Getting Indexed: Understanding the Importance and Research Implications

By eContent Pro on Jul 30, 2021
Understanding the Importance and Research Implications

An important component of academic research is discoverability, and a manuscript’s ability to be discoverable lies mostly with being indexed. Without it, even research that would contribute significantly to a given field may be nearly impossible to find. Additionally, an indexed publication indicates it is of higher scientific quality compared to a non-indexed publication. In this regard, indexing is as imperative to an author as it is to the publisher.

Why Indexing Matters

Regardless of your author status, whether that be a forthcoming author, active researcher, or established Editor-in-Chief, it is essential to know how your content is being perceived by prestigious indices as this is crucial for any publication’s success. For a publication to gain the reputation as an authoritative and trustworthy resource, editors and authors must be vigilant in seeking to boost their publication’s visibility.

Through the process of being indexed by reputable lists, your publication can gain a broader readership. In turn, more prominent indices will continue to add your publication to their lists, and researchers will continue to be able to find and utilize your work, thus distinguishing you and your work as being of the highest quality. This will further aid in your research reaching larger audiences and being widely cited and shared.

Indexing Basics

There are many indexing options available for a journal to pursue, each with different requirements and benefits. Using both scholarly databases and free general search engines for optimal discoverability and being mindful of the scope and requirements, its best to choose several indices in which you want a journal to appear. The more a journal is indexed, the better the visibility will be, along with the reputation of the journal itself and its contributors.

It is considered highly beneficial to authors and publishers alike to be indexed with search engine indexing, such as Google Scholar. With researchers using internet search engines to conduct their research, it increases the likelihood of an indexed article being found on top of affirming to authors that their research will be easily available and freely accessible. Additionally, any journal can be added to a search engine index and will not be subjected to rigorous requirements like publication history or citation count. Such indices are a great starting point to consider.

General search engines, such as Google, search for content online, which means you want to make it easy for their computer programs (known as “crawlers”) to find yours. Utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, you also improve the likelihood of your content appearing higher in the search results.

Here are a few tips to get you started with search engine indexing:

  • Have all journal articles on their own webpages so they can be found easily by crawlers.
  • Make journal webpages easily navigable for human and robotic users.
  • Use quality content on the journal’s webpage along with longer and more specific keywords or
    keyword phrases.
  • Make sure the journal and article webpages provide descriptive metadata to search engines.

There are also scholarly search engine indices, like Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic. While the above steps will be helpful for being indexed in these indices, there are additional requirements as well. As they do not index all content, it is imperative to follow the necessary steps and meet the specified requirements.

When it comes to academic databases, some of the most prominent indices are:

  • Scopus
  • Web of Science
  • Ulrichsweb
  • Directory of Open Access Journals
While an index like Ulrichsweb is a general database catering to journals across any subject area, other indices are centered around specific subjects and will only accept related content.

Indexing Requirements

Rejected Stamp

Not surprisingly, the most prestigious indices are highly selective, which can make the process take much longer than expected. Publishers are usually highly dedicated to getting their publication(s) indexed and will continuously submit their respective publications to relevant indices. A publisher’s focus is often on helping authors and editors develop quality content to ensure the work is submitted for consideration and has a higher chance of being accepted.

As provided by our partnering publisher, IGI Global, below are some key guidelines to follow:

  • Quality Content: A publication must contain and continue to publish high-quality content encompassing emerging research.
  • Timeliness: One of the most vital requirements for being indexed is to remain on time. Indices will only accept publications that have a history of timeliness, and most publishers will not submit publications that are not on time.
  • Citation Impact: Indices will assess a publication based on the number of times the articles have been cited by outside sources, which is known as the citation impact. A highly favorable option for acceptance is a publication that displays the ability to continually publish quality, highly-cited research.
    • Keep this in mind: According to Clarivate Analytics, if self-citation makes up more than 20% of all references in a single publication, it will greatly diminish the likelihood of acceptance.
  • Authorship on a Global Scale: These days, academic research operates globally, which is beneficial for disseminating research and just as important for indexing purposes. A publication must contain content that is international in scope to be considered.
  • Staying on Track: A journal must show two years of timely issues for consideration. This allows for the journal to build citation impact. As many journals launch and then fail shortly after, or are canceled, this timeframe is imperative for indexing.

To build your esteem as a researcher, and the citation impact of your work, utilize eContent Pro’s Journal Finder service. In doing so, you will be given a number of indexed journals related to your research to which you can submit your work and increase your likeliness of being indexed.

The Top Indices

As noted above, there are so many indexing possibilities out there to pursue. We’ve compiled a list of some of the top indexing and abstracting services in scholarly publishing for you to provide a further understanding of their importance. Continue to research these indices and aim to be included in them to increase your research’s visibility in your field:

  • Web of Science: Maintained by Clarivate Analytics, Web of Science is a highly selective index and provides a platform for researchers to access content in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities.
  • Scopus: This Elsevier-maintained citation and abstract database meticulously selects content and has an international listing of interdisciplinary scientific information from medicine to computer science, the social sciences, and humanities.
  • Ei Compendex: This is an engineering database comprised of carefully-selected engineering research articles and publications.
  • DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals): DOAJ is a web directory that strictly indexes open access journal content.
  • BioOne: This index focuses on listing scholarly publications in the fields of biological, ecological, and environmental science.
  • ACM Digital Library: With its collection of full-text content, including journals, conference proceedings, technical magazines, newsletters, and books, ACM Digital Library is one of the leading databases covering computing and information science.
  • ERIC: One of the most well-known online databases of education literature and resources.
  • PubMed: Covering emerging research in books and journals alike, PubMed is a bibliographic database of biomedical literature.
  • Inspec: Another Clarivate Analytics-maintained index, Inspec’s coverage includes journals, proceedings, books, and more sources in the areas of physics, engineering, computing, and information technology.
  • PsycINFO: This index is a database of abstracts in the field of psychology and is produced by the American Psychological Association.

If you’re concerned about your research’s ability to become indexed, utilize eContent Pro's scientific and scholarly editing to give you piece of mind. With this service, a PhD-level reviewer in your field will comb through your work and determine its impact, relevance, and significance to your field; note its major strength and weaknesses; and provide insight into improving your manuscript for a higher rate of acceptance and,
ultimately, indexing.

To assist in polishing your work and ensuring the highest quality, an integral and highly recommended task to ensure your work meets indexing standards is to have it copy edited and proofread. This will increase your chances of acceptance into a publication and ensure your research can be highly cited as a quality piece of work.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, you want to be indexed. Your research is important to you and the community at large, and you worked hard on your manuscript. Once a publication is indexed, its readership and accessibility increase tenfold, allowing your research to gain more views and citations. You want to reach this goal, and to get there, you need to make sure your work adheres to these strict guidelines. By following the guidelines and understanding the information provided here, you will increase your likelihood of seeing your work indexed and ultimately reach your goal of being a widely cited scholar and contributing greatly to your given field.

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Make sure your manuscript is ready to be indexed by utilizing any of eContent Pro’s quality-assuring services to aid in polishing your work and ensuring you’re on track to acceptance. Get started today by uploading your document or contacting directly.

About eContent Pro: eContent Pro is a U.S.-based professional editorial and publishing services provider for authors, publishing houses, libraries, organizations, university presses, and societies. Offering professional copy editing, translation, scientific and scholarly editing, journal recommendation, typesetting, figure, chart, table, and equation conversions, as well as other production services, we have provided the highest quality editorial services and content advisement to scholarly outlets and individuals around the world. To learn more about eContent Pro, visit the website here or email

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