Get Indexed: List of Prominent Indices for Academic Journals
Journals Indexing

Get Indexed: List of Prominent Indices for Academic Journals

Shanu K
Shanu K

Table of Contents

Top-Journal-Indexing-Databases

INTRODUCTION

When you start an academic journal and get the first issue out of the door, the most logical next step is to start driving traffic to your content. The best way to do so is via academic indices.

Getting indexed in prominent indices guarantees a steady inflow of viable readership that can translate into higher submissions, increased citations and eventual increase in impact factor. It is also a mark of trust and authenticity since most popular indices have strict inclusion policies. (Read more about ways to increase journal readership)

However, identifying good indices is a task in itself, hence this blog post. We have categorized the list and added resources or hints on how to get indexed wherever available.

For brand new journals and publishers, it will be difficult to get into most of these indexes. This list is by no means exhaustive and we’d highly recommend that you research and apply to more indexes, especially in your field where the inclusion criteria may not be too strict. Once you’ve been around for a couple of years, published a few solid issues and exhibited good publishing practices, getting indexed in the prominent indices listed below will get way easier.

List of Prominent Indices for Academic Journals

Category 1: Academic Search Engines

Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic et. al.

Academic search engines differ from generic search engines. While the latter feature any and every source of content, the former is intended for searching only scholarly content.

The users of academic search engines are a niche group of scholars, researchers, students and those interested in funding and conducting research. Of course, anyone can search for content via these search engines, but by and large, your journal’s reach will be highly focused and targeted at the scholarly community if it is indexed in one of these.

Google-Scholar-list-of-prominent-indices
Google-Scholor

Google Scholar (GS): Unlike most of the indices in this post, I want to go into a little detail about how publishers can get indexed in Google Scholar because of how critical it can be for a digital journal’s growth.

It is not too tough to get in, guidelines are clear-cut, and if you do not have a lot of tech know-how, you may need the help of someone who can help you with fulfilling GS’s technical criteria for inclusion.

Read through GS’s inclusion guidelines. Manuscripts you’ve auto-formatted with SciSpace (Formerly Typeset) can fulfill all of their requirements.

Once your journal meets their inclusion and technical criteria, go ahead and submit it for review here: Google Scholar Journal Website Submission

Microsoft-Academic-Search-journal-indexing-site
Microsoft Academic Search

Microsoft Academic (MA): There is no submission form for MA. If your w ebsite is indexed in Bing and your content follows HTML standards for academic content as outlined in Google Scholar’s inclusion criteria, you are good to go. MA will eventually crawl and make your journal articles and abstracts searchable.

Category 2: Academic Databases

Scopus, Web of Science et. al.

Scopus-Journal-Indexing-Database
Scopus

Scopus: Getting indexed in Scopus is considered an achievement by most journals because the inclusion criteria are quite comprehensive. Indexation in this database is a mark of the journal’s publishing and content quality standards.

Read more about Scopus’ selection criteria, evaluation process, and content policy. If you feel your journal meets Scopus’ guidelines, submit it for a pre-evaluation.

Web-of-Science-Journal-Indexing-Database
Web of Science

Web of Science (WoS): Another popular and trusted academic index, Web of Science is tough to get into too. Read through their editorial selection process and if you meet their criteria, go ahead and submit your journal by reading through and clicking ‘OK’ on their electronic journal submission page.

Category 3: OA Indexes

DOAJ, PubMed Central

DOAJ and PubMed Central (PMC) are two of the most popular and most trusted Open Access indices. If you publish an open access journal, DOAJ is an index you should aspire to get into. It is non-specific and journals from any field can apply for inclusion. PMC is more restricted — it only accepts journals that focus on biomedical sciences and life sciences. We have covered their indexation processes in two previous blog posts:

How to Get Your Journal Articles Indexed in DOAJ: The Go-To Guide for OA Publishers

How to Get Your Articles Indexed in PubMed: The Go-To Guide for Publishers

Category 4: Search Engines

The Big Three: Google, Bing, Yahoo

With publications moving online, acquiring readership has moved beyond showing up on library racks. Search engines are fast becoming one of the biggest sources of relevant traffic for journal content.

How to get your journal indexed in search engines

First, you will need a website. Ideally, each journal should have its own website if you are a multi-journal publisher. The website should be as comprehensive as possible and should give visitors all the information they will need to get a clear idea about the journal and its working. Having a website is a requirement for almost all other prominent indices as well, so it makes sense to get one up and running even before you publish your first issue. There are several free DIY website builders, including Wix.com, Weebly, etc. or you could get a professional developer to create one for you.

List-of-prominent-indices

Once ready, go ahead and submit your website for indexation at these links for the three major search engines:

Google: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/submit-url

Bing: https://www.bing.com/webmaster/help/submit-urls-to-bing-62f2860a

Yahoo: Submission to Bing should get you indexed in Yahoo as well.

Most search engines quote a waiting period of 6 to 8 weeks. However, typically, websites are indexed quickly enough — within 48 hours or so after submission.

Post submission of your website’s link, the search engines will index your website. Regularly update the site with new content (e.g. updates about upcoming issues, abstracts of new articles, blog posts, press releases, etc.) to improve your site’s SEO and ranking.

If you are an open-access publisher, convert your articles to JATS XML. This format is machine-readable and can be crawled by search engines. This will significantly increase the chances of your articles showing up high in relevant search results. Read this blog post for more info: JATS XML: Everything a Publisher Needs to Know.

Category 5: Subject-Specific Indices

MEDLINE, AGRICOLA, CAS et. al.

There are numerous subject-specific indices. You could do a quick Google search to find indices that match your journal’s coverage. Wikipedia has an exhaustive list, as well. However, some of them may be defunct, so you’ll need to sieve through.

Here are some popular indexes that have narrower focuses than those listed above:

MEDLINE: Only indexes journals in the bioscience and medical fields. Read more about their requirements and indexation processes in our previous blog post: How to Get Your Articles Indexed in MedLine (US NLM Database): Guide for Journals

AGRICOLA (AGRICultural OnLine Access): As the name suggests, this index is specifically for agricultural literature. Read how to get a journal indexed in AGRICOLA.

Chemical Abstracts Service: While heavily focused on chemistry-related articles, CAS also includes content from life sciences and related fields. You can submit your journal for review via their journal information form.

Category 6: Geography-Specific Indices

Indian Citation Index, CiNii, Arachne et. al.

geographic-specific-indices

Besides subject, another good niche to target is geographies. Search for local indexes that exclusively cover academic journals in your country. Talk to your local or university library for help finding and applying to these geography-specific indexes. These will, again, be relatively easier to get into. Some examples are given below:

Indian Citation Index: A multidisciplinary abstracts and citations database of Indian scholarly journals.

CiNii: A multidisciplinary database of over 15 million articles in the Japanese language.

Arachne: This is a German language database focused on archeology and art history.

IT ALL BOILS DOWN TO THIS

This is the truth and I am going to lay it to you straight: You need to put in real hard work ONCE. Even if you are a new publisher, pick the inclusion criteria for a tough-to-get-into index and go to work with it. Make sure your website meets their policies, you follow best practices in publishing from day one, and build a strong editorial team. For instance, for OA journals I’d recommend trying to meet DOAJ’s guidelines.

If you make your journal ready for one prominent index, you will find that, barring minor changes, it is ready for just about any other index you may want to get into!

All the best!

Before You Go,

Appendix:

If you found the above article interesting, the following blogs might also interest you.

  1. 10 Ways to Get More High-Quality Submissions for Your Academic Journal
  2. How to Increase Journal Readership: The Complete Checklist
  3. How to Start an Open-Access Journal
  4. How to Submit Metadata to Crossref: A Step by Step Guide