Periodical Paroxysm: What’s Up With the Names of Scientific Journals?

shrugging scientist

Hello, dearly beloved. I am still very much alive–and now very much graduated. Having left Boston for the colder and Rust Belt-ier clime of Michigan, I’m currently working as a legal writer. That means I help foreign researchers get their green cards. Which means I have to examine their publication histories, which means I spend a lot of time looking at the names of scientific journals. As I do so, a few things have stood out to me.

Firstly, there are about eighty billion different journals, covering every esoteric research niche you could possibly image, and lots you couldn’t. What the hell, for example, is electroceramics?

Secondly, some of them have funny names. With that in mind, I’d like to present the first (and likely only) SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL TITLE AWARDS.

Most Ridiculous: Bundesgesundheitsblatt-Gesundheitsforschung-Gesundheitsschutz

I get that you like compound words, Germany. But Jesus Christ.


Most To-the Point:Blood, Thorax, Cell, etc.

There are so many obvious one-word journal titles that I had a hard time picking. The absolute shortest title is Gut, but my personal favorite is Small (a journal about–you guessed it–things that are small).

small penis

Finally, a journal gym rats, Hummer drivers, and Donald Trump can all relate to.


Most Badass-Sounding: Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics

Yeah! Space! Aliens! Lasers! Pew pew!



Least Badass-Sounding: National Tax Journal

Yeah! W2s! Filing jointly! Earned Income Tax Credits! Pew pew!


Most Weirdly Outdated: Journal of Peasant Studies

Monty Python and the Holy Grail, peasant


Vaguest: Disasters

This could refer to anything from Hurricane Katrina to my wardrobe choices in elementary school.

mechanic jumpsuit

Imagine this, but lime green. And with twice as many knives. (costumemania)


Mostly Likely to Titillate Fanfiction Writers: Omega

I’m a bit too tired to explain this joke, but you can read more here. Alternatively, you can get the gist of it by staring at this picture for a couple of minutes.


Most Sadly-Not-What-It Sounds Like: Journal of Sandwich Structures and Materials

If there were any justice in this world, every issue of this magazine would be sixty pages on how to build the perfect hoagie.



Most Sounds-Like-a-Derogatory-Term-Invented-by-Transhumanists: Meat Science

You keep your meat space and your meat bodies and your meat science! I’m uploading my soul to the internet, ’cause I’m a hacker!

X-files, Invisigoth, hacker



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