Bibliometric development of Naunyn–Schmiedeberg’s archives of pharmacology

Leah B. Dats, Florentin von Haugwitz, Roland Seifert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Motivated by the 150-year anniversary of the Naunyn–Schmiedeberg’s Archives of Pharmacology in 2023, we studied the bibliometric development of the journal. We evaluated data from Editorial Reports, Clarivate, and Springer Nature databases. Several parameters representing the journal’s performance, such as the impact factor and social impact, were analyzed over the years. We analyzed the journal’s meta-data and wrote an algorithm to retrieve cities and countries of origin. We could see a decrease in publications from Germany and an increase in papers from Brazil, China, Egypt, and Iran during the last years. The decrease in publications from Germany is probably a zeitgeist effect because this country places a strong emphasis on high-impact factor papers for academic promotion and winning grants. Germany was the country with the most publications throughout the 100 most-cited articles. Most of these articles were published between 1970 and 1990, when neurotransmitters were the most published topic. Klaus Starke (Freiburg) and Manfred Göthert (Bonn) were prominent drivers of this field. The most common topics nowadays are “Drugs for the Treatment of Malignant Tumor Diseases” and “Immunopharmacology.” The internationality of the journal substantially increased after introduction of English as mandatory language in the 1970s. The journal also experienced substantial COVID-19 pandemic-related effects. This paper is not only of relevance for the field of pharmacology but for science in general in the sense that Naunyn–Schmiedeberg’s Archives of Pharmacology is a case study for profound changes in a traditional scientific journal, requiring permanent adjustment by editors, referees, publisher, authors, and readers alike. The development of the journal has been strongly influenced by historic and political developments, cultural attitudes (zeitgeist), language changes, global changes in research topics, and eminent individuals who published many papers in Naunyn–Schmiedeberg’s Archives of Pharmacology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-61
Number of pages19
JournalNaunyn-Schmiedeberg's archives of pharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Bibliometric development
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Historical development
  • Meta-data analysis
  • Research topics ⋅ zeitgeist


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