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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 147-148

Indexing of journal: Impact or relevance

Department of Orthopaedics, University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital, Delhi, India

Date of Submission07-Jul-2021
Date of Acceptance07-Jul-2021
Date of Web Publication16-Jul-2021

Correspondence Address:
Manish Chadha
Department of Orthopaedics, University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital, Delhi.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ISJ.ISJ_62_21

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How to cite this article:
Chadha M, Jain AK. Indexing of journal: Impact or relevance. Indian Spine J 2021;4:147-8

How to cite this URL:
Chadha M, Jain AK. Indexing of journal: Impact or relevance. Indian Spine J [serial online] 2021 [cited 2023 Feb 4];4:147-8. Available from: https://www.isjonline.com/text.asp?2021/4/2/147/321564

Medicine as a science is constantly evolving based on ongoing research. This evolution occurs on the body of evidence available in the literature. Any research is useful for further scrutiny only if it is retrievable far and wide, not only during a researcher’s lifetime but even beyond. The researcher also feels a sense of accomplishment if the piece of research is available and appreciated by peers.

The recognition of scientific work can be in the form of an award in a scientific gathering with the limitation of it being available to few or limited numbers of peers. However, if research is published in a peer-reviewed quality journal then it is forever available to a large number of clinicians in the fraternity in distant corners of the world. The limitations of published research being useful depends on the quality of journal and its visibility.

Once we agree that publication of a research in a peer-reviewed journal is the key for dissipation of acquired knowledge, then the issue of selecting the journal becomes vital. It is most important to choose a journal for publication that is reputed and indexed so that genuine research is available to others.

Each and every author takes significant pain and gives considerable time to plan, execute the piece of research work, and write in the form of publishable research paper. It is equally important that authors are able to choose the correct journal for publication and avoid selecting the predatory journals whose sole intent in publishing a paper is for monetary gains and not necessarily to consider the scientific/moral content of the paper.

The visibility of a journal and its readership depends on getting indexed by one or more database(s).

Publishing in indexed journals that have been peer-reviewed and have a reputation for publishing genuine research is paramount and hence it is important to understand the evolution of various databases.

Indexation of a journal is considered a reflection of its quality. Indexed journals are considered to be of higher scientific quality as compared to nonindexed journals.[1] Each index a journal is added to will help expand its reach and potential impacts.[2] In the beginning, there was one database maintained by Index Medicus, which was started in 1879 and remained the benchmark till the early 2000s.[3] They continued to maintain a published database available to researchers and academic institutions till as late as 2004 when the printed copy of the Index was discontinued. With the advent of computers and networking, the cumbersome job of maintaining and searching the exhaustive database was gradually shifted online and hence MEDLAR and then MEDLINE[4],[5] came into vogue. These online resources came into existence as the need for rapid and easy access was felt by researchers. Currently, a number of indexation services are available. These range from the ones provided by publishers (like SCOPUS for Elsevier),[6] government regulated/funded like PUBMED,[7] and independent indexing agencies like Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).[8]

The indexing of a journal provides its authors the ability to increase the reach of their research to others and make their work “more discoverable” so to speak. This can be achieved in two ways. Firstly, indexing can be achieved by getting included in general search engines like Google[9] or mainstream scholarly search engines like Google Scholar,[10] but this is regardless of a journal’s publication history, citation count, or other specifications which academic databases require. Although this may give visibility to the published papers, it may not necessarily provide any academic weightage. Secondly, indexing can be achieved by getting included in general and discipline-specific scholarly indexing databases. Some of the most popular general indexing databases include SCOPUS,[6] Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory,[11] DOAJ,[8] Indian Citation Index (ICI),[12] Science Citation Index (SCI),[13] and EBSCO.[14]

Discipline-specific databases include SCI Expanded,[15] PubMed,[7] PubMed Central (PMC),[16] and MEDLINE[5].

These databases have a strict checklist that is followed to index any journal so that those indexed with them would have a basic minimum assured standard. Some of the common features that these indexers are looking at include the reputation not only of the editor but also the academic standing of the editorial board members. A clearly stated peer review policy is essential and mostly a double-blind review process with at least two reviewers per paper is mandatory. Needless to say, a regular and on-time publication schedule with a publication history of at least 2 years is needed for a journal to be considered for indexing. Above all there has to be an established copyright policy of the journal and a clearly stated malpractice policy is also expected. The journal/publisher should have at least the basic article-level data and a stated archiving system in place.

Other specific indexing requirements may include publication scope, readability of published articles, production quality, geographically diverse editorial boards and authors, and adequate citations. Depending upon the criteria and the rigorous review process, indexing is granted by these agencies to any journal. Also, the indexing agencies have a regular re-review mechanism too to ensure that the journals that have been granted indexation by them in the past continue to maintain the standards as required by them, else they may withdraw the recognition awarded. So if one publishes ones’ work in a journal that is indexed by a reputable indexing agency in one’s discipline, then it automatically provides the authors with respect from their peers. In recent times, publishing papers has also become a mandatory requirement from the National Medical Commission (earlier known as Medical Council of India) for promotion to academic posts in medical colleges.

The authors wish to publish their article in a journal that is most valued, read far and wide, and also cited by various authors. Libraries also choose the most respected and read journals for their members. For selection and promotion purposes, the resumes of clinicians/scientists are evaluated. Needless to say, a selection committee would give credit to research work published in a more valued journal.

Impact factor (IF) is now being used to evaluate the quality and prestige of a journal and is being increasingly used for ranking and evaluating the journals, judging the academic performance and the quality and importance of an individual research publication. The IF is a product of the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) of Philadelphia, PA. This has a database that lists the contents of scientific journals published worldwide. A paper that receives more citation is valued more. Similarly, the value of individual journals may be seen by reviewing these bibliographic data. It is called journal IF.[17]

In this context, it is with pride and pleasure that we wish to inform the readers and members of the Association of Spine Surgeons of India (ASSI) that Indian Spine Journal has achieved the first goal by being granted indexing by DOAJ and SCOPUS. It has been possible only with the active support of all contributors, reviewers, and the editorial staff. We would continue to strive for excellence in future too and look forward to showcasing the excellent academic work of our contributors.

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There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Balhara YP. Indexed journal: What does it mean? Lung India 2012;29:193.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  
Available from: https://blog.scholasticahq.com/post/index-types-for-academic-journal/. [Last accessed on 2021 June 23].  Back to cited text no. 2
Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_Medicus. [Last accessed on 2021 June 23].  Back to cited text no. 3
Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC225340/pdf/mlab00122-0088b.pdf. [Last accessed on 2021 June 23].  Back to cited text no. 4
Available from: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medline/medline_overview.html. [Last accessed on 2021 Jul 5].  Back to cited text no. 5
Available from: https://www.elsevier.com/en-in/solutions/scopus. [Last accessed on 2021 June 23].  Back to cited text no. 6
Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/about/. [Last accessed on 2021 June 23].  Back to cited text no. 7
Available from: https://doaj.org/about/. [Last accessed on 2021 June 23].  Back to cited text no. 8
Available from: https://www.google.com/. [Last accessed on 2021 Jul 5].  Back to cited text no. 9
Available from: https://scholar.google.com/intl/en/scholar/about.html. [Last accessed on 2021 Jul 5].  Back to cited text no. 10
Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulrich’s_Periodicals_Directory. [Last accessed on 2021 June 23].  Back to cited text no. 11
Available from: http://www.indiancitationindex.com/ici.aspx?target=aboutus. Last accessed on 2021 Jul 5.  Back to cited text no. 12
Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_Citation_Index. [Last accessed on 2021 June 23].  Back to cited text no. 13
Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_Search. [Last accessed on 2021 June 23].  Back to cited text no. 14
Available from: https://clarivate.com/webofsciencegroup/solutions/webofscience-scie/. [Last accessed on 2021 June 23].  Back to cited text no. 15
Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/about/intro/. [Last accessed on 2021 June 23].  Back to cited text no. 16
Jain AK. Impact factor: Measure of quality of research publication. Indian J Orthop 2011;45:289-90.  Back to cited text no. 17
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