Blind me with science.
December 10, 2012 10:24 PM   Subscribe

Help me discover recent 'Best Seller' scientific journal articles to read in 2013.

Thanks to a graduate course I'm taking, I just rediscovered "The Hallmarks of Cancer," a fantastic review article published in the journal Cell in 2000. (That's right, it's a scientific article with its own Wikipedia page.) I read this in college in 2003, and it's one of very few papers that stuck with me from my undergrad days. As of 2011, it was also Cell's most-cited article, and so popular that the authors revisited it to put out a sequel to it the same year.

I want to read more papers like this across multiple disciplines. Not necessarily great research, but fantastic "state of the field" review, synthesis, and novel thinking on how all the different pieces come together, and what that might mean going forward. Note: I'm biased towards the life sciences, but interested in other fields, too.

I've seen this thread and a few others, but don't want particular article recommendations or journals to subscribe to, just a methodology for how to find things. I've got a knack for good search strategies when I'm looking for a particular topic or piece of information, but when I'm just seeking "papers that are amazing," I'm not sure how to go about it.

Obviously I could just turn to a publication like Annual Reviews, but I'd like suggestions on other ways to discover fantastic (and ideally fun to read, at least for a huge science nerd) scholarly articles online, regardless of their publication. Are there end of the year "top 10 lists" I'm not aware of? Great indexing sites? Other strategies you use to find good reads that aren't just within one specific sub-discipline? I'm vaguely aware that I might be able to use impact factors to hunt down most-cited papers, but not sure of the best way to go about that. Thoughts?

I'm a remote student, so assume I have excellent database access, but won't be walking into a library.
posted by deludingmyself to Education (5 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Hm, how about ranking cited papers using Science Citation Index.

Google Scholar also offers a way to see some of the most cited articles in various fields (click the h5-index number or click the sub-category browser to drill down to less popular journals).
posted by Monsieur Caution at 10:50 PM on December 10, 2012

Faculty of 1000 is a great resource for faculty recommended journal articles - it's the site I direct all the first year graduate students looking for a journal club paper. It's much more geared towards good research, but you might be able to search for reviews.
posted by fermezporte at 4:14 AM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

The closest thing to a 'Top 10' for the year is probably the annual Breakthrough of the Year issue of Science (last year's), but this is focused on specific advances, not review articles.
posted by James Scott-Brown at 5:57 AM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Have you visited the great site (which I use with the Readability app to download the articles for later reading etc).

Here's their Science section.
posted by HopStopDon'tShop at 7:16 AM on December 11, 2012

What's a Review Article includes hints on how to find them in PubMed
posted by kbuxton at 3:57 PM on December 11, 2012

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