The ideas and techniques of physics have been systematically applied to the study of living matter since the 1950s and 1960s. As a result a rapid and large increase has taken place in the research activity in this field and biophysics and molecular biology have emerged as important areas of study. The consequent enormous growth of literature in the field has created great difficulties in tracking out the significant literature of the subject. To cope with this unprecedented growth of literature, a ranking list of periodicals in this field has been prepared on the basis of citations in the Annual review of biochemistry for 1968,1969, and 1970. This list is expected to reflect the impact of literature on the progress of biochemical knowledge more accurately than the list prepared by Henkle in 1938. The present list brings out the predominant position of biochemical research in the total scientific effort today, and the increasing bias of cognate disciplines towards biochemical methodologies. A method of analysis of the number of citations in relation to size of the journal concerned and average length of the papers published has been developed and applied in this study. The analysis yields three parameters which should be useful in assessing the actual scientific interest of a journal in relation to the number of papers published, compactness of the information content, and the scientific value of the papers in relation to compactness of presentation.
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