accepts a very small percentage of submissions.
Pediatric Neurology Can submit case report or series as a ‘Clinical Letter’ or ‘Clinical Observation.’
Journal of Neurological Sciences Novel case reports can be submitted as letters to the Editor.
Neurological Sciences In the form of ‘Brief Communications.’
Cephalalgia Will consider case reports in the form of ‘Clinical Correspondence.’
Head & Neck. Will currently consider unique case reports or similar letters to the editor.
ACR Open Rheumatology Will consider clinical images.
North American Spine Society Journal North American Spine Society Journal considers clinical case reports and case series.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A Several categories of clinical reports, should be a novel/rare genetic mutation/syndrome and/or associated rare/new imaging finding.
New England Journal of Medicine Publishes some ‘Clinical Images.’ Most images are dermatology, radiology, and/or pathology. Most submissions seem to be rejected immediately.
Mayo Clinic Proceedings Publishes ‘Teaching images.’ These allow a max of 2 authors, few words. Most submissions rejected quickly.
Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Practice, Quality, and Innovation This is an indexed sister journal of MCP. Full case reports currently accepted and may apply: for example, radiology published a case report of a patient who underwent MRI-guided focused ultrasound with a non-conditional pacemaker implant.

List of Several Key Neuroradiology, General Radiology, and Select Clinical Journals

Searching for journals to submit to or read can take time. Here is a non-exhaustive list of journals that may be of interest to a neuroradiologist for quick reference. Incite JCR lists 14 ‘neuroimaging’ journals, 133 ‘radiology’ journals, and many more clinical journals. Some of the journals listed here may be less obvious by intention.

Journal 2019 Impact Factor Access Model Notes
Neuroradiology Specific Journals      
AJNR 3.38 Predominantly open access Flagship neuroradiology journal
Journal of Neuroimaging 2.32 Predominantly subscription model, but can pay to designate your article open access Neurologist-oriented ‘neuroradiology’ journal
Open J Neuroimaging 1.47 (2018 IF, per the journal website) Open Access Publication fees apply
Neuroimaging Clin N America 2.63 Predominantly subscription Topic-based journal with 4 issues/year, coordinated by designated editors
Clinical Neuroradiology 3.18 Predominantly subscription 4 issues/year
Neuroradiology (Springer) 2.24 Predominantly subscription 6 issues/year
The Neuroradiology Journal (Sage) Optional open access Accepts a limited number of case reports
Journal of Neuroradiology 2.42 Predominantly subscription 5 issues/year.  French journal published in English. Most publications are from French institutions, but USA is 2nd.
Neurographics Not indexed in PubMed   AJNR sister journal with similar format to Radiographics. Some submissions solicited from ASNR exhibits.
Interventional Neuroradiology/Neurosurgery Journals      
Interventional Neuroradiology 1.48 Predominantly subscription 4 issues/year
Journal of Neurointerventional Surgery (JNIS) 4.46 Predominantly subscription.  
General Radiology Journals      
Radiology 7.93 Open Access RSNA associated.  Premier general radiology journal-mostly original research, some commentary/editorials
Radiographics 4.97 Predominantly subscription 7 issues/year.  Nearly all publications are derived from invited submissions from RSNA exhibits (still peer review). Image-rich educational articles.
American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) 3.03 Subscription Associated with ARRS. Mayo Clinic is number 4 on contributor list.
Academic Radiology 2.49 Open access with fee, otherwise subscription 12 issues/year.
British Journal of Radiology 2.20 Open access with fee, otherwise subscription 12 issues/year. The British journal, but publishes work submitted broadly.
Clinical Radiology 2.12   12 issues/year.
Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology (DIR) 1.87 Subscription 6 issues/year.  Turkish journal. Turkish Institutions publish more, but the U.S. is a close second.
Skeletal Radiology 1.62 Predominantly subscription Could consider for spine submissions.
Eur J of Radiology 2.69 Predominantly subscription The top two countries with authors are the USA and mainland China.
Insights into Imaging 3.58 Open Access  
BMC Medical Imaging 1.79 100% Open Access 1 issue/year. 3:1 publications from Chinese vs. American authors
World Journal of Radiology Open Access Considers both solicited and unsolicited articles
Investigative Radiology 5.16 Subscription  
British Journal of Radiology Case Reports Cited in PubMed, Open Access Online only continuous publication model.
Current Problems in Diagnostic Radiology      
Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology 3.037 Mostly subscription  
Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging 3.95    
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 3.64    
Seminars in Ultrasound, CT and MRI 1.180   Submissions by invitation only
Pediatric Radiology 2.169 Predominantly subscription  
Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR) 4.27 Subscription Mayo Clinic is number 10 on contributor list
Journal of Digital Imaging 3.70 Mix, but mostly subscription Mayo Clinic tied for number 2, but relatively few articles/year (6 issues/year).
Several Nuclear Medicine Journals
Emergency Radiology      
Surgical Radiological Anatomy 1.09 Mostly subscription  
Biological-Psychiatry-Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging 5.34 Predominantly subscription  
Psychiatry Research-Neuroimaging 2.06 Predominantly subscription  
Brain Imaging and Behavior 3.391    
Dental Radiology      
Dentomaxillofacial Radiology 1.80 Subscription Not used often by Mayo radiologists.  Could submit imaging of salivary gland tumors, CBCT, black bone MRI, 3D printing of face/jaw, etc.
Human Brain Mapping Journals      
NeuroImage 5.90 Mix, but mostly subscription Sister journals include NeuroImage Clinical and NeuroImage Reports
Frontiers Neuroscience 3.71 Open Access  
Human Brain Mapping 4.42 Mix, but mostly subscription  
Clinical and other Neuroscience Journals      
Journal of Neurosurgery 3.98 Predominantly subscription Has several sister journals: JNS Spine, JNS pediatrics, Neurosurgical focus, neurosurgical focus: video.
Neurosurgery (Oxford) 4.85    
Neurosurgical Focus 3.64 Open Access Sister journal of Neurosurgery.  Each month has a special topic with guest editors, announced > 6 months ahead of time for submission. If revisions requested, need to provide a fast turnaround time to the journal.
J Neurosurgical Sciences 1.645 Subscription  
J Neurological Sciences 3.12 Either open access or subscription Reasonable time to decision, can take time to be published after acceptance (don’t confuse with other journals with similar names).
J Neurol Neurosurg Psych 8.23 Most articles listed as ‘other’ Most publications from England, some from US.
J Neurosurgery-Pediatrics 2.11 Predominantly subscription Sister journal of the Journal of Neurosurgery.
World Neurosurgery 1.83 Predominantly subscription Mayo Clinic is number 4 on top institutions published.
Neurology 8.770 Mix of open access and subscription Has several sister journals including Neurology: Clinical Practice. Mayo Clinic is number 3 on contributors.
Pediatric Neurology 2.89 Either open access or subscription  
JAMA Pediatrics 13.94 Mostly subscription  
Brain 11.34 Mostly subscription, but some open access Relatively High IF.  One type of article radiologists could submit is a review article addressing an impactful up and coming clinically relevant topic.
Neurological Sciences 2.42 Mostly subscription Most publications are from Italy
Stroke 7.190 Mostly subscription Key example of a stroke journal; there are several other clinical ‘stroke’ journals as well.
Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease 1.78 Mostly subscription  
Journal of the American Heart Association 4.61 Mostly open access Mayo Clinic is number 6 on contributor list
Circulation 23.6 Mostly subscription Mayo Clinic is number 9 on contributor list
Spine 2.64 Subscription  
The Spine Journal 3.19 Mostly subscription Associated with NASS. Companion journal is NASSJ.
Journal of Neurosurgery-Spine 3.01 Nearly entirely subscription Companion journal of J. of Neurosurgery. Mayo Clinic is number 5 (tie) institution with publications
Bone & Joint Journal 4.31 Predominantly subscription  
Joint Bone Spine 3.74 Nearly entirely subscription Most publications are from France
Global Spine Journal 2.68 Predominantly Open access  
European Spine Journal 2.45 Mostly open access Although European, most publications are from China and the USA
Pain Medicine 2.51 Mostly subscription Official Journal of the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM); formerly associated with the Spine Interventional Society (SIS), but SIS is launching its own journal
Head & Neck 2.54 Mostly subscription  
Cephalalgia 4.89 Mostly subscription Mayo Clinic is number 3 on list of institutions that publish in this journal.
Multi-Disciplinary Sciences      
New England Journal of Medicine 74.69 Subscription Rare highly impactful radiology articles (e.g. initial multicenter vertebroplasty trials) may be published.  Most articles come from Harvard.
PLoS One 2.74 Open Access Aims to assess articles on scientific merit rather than topic
Cureus Open Access
Mayo Clinic Proceedings 6.94 Predominantly subscription Majority of articles are from Mayo authors.
International Journal of Hyperthermia 3.57 Mix of Open Access and subscription Can consider for heat ablation publications such as RFA or MRI guided focused ultrasound.

Vance Lehman MD,
Associate Professor
The Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN

November 4, 2020

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