Understanding Scholarly Indexing and What It Means for You

By eContent Pro on Nov 22, 2017
Understanding Scholarly Indexing

Whether you’re a forthcoming author, active researcher, up-and-coming Managing Editor, or an established Editor-in-Chief, it’s valuable to fully realize that remaining vigilant about how your content may be perceived by prestigious indices is crucial for any publication to become successful. In order to gain the reputation as an authoritative and trustworthy information resource, editors must constantly strive to boost their publication’s visibility. Aside from effective marketing, the best way to yield these desired results is by being recognized in scholarly databases and indices.

Going through the process of becoming indexed by reputable lists will help your publication gain a broader readership. Consequently, prominent indices will continue to add your publication(s) to their repositories; researchers will gradually distinguish and associate quality substance with your name or your publication(s)—or both—more frequently. This process leads to achieving your unending goal as a scholar: disseminating content that’s widely cited and shared.

A Background Behind Indexing

The most prestigious indices are highly selective, so as such, the process takes much longer than many authors and editors originally think. Typically, publishers are dedicated to continuously submitting their acquired publications to relevant indices, focusing on helping authors and editors with developing quality content to ensure that, as an inaugurated publication, material is submitted timely for consideration.

Yet, content that fails to meet the necessary requirements and criteria set forth by indexing and abstracting services won’t even be considered. So, acceptance into any index is contingent on carefully prepared content. Below are the key guidelines to follow, provided by our partnering publisher, IGI Global:

Indexing Requirements

  • Quality Content: A publication must demonstrate and maintain high-quality editorial content encompassing emerging research.
  • Timeliness: Remaining on schedule is viewed as one of the most vital characteristics in determining eligibility. Indices will only accept publications that have a clear track record of timeliness, and most publishers won’t submit publications that aren’t on time.
  • Quantitative Citation Data: Indices also assess a publication based on the number of times certain articles have been cited by outside sources, known as the citation impact. A publication that displays the ability to continually garner quality, scholarly contributions is noted as highly favorable. Stay cautious; if self-citation encompasses more than 20% of all references in a single publication, according to Clarivate Analytics, it will severely hinder one’s likelihood of acceptance.
  • Diverse Authorship: Academic research operates globally these days; there are virtually no communication roadblocks in a worldwide context. Therefore, a publication must contain content that’s international in scope.
  • A Foundation for the Future: For journals, two years of timely issues must be evident because many new publications fail to prove the potential for an increased citation impact and are canceled shortly after their launch.

The Prominent Indices

With no index necessarily recommended before another, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top indexing and abstracting services in scholarly publishing. Learn them, research them, and dependent on your area of study, strive to be included in them:

  • Scopus: An Elsevier-maintained citation and abstract database, Scopus has an international listing of interdisciplinary scientific information, from medicine, to computer science, to the social sciences, and humanities.
  • Clarivate: Formerly Thompson Reuters, this index is recognized for its highly selective Web of Science databases (formerly known as ISI Web of Knowledge) and provides a platform for researchers to access content in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities.
  • Compendex: This is known as Elsevier’s Engineering Village and comprises a mass of carefully selected engineering research articles and publications.
  • ProQuest: A well-recognized database with multiple subject-specific indices encompassing the arts, humanities, and the social sciences.
  • EBSCO Information Services: EBSCO provides research databases, e-journals, magazine subscriptions, and e-books to libraries and academic institutions all over the world.
  • DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals): This is a web directory indexing entirely open access journal content.
  • BioOne: This index focuses on listing scholarly publications in the biological, ecological, and environmental science fields.
  • ACM Digital Library: One of the leading databases covering full-text articles and bibliographic literature on computing and information science.
  • ERIC: One of the most well-known online databases of education research and information.
  • PubMed: A bibliographic database of biomedical literature covering emerging research in journals and books.

Using Your Knowledge

Remember, once a publication is indexed by a database, its readership and accessibility increase enormously. Some of these online repositories only index titles and abstracts, while many are comprised of full-length articles. Irrespectively, now that you know some of the basics behind the indexing of academic publications, you can elevate your next article, journal issue, chapter, or book to a new level—with a new mission.

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