In scientometrics, the journal in which authors publish their articles is of increasing importance, likewise the journal’s visibility in scientific, bibliographic databases. Therefore, editorial boards of reviewed scientific journals aim to be listed in international databases, and as a result, be included in journal rankings.
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The databases’ journal selection processes:
- DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals)
- Web of Science
- SJR (SCImago Journal and Country Rank)
It is a database of the editors’ archival policies and provides information on the authors’ self-archival possibilities allowed by the publishers (e.g. whether they can only make accessible the manuscript or the published version). It can provide guidance before submitting a manuscript.
Admittance can be initiated by completing a form, in which one needs to provide the following information:
- Name of the journal, ISSN, e-ISSN (one of them is mandatory).
- Contact information: URL, e-mail address (one of them is mandatory).
- Publisher information: name of the publisher, URL, the publisher’s open access policy.
- Additional information deemed important by the board.
- Information regarding the submitter (editor): name, e-mail address, country, relationship with the journal.
Multidisciplinary database provider containing bibliographic data and, in some cases, full texts. It makes it possible for the users to search in databases of different disciplines at the same time.
Scientific committees evaluate the journals’ applications to EBSCO. During the evaluation they pay special attention to the followings:
- whether the journal is peer-reviewed;
- the journal cannot appear in predatory collections;
- the journal’s scientific impact based on scientometrics (impact factor, reader analytics).
The following basic requirements are to be met for the commencement of the evaluation process; the journal must have:
- ISSN and e-ISSN,
- regular issues,
- copyright policies,
- basic metadata on article-level.
Admittance can be initiated by completing a form. On the form, information are to be provided regarding the publisher and the publication (journal) as well.
- Publisher information: name, name, e-mail address, and phone number of contact person, country of publisher, website URL.
- Journal information: title, ISSN (print and online), open access or not, subject, periodicity, year of the first issue, language.
Upon receiving a positive first evaluation, additional classifications are to be made:
- Academic Journal: the citations are in footnotes and bibliography, and the target audience is the academic community.
- Peer-reviewed journal: in the cases of blind and double-blind review, the review process is carried out either by members of the editorial board, or researchers not affiliated with the journal.
Before submitting the form, one should carefully check whether all of the criteria are met because if rejected, the inclusion cannot be initiated for another 5 years. A preliminary evaluation can be requested from EBSCO by completing another form. During this process areas for improvement might be pointed out.
DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals)
The largest multidisciplinary database of open access journals.
DOAJ also examines the websites of the journals, therefore the information provided upon application must be easily accessible in English as well. The best solution is to list the URL in the relevant section – in some cases, this is mandatory.
For inclusion, strict requirements are to be met. These requirements are:
- Open access: the declaration must be made accessible on the website,
- Journal information: title, ISSN, e-ISSN, website, discipline with English keywords, the language of submitted manuscripts, publisher, country, patron (if relevant).
- Authors’ rights and licences: must be made accessible on the website (the use of Creative Commons is recommended).
- Editing processes: type of reviewing, use of plagiarism checker (if relevant), discipline and goal of the journal, members of the editorial board (with name, affiliation, and e-mail address).
- Author guidelines: manuscript requirements, editing stages.
- Business model: publication fee (if relevant).
- Publication policies: archiving information, use of DOI (recommended), use of ORCID (recommended). It is also recommended that not only the metadata of the articles but also that of the cited works are made available.
After completing the form, before submitting there is a chance for the last revision.
If rejected, the inclusion cannot be initiated for another 6 months.
In DOAJ a DOAJ Seal can be acquired which is a special category: only those journals with the best open access practices and outstanding publication policies are eligible for this certification. The criteria for DOAJ Seal relate to best practice in long term preservation, use of persistent identifiers, discoverability, reuse policies and authors’ rights. Around 10% of journals indexed in DOAJ have been awarded the Seal.
Web of Science
It is the database of Clarivate Analytics and contains the most important scientific publications (journals, conference materials, books) of several disciplines. It is a bibliographic database, equally useful for either scientometric research or searching secondary literature and citations.
There are strict criteria required by journals to be included in the database.
Only those journals can initiate their inclusion which are reviewed, and include ISSN, English titles, abstracts, keywords, and bibliographies in Latin script. During the early phases of the registration the following information are required:
- title of the journal,
- publisher of the journal,
- online access – URL,
- content access,
- reviewing policies,
The registration form is downloadable and can be accessed after login. You can log in with your Researcher ID, your e-mail address used for your Master Journal List, Web of Science, Publons, EndNote, or InCites account, and a password. If the person submitting the journal’s application does not have access, they must register.
The followings are required on the form:
- title of the publication,
- chief editor (if there are several, one must be chosen),
- country of the journal,
- country of the publisher,
- address of the publisher,
- the publication year of the first issue,
- the number of scientific and summary articles published in the last year,
- last issue (issue, volume, year),
- information regarding publication – subscription, OA, hybrid,
- possible institutional collaboration,
- owner of the journal – a publisher, institution, or co-owner,
- subject (selected from a list, up to 3),
- presence of an ethics statement (the specialists of WoS study the editorial directives, self-citations, signs pointing to predatorial activities),
- presence of a reviewing process statement,
- presence of a plagiarism checker,
- presence of DOI, continuous page numbering, article numbering,
- the WoS must have access to the entirety of the articles published in the journal, therefore the journal – if it is not open access – has to provide the access information,
- the primary language of the journal,
- the secondary language (if relevant),
- contact information of the editorial board’s contact person and the submitter.
Further important criteria
- Formal criteria
Information regarding the titles and abstracts are also considered. It is useful if the title of the journal and the articles are informative, every article includes an abstract and a bibliography, and the contact information of the authors is listed.
Because the evaluators know their scientific field, it also bears significance whether a journal enriches the database based on its content.
For regional journals the content evaluation is more important, however in the case of those intended for an international audience, the authors’ and editors’ internationality is also considered.
Every citation is examined to determine the journal’s embeddedness in academic literature, impact factor is also calculated based on this data (the journal’s impact in its discipline).
International database of Elsevier, containing the abstracts and citations of reviewed academic literature. The database contains journals, book series, books, and conference materials.
New journals and books are continuously added to the database, the evaluation process can be initiated on this website.
As a first step, minimum requirements set by Scopus must be met:
- reviewed content,
- titles and abstracts in English,
- Latin script,
- English-language ethics statement and publication guidelines on the website.
It is important the title of the journal is unique and implies its discipline – general titles should be avoided. The title must indicate the goals of the journal: e.g. if the title contains the phrase “international”, then the evaluation committee will examine the journal’s internationality.
For application, a form needs to be filled, on which the following additional information must be declared: whether the submitter’s institution has access to Scopus, whether the form is filled out by a publisher or editor, the name and country of the publisher.
In the next step the submitter must upload the last 3 issues (in pdf or word format), or if it is not possible, then 9 articles and the complete table of contents from the latest issue. The uploaded files must contain the English-language abstracts as well.
In addition to the articles a summary article or an article detailing research results (this cannot be a review or editorial foreword, introduction) must also be sent as a sample.
Further information must be provided on the form: e.g. name and contact information of contact person, website information, periodicity, language, type of reviewing, publisher’s business model, description of the reviewing process, duration of reviewing process.
Information on the journal’s website, a summary of the journal’s goals and its role in academic life must be available in English.
Preliminary evaluation can be requested which is accessible on this website, but a positive pre-evaluation does not guarantee that the journal will certainly be included in the Scopus database.
It will be examined by Scopus experts whether the journal meets the requirements. If the journal is not accepted, the experts will determine a period of 1 to 5 years (the amount of time required to meet the criteria determinant) in which the journal cannot be resubmitted for evaluation.
SJR (SCImago Journal and Country Rank)
It is a publicly available database.
It is based on the information contained in the Scopus database, indicates the ranking of a specific journal compared to other indexed journals in its scientific field, more precisely it shows the quarter into which it falls: first (Q1), second (Q2), third (Q3) and last quarter (Q4). The top 10% of Q1 falls into the category of D1.
The journals found in Scopus can also be found in SJR.