Why Scopus is Important

Understand the importance of Scopus to Academic Researchers
By Nikki Borgel on Nov 27, 2020
eContent Pro International

For years, having published research has been required for most academics seeking tenure at their university, but recently, it has become more common for universities to only recognize research published in prestigiously indexed and abstracted journals. These requirements are arising because indices give specific metrics that rank the success of the journal and the citation impact of each author. High ratings help authors and their affiliated universities gain recognition in the academic community and access to greater research funding, which in turn allows their careers and programs to flourish.

Some of the most sought-after indices and abstracting services include Web of Science™, Scopus®, INSPEC, PsycInfo®, and others. Because of the prestige of these indices, included journals receive a greater number of submissions for each issue, increasing the competition for each coveted spot in the journal. With greater competition comes higher-quality papers in the submission queue and lower acceptance rates, meaning it is far more difficult to be accepted into these publications than those that are not yet indexed.

The push for indexing means that for many academics, the stress of publishing their research goes far beyond simply being accepted. All journals require their submissions to be polished and ready for peer review, indicating it can be a critical mistake not to have your manuscript professionally reviewed before submission.

Fortunately, eContent Pro International is available to help authors and researchers at every step of their publication journey by offering comprehensive and professional editorial services including Copy Editing & Proofreading and Journal Recommendation. With the stress of indexing in mind, we recognize that not every researcher is an expert in indices even if their career relies on their inclusion. As such, the eContent Pro International team has put together a comprehensive profile of one of the largest indices, Scopus, and all its requirements. 

What is Scopus?

After being founded by Elsevier in 2004, Scopus has grown rapidly to become the largest index and citation database on the market. Scopus includes research in a wide variety of interdisciplinary topics but categorizes all their content into four categories: health sciences, life sciences, social sciences, physical sciences. They include a wealth of research from more than 24,000 peer reviewed journals, 194,000 books, and feature over 75 million articles and chapters. Despite being an index this large, every publication included in the Scopus database undergoes a rigorous review period to verify its quality and contribution to the scientific community.

What Makes Scopus Unique?

With its status as the largest index on the market, many universities are beginning to require that their professors publish in journals featured in Scopus as a way to advertise their prestige as a university and also garner attention for new students and research funding. While Scopus does not feature things like Web of Science’s Funding Data Index, Scopus has a variety of characteristics that set it apart from Web of Science and other influential indices. These unique characteristics include:

  • Historic Content – Scopus features select content dating back to 1788.
  • Highly Selective Advisory Board – The Scopus Content Selection and Advisory Board (CSAB) only accepts about 630 of the 3500 yearly submissions, proving they provide only the highest quality research in their index. The criteria Scopus uses to judge journals and publications is extensive and includes things such as:
    • Consistent publication
    • ISSN
    • Content readable to an international audience (English titles/abstracts, roman letters in citations)
    • Publicly available publication ethics and malpractice statement
    • Presence of peer review
    • Diversity of authors and editors
    • Convincing editorial policies
    • Contribution to the academic field
    • Clarity of abstracts
    • Conformity to the Aims and Scope
    • Readability of articles
    • Citedness in other Scopus publications
    • Online availability
    • Quality of journal webpage
  • Intense Yearly Evaluation Procedures – Scopus also has a consistent system in place that allows them to regularly reevaluate indexed journals to ensure they are adhering to Scopus guidelines. The six criteria Scopus looks for in reevaluation procedures are:
    • Self-citation rate – Journal has a self-citation rate less than two times higher than peer journals in its field
    • Total citation rate – Journal has received half as many or more citations than peer journals in its field
    • CiteScore – Journal has more than half the average CiteScore among peer journals in its field
    • Number of articles – Journal produced more than half as many articles as the average journal in its field
    • Number of full-text clicks on the Scopus site – Journal’s full text is used more than half as much as other journals in its subject area on the Scopus site
    • Abstract usage on Scopus.com – Abstracts are used more than half as much as peer journals on the Scopus site.
  • Creator of Popular Quality Metrics – Scopus has its own set of popular journal quality ratings such as the H Index, SJR (Scimago Journal Rank), CiteScore, and SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Paper), all of which are useful metrics for authors, editors, and publishers to evaluate the success and reach of their content against other articles within their subject area.

What is the Process of Acceptance?

Any journal can be submitted for inclusion in Scopus by its publisher or Editor-in-Chief (EiC) by using the Scopus Title Suggestion Page. From there, the journal’s information is brought before the Scopus Content Selection and Advisory Board (CSAB). This board is made up of scientists, researchers, and librarians from around the world who specialize in specific subject areas. The board reviews the journals based on Scopus’ outlined criteria and recommends the acceptance or rejection of a journal. They also participate in the reevaluation process to ensure Scopus is staying up to date with the content that is most relevant to the international academic community in each field.

If indexing is a primary concern to you as an author, finding a journal that meets your needs is a top priority. Fortunately, eContent Pro International’s free Journal Finder can help. To use this free service and receive the most relevant journal recommendations for your article, simply enter your manuscript title, subject area, keywords, and abstract in the straightforward webform. Once submitted, it will provide you with five relevant Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) affiliated journals in your subject area along with their titles, publishers, and links to the journal’s website.

To further streamline this process and provide additional information, eContent Pro International offers a Journal Recommendation service. This paid service builds upon the free journal finder and provides in-depth reports created by an expert eContent Pro International editor. Simply just submit your manuscript and any key criteria (i.e. specific indices, open access availability, etc.) They will review your requirements and provide a customized report of recommended journals that will include metrics and indexing, editorial board information, and important submission links. This paid service is ideal for researchers looking to save time, as navigating journal websites to find all of the necessary information you need to select a target journal can take hours or even days depending on your subject area and personal criteria. The expert journal recommendation team provides all the information you need in a single, personalized pdf in 3-5 business days. 

While finding the perfect journal for your research may be one of the most important aspects of the research publication process, ensuring your research is the most polished it can be for submission is also vital. Whether you are faced with a quick turnaround time for a new round of edits or in need of a proof of copy-editing certificate, utilizing our high-quality, affordable, and expeditious editorial services on your manuscript can increase the chance of being accepted in a publication of your choice in the shortest amount of time.

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To learn more about how our services can enhance your document or to upload a project, please visit our webpage here, or contact us directly at customerservice@econtentpro.com or 717-533-4010.

About eContent Pro International: eContent Pro International is a U.S.-based, professional editorial and publishing services provider for authors, publishing houses, libraries, organizations, university presses, and societies. Offering professional copy editing, translation, scientific and scholarly editing, journal recommendation, typesetting, figure, chart, table, and equation conversions, as well as other production services, we have provided the highest quality editorial services and content advisement to scholarly outlets and individuals around the world. To learn more about eContent Pro International, visit the website here or email customerservice@econtentpro.com.

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