Journals indexing: A Space Odyssey?

2001 Space Odyssey 1083_RS7_009543.jpgIn the world, it could be around 100.000 journals listed in different academic databases and citation indexes, such as Web of Knowledge (Reuters), Scopus (Elsevier), EBSCOhost (EBSCO Publishing), DOAJ (Sparc) and hundreds more. Fortunately there is a lot of supply, the problem is how to choose.

The rule of thumb is that you always have to publish in indexed journals (there are generalists, regionals or specialists in a scientific field), open accessed or not.

  • If you don’t do it this way, you may lose your time and your research. Forget newspapers, business magazines or even books (at least as first option), which are fine to spread your work or reach consulting clients, but here we are talking about scientific output, for your academic curriculum. Do not mix them.

Neither confuse citation indexes or databases (which demand specific quality requirements to academic journals) with web search engines (or digital libraries), like Google Scholar, or CiteSeerX, which are part of the open access movement that is changing the publishing industry, and that we will have to take into account, but in the future.

As a general outline, scholars have to identify their 3/5 most relevant indexes where to publish: the two most prestigious generalists, the one focused on your research field, and the relevant index in your country or region.

  • Later we’ll see which journals we send our articles to, according to the journals impact factor (based on citations received by the papers published) and the quality of our research and experience.

For example, since my specialty is finance and risks, my indexes priorities are WoK, Scopus, Econlit/EBSCOhost (Economics)) and Latindex (Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal), in that order. And depending on the quality of my scientific production, I place them mentally.

  • Note that it is often easier and faster to publish in journals of lower order indexes (less known or prestigious) than of higher order, for various reasons that can be easily imagined.
  • The ideal is always publish in WoK indexed journals, but to be realistic, it’s more than enough publish one paper every year in each type of index, totaling 2/3 per year. But it depends on the capacity and ambition of each of us, and on the time required for the other academic activities: publish is not everything.

And you? Do you know “your indexes”?, Start the New Year by identifying the 3 or 4 most relevant databases in your field of expertise and region: ask your faculty/university library, review the journal indexes of your current research references, or even better, share this post with your peers, and then have a drink with them to see what they think about!

Start your love story with journals

blog3 - journal love

Whether you’re completely new to publishing, or are getting back onto the publishing scene after a break, there are a few things you should bear in mind before getting started.

After a thorough review of the literature, my conclusion is to keep MEETIC advice for dating, but applied to journals/editors instead of people:

  • Keep it real: You get what you give. Honesty and communication have often been viewed as the cornerstones of a happy relationship, so by being honest about yourself and what you’re looking for in a journal from the start, you’ll have a better chance of meeting a journal who’s right for you. (Target journals which fit your research quality and your curriculum excellence).
  • Get the most from your time. If you want to catch editors’ eyes and stand out from the crowd, it pays to be specific in your interests and to highlight the qualities you and your research have. (Submit well crafted papers).
  • Trust your instincts. Love generally happens over time, so if a journal you’ve never met or have recently made contact with asks you for money, they probably don’t have the best intention. (Wise piece of advice! Though I don’t necessarily agree with it regarding journals).
  • Be Date Smart. Meeting good journals for the first time can be extremely exciting, but be sure to keep your feet on the ground and stay sober throughout the date. (Heed what editors say, be positive and answer always in time, either accepted the paper with changes or rejected).
  • Long Distance Journals. Fifty years ago, the idea of ‘courting’ journals ‘who lived’ in the next town (much less across the globe) was pretty much unheard of. Today, technology has made it possible to publish in journals all over the world, and we constantly hear of inspiring long-distance and international journal love stories.

Every day, many academics successfully find love with journals on Gaudeamus, so why not get started now?

Publish or perish? The curse of the researcher


The idea of this post is to think about the need and urgency to publish in journals for an academic. To begin with, publishing regularly in good journals (peer-reviewed journals, covered in relevant indexes) is vital to upgrade your career as an academic.

This thing of publishing is a pimple I found when I finished my doctoral dissertation and started to take an interest in lecturing and academic career. I believed that to be smart and handsome (so to speak), to have a PhD and an MBA would be enough to get you hired at any university or business school. But it does not.

So there are two types of complementary reasons to publish in journals:

Reasons first class, politically correct, which editors love:

  • to improve the world and the science, producing solutions for our human problems.
  • because you are passionate about your research and you want to broadcast it.
  • as a reward in itself and a certification that your research activity is good enough.

Pragmatic reasons for pirates of the Caribbean, and survivors of the academic jungle:

  • to improve your curriculum and stand out.
  • to find a tenure position, or just a professor job.
  • to meet the requirements of the tenure, and not be fired.
  • to raise funds for your future research.

But, what are your objectives for publishing? Do you meet the rules? Or publishing is above anything else? Even jeopardizing your reputation in the publishing industry?

Research is fine, you learn, meet people and have fun (rich man), but many times the process of publishing is the other side of the coin (poor man). Gaudeamus helps you to improve the process of publishing in journals.

Focus and Scope

blog 1This blog is focused on helping academics, my peers, to get their research published in journals. How? By doing what I know to do and what I love: researching, writing and spreading my knowledge to others, that is why I am a university professor.

It is not that I am a champion of publication in journals, that everything that I send it is published at the first or that I break publication records, it is not the case even remotely. But I have been able to identify several small things of which I believe are key in this topic, and which I would like to share:

  • To give it the importance that it deserves, neither much nor little.
  • To incorporate the routine and the obligation to publish into our complicated agendas.
  • To understand the network of participants in this business: editors, journal managers and owners, publishing companies or reviewers, among others.
  • To identify the journals in which to publish, which index category, quartile or relevance, country or specialty, and how often to do it.
  • To build useful relationships with publishers.
  • To develop a method for producing attractive articles for editors and readers.
  • And many other things.

This blog therefore is not aimed at successful lecturers, with great local or international recognition, who think they do not need to publish in journals, but rather it is aimed at professors like me, hungry, wanting to build a consistent int’l curriculum and experience, who desperately look for approaching the publishing process in a smart and agile way.

Well, almost nothing!

%d bloggers like this: