This paper analyzes, using Web of Science publications and two time periods (2004-2006 and 2014-2016), the disciplinary structures in the three prestigious journals Nature, Science and PNAS, compared with two baselines: Non-NSP_Multi (multidisciplinary publications that have other source journals than Nature, Science and PNAS), and Non-Multi (publications assigned to other categories than Multidisciplinary). We analyze the profiles at two levels, journal and country. The results for the journal level show that for Nature and Science, the publications are considerably less concentrated to certain disciplines compared to PNAS. Biology is the dominant discipline for all the three journals. Nature and Science have similar publication shares in Medicine, Geosciences, Physics, Space science, and Chemistry. The publications of PNAS are highly concentrated to two disciplines: Biology and Medicine. Compared with Non-NSP_Multi and Non-Multi, the shares of Biology in NSP journals are higher, whereas the share of Medicine is lower. At the country level, 14 countries are included, among them the five BRICS countries. With respect to the NSP journals, the emphasis disciplines (in terms of world share of publications) of most countries other than USA are the disciplines in which USA has its weakest performance. The disciplinary structures of USA and of most of the other studied countries therefore tend to be different. Regarding Non-NSP_Multi and Non-Multi, the shapes of the disciplinary structures of the 14 countries can be roughly grouped into three groups, while there are more types of shapes for the countries in the NSP journals. For all five units of analysis, the discipline structures of most countries generally change only slightly between different time periods. The structures of some BRICS countries, however, change to a relatively large extent.
Ding Jielan,Per Ahlgren,Liying Yang,et al. Disciplinary structures in Nature, Science and PNAS: journal and country levels[J]. Scientometrics,2018,116(3):1817-1852.