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!

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8 Responses to Journals indexing: A Space Odyssey?

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