What Drives Indexing Potential? Authors' Influence and the Impactful Role They Play

By Emily Leister on Aug 30, 2022
Indexing-Potential There are a number of indexing, abstracting lists, directories, and repositories all over the world that house premier research from a variety of quality sources. Many of these are widely known to researchers such as Web of Science, Scopus, Ei Compendex, Inspec, PsycINFO, Cabells, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB). Researchers from every area of research rely on these as sources to indicate what the top-quality research is in their fields, as well as a way to easily find research that they need for their work. However, many researchers do not understand the full extent of the role they play in securing an indexing status for a publication, nor that they can directly influence what is indexed or not.
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Why is Indexing Important in Publishing?
Indexing is of paramount importance in publishing, especially when it comes to journals. Not only does it help make authors’ content more discoverable, but it also helps further its reach within the academic community, allowing it to be viewed by more than just a handful of researchers. Indexes and abstracting lists allow for individuals in and out of the academic community to find and use the content that is published. Equally as important is the increasing pressure from institutions to only be published in indexed publications. In an age where the market is flooded with journals competing to publish the highest caliber of work and the latest innovative research, indexing is a further mark of credibility, validating the existence of the journal and its objective.
Why Should Authors Care About Indexing?
As mentioned prior, indexing and abstracting allows an author’s research to become more visible, it increases the citation rate and usage, and it adds further credibility to their work. Being highly indexed provides assistance with certain governmental or institutional mandates, as well as assists in acquiring Open Access funding.
What Are Indices Looking For?
Many of the most prominent indices are highly selective of the publications that they will include on their lists. As such, many lists have some sort of criteria that a publication must follow, with such criteria ranging from basic, such as the title simply needing to have a peer review process, to very strict criteria, such as Web of Science’s 24 criteria on quality and 4 criteria on impact. However, most of these indices are looking for work that match the following criteria:
High Citation Impact/Impact on Research Community
Publications that show a growth in their usage that are making a clear impact on other academicians and their research are more likely to be indexed.
High-Quality Editorial/Peer-Review/Ethicality Process
A rigorous peer review process showcasing thorough reviews and selectivity of the research published is necessary for indexing. Overall, a publication should practice the best ethical procedures.
Content that is new and forthcoming and published in a timely manner is considered above others. Publications showing growth of content year after year are more favorable.
Quality Content
The quality of the content should be high with it being of direct value to the academic community. This can include clear arguments, concise descriptions, accuracy of spelling, grammar, etc., and analysis of new and emerging research that is clearly beneficial to other researchers in the field.
Consistency of Published Content
Publications producing consistently top-level work and outputting a consistent amount of research annually (especially for journals), are more likely to be considered for indexing.
Diversity of Content and Contributors
Publications that showcase international diversity of authorship with content that is globally relevant and used have a higher chance of becoming indexed.
What Can Authors Do to Improve the Impact and Indexing Potential of Their Work?
Publishers will do their part to disseminate the authors work as widely as possible, including:
  • Applying journals to premier indexing and abstracting lists including Web of Science and Scopus.
  • Applying published work to OA directories/repositories. If you have found, or submitted your own work, to some interesting or reputable OA repositories, please let us know! We are constantly researching new repositories.
  • Coordinating with everyone involved with the manuscript’s production to garner interest in what is being published.
  • Sharing authors work with our mailing list of over 100,000+ researchers.
  • Sharing and retweeting authors work with our social media accounts.
However, authors have the greatest influence over how their work is perceived and shared as they have the most expertise and clout within their field. As acknowledged above, author papers drive the ability for books and journals to become indexed based on their quality, timeliness, and impact on the research community. Following best ethical practices when conducting studies, focusing on research that is emerging, forthcoming, and impactful, and utilizing professional copyediting services when needed are all efforts that authors can take to ensure that their work is of the highest quality.
Importantly, authors have a direct power over the discoverability of their published work, which impacts the citation rate and usage of their research, further increasing its chances of being indexed. Authors are leading researchers in their subject area, so others respect their opinion and efforts. Authors looking to have their work indexed can increase the visibility of their article or chapter by:
  • Posting on institutional repositories
  • Posting on social media
  • Creating a short video discussing the essence of the research and posting to their YouTube channel or other video hosting platforms, and providing embed links and coding to the publisher to utilize for sharing the video. Click here for guidelines and more information.
  • Usage in a course pack
  • Sharing with colleagues
  • Communicating with associations and partnerships
  • Sharing via conferences and events
It is important to note that articles and chapters published under the traditional, subscription-based model may post the paper’s title and abstract to the places mentioned above. For articles and chapters published under an Open Access model, authors may share the full manuscript. For more information, please see IGI Global’s Fair Use Policy.
For those able to secure funding (for help finding funding, please see IGI Global’s Initiatives & Discounts page), we encourage transitioning standard, subscription-based articles or chapters to Open Access through the Retrospective Open Access Program, as Open Access affords greater sharing capabilities and dissemination of the full research, including the ability to post the full paper on third-party platforms such as ResearchGate, Academia, etc. If you are interested in how Open Access publishing effects indexing, click here.
While there’s a stringent selection process and careful review is undertaken of all materials, much of the indexing selection process is based on the citation rate and impact that a publication has on the academic community. It is difficult for an index to turn away a publication that is demonstrating strong impact and strong citation metrics. It is hoped that authors will feel empowered to support their research and the research of their colleagues by looking at these opportunities for further disseminating and ensuring the usage of the quality research that they have worked so carefully on. There is so much that authors can do to help drive the consideration of their work and IGI Global is here to partner with them in this endeavor.
For more information, please contact the Indexing Team at indexing@igi-global.com.
About IGI Global

Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA with a subsidiary office (IGI Science and Technology, Ltd.), operating out of Beijing, China, IGI Global is a leading medium-sized independent academic publisher of international scientific research. They are committed to facilitating the discovery of pioneering research that enhances and expands the body of knowledge available to the research community through traditional and open access publishing workflows. Working in close collaboration with expert researchers and professionals from leading institutions, IGI Global publishes quality peer-reviewed content across 350+ topics in 11 core subject areas, including business, computer science, education, engineering, healthcare, social sciences, and more. With over 150,000+ industry-leading researchers and experts worldwide contributing to IGI Global’s publications, they ensure that each contains the most emerging and timeliest research. Learn more about IGI Global here.

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