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  • 1 Instituto de Estudios Documentales sobre Ciencia y Tecnología (IEDCYT), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) C/ Albasanz 26 28037 Madrid Spain
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This paper analyses the nationalities of the editorial board members of the top 20 journals (according to their impact factor in the ISI Journal Citation Report, Science Edition 2005) serving 15 scientific disciplines. A total of 281 journals were analysed (some journals crossed disciplinary boundaries) and 10,055 of their editorial board members were identified. Some 53% of board members were from the United States. Europe provided 32%, with the United Kingdom making the greatest contribution (9.8%). The analysis of scientific output by nationality in these journals showed a significant correlation, in all disciplines, with the representation of the corresponding nations on the editorial boards. The composition of editorial boards may therefore provide a useful indicator for measuring a country’s international scientific visibility. The present results should be taken into account in the design of national policies with the aim of enhancing the presence of a country’s most prestigious scientists on the editorial boards of the main international journals.