How to Get Your Journal Indexed in the Web of Science

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How to get your journal indexed in the Web of Science?

If you are in the academic publishing industry or part of a journal’s editorial team, you know how important this question is. A researcher would also want to publish in a high-impact journal indexed in the Web of Science as this means their paper gets wide exposure, especially if the journal article published is of high quality and scholarly value.

How to get your journal indexed in the Web of Science

Equally important is knowing that getting a journal indexed in one of the Web of Science’s databases is challenging.

I know. We’ve been there, done that. It’s a process that requires a meticulous approach, perseverance and patience.

Getting your journal indexed in the Web of Science is a significant achievement that can enhance its visibility and credibility. The process involves four stages, each with specific criteria that must be met.

This write-up will guide you through these stages and provide guidelines on how to meet the requirements. Essentially, this is the extract of the journal evaluation process and criteria outlined by Web of Science, but the original content is pretty lengthy and might be challenging to consume for some.

Before starting the application process, ensure your journal is not already indexed in the Web of Science. You can check this by referring to the Web of Science’s journal master list.

Stage 1: Initial Triage

The first stage of the selection process is the Initial Triage. In this stage, your journal must meet the following:

  1. Your journal must have a registered and visible ISSN on the website and in the articles.
  2. The title of the publication should match the ISSN and the field of research. It should be indicated in each article, on the issue, in the journal, and on the website.
  3. The publisher’s name should be displayed and verifiable, and a postal address must be included.
  4. The URL and access to the latest issue’s content should be provided if the journal is available online and in print.
  5. The Web of Science editorial team must have access to the full content of the publication.
  6. The journal should also have an editorial and peer review policy, and the editorial team’s contact details and role descriptions should be present.

Stage 2: Editorial Triage

The second stage is the Editorial Triage. In this stage, your journal will be assessed on the following criteria:

  1. Primarily, the journal should comprise original scientific content (articles) and research papers.
  2. The article titles and abstracts should be in English. However, if a journal publishes non-English content, the publisher must translate it into English.
  3. Citations, author’s name and institutional affiliation must be accurately and adequately provided and in Roman script to allow a smooth indexing process.
  4. The journal content provided should be in clarity to provide comprehension.
  5. The publisher must indicate if the journal publishes on a certain publication frequency (which needs to be complied with) or publishes in irregular cycles (e.g., three issues per year). The journal must prove that it has an adequate volume of papers to sustain and has published enough content for adequate assessment.
  6. The journal website must have well-structured navigation and information that include the editorial board, instructions to authors, peer review, access model, and more. Additionally, the journal’s URL must be linked to the publisher’s website (and vice versa).
  7. Ethics Statements involving authors’ responsibilities and their published work should be present.
  8. Details of the editorial board members should be provided (name, affiliation, author’s ID and/or profile link).
  9. Details on contributing authors’ affiliations must be provided.

Stage 3: Editorial Evaluation

The third stage is the Editorial Evaluation. In this crucial stage, journals will be assessed on the following factors:

  1. Editorial board composition, including affiliation, geographical distribution, size and expertise.
  2. Adherence of journal operation to the policies and statements stipulated in the journal’s information (web).
  3. Signs of effective peer review presence.
  4. The content published is relevant to the defined aim and scope of the journal.
  5. Appropriate indication and acknowledgment of grant research involved, where applicable.
  6. Editorial policies are aligned with recognized best practices (e.g., COPE) and community standards.
  7. Good author distribution (geographic variety, institutional affiliations) relevant to the journal’s scope of publication.
  8. Adequate and accurate citations.

Stage 4: Impact Criteria

The fourth and final stage, the Impact Criteria, evaluates the journal’s impact. In this stage, journals will be evaluated based on the following:

  1. Citation analysis, where those with good citation impact are given the preference.
  2. Author’s citation network and analysis
  3. Editorial board citation analysis to give weightage to journals with high-impact editorial board members.
  4. The significance and influence of the content published. Good content should be of value and importance to the community and academia.

Once you have ensured that your journal meets all these criteria, you can fill out the application form on the Web of Science Publisher Portal.

In summary, to get your journal indexed successfully in the Web of Science, your journal must pass four levels of assessments: the Initial Triage, Editorial Triage, Editorial Evaluation and Impact Criteria.

If your journal meets the quality criteria after the application, any missing content will be indexed. However, if it is removed from coverage due to breaches of editorial standards, the content will not be backfilled. In serious cases, published content may even be removed from the Web of Science.

It’s important to note that the Web of Science re-evaluates journals periodically to ensure they continue to meet the quality criteria. If concerns are raised about a journal’s quality, it will be re-evaluated, and new content will not be indexed during this process. If the journal no longer meets the quality criteria, it will be removed from coverage.

In conclusion, getting your journal indexed in the Web of Science requires careful preparation and adherence to the specified criteria. It’s a rigorous process, but the benefits of being indexed in this prestigious database make it worth the effort.

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