Text mining Cell Stem Cell: surprising insights into the journal

Cell Stem Cell was the winner of my 2011 best stem cell journal award (see 2011 awards here, 2012 awards will be announced in early January).

As I’ve “complained” in the past, the only thing I wish would be different is they’d publish even more articles per issue or per month!

But what exactly does Cell Stem Cell publish at a meta level?

Cell Stem Cell
I took a look at this question by text mining all the titles of published works in this journal so far in 2012.

I made a cool word cloud (above) out of them.

The top 3 words were “Stem”, “Cell”, and “Cells”. No surprise there. So I subtracted those 3 words from the word cloud via the awesome and free tool Wordle.

The #1 word in titles? Human

#2 word? Pluripotent

#3? Hematopoietic

Here’s the top words overall in descending order: human, pluripotent, hematopoietic, embryonic, neural, reprogramming and induced (tied), adult and signaling (tied).

What about action words? You know, verbs! (I’m not counting “induced as a verb here since it is surely an adjective almost 100% of the time) There are surprisingly few that are consistently used.

#1, regulates

#2, promotes

So hypothetical prototypic article titles for submission to Cell Stem Cell might be:

X regulates (or promotes) Y in  induced pluripotent stem cells

X regulates (or promotes) Y in embryonic stem cells

X regulates (or promotes) Y in hematopoietic stem cells

Where “X” stands for some molecule or signaling pathway and “Y” is some cellular event.

Four words that are surprisingly small (and hence not used often) in my opinion are “mesenchymal”, “self-renewal”, “cancer” and “differentiation”.

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