Three times workshop on: how to get your journal published in Scopus.

I have attended workshop on Scopus and Journal things for at least three times, since I eager to bring our IJBES to be indexed by Scopus. The first two workshops were organized by UTM Library in 2015 and 2016 with speakers from Scopus, and the last one was organized by UTM Press.

The speakers of third workshop were from Malaysian Citation Center (Pusat Sitasi Malaysia). All journal Editors published by UTM Press were invited. But only few editors attended the workshop.

 

During the evaluation of all UTM Journal, IJBES performed well along with Jurnal Teknologi, Sains Humanika, and Matematika. IJBES is the youngest Journal in UTM.

Chicken or Egg? who (or which) comes first?.

Up until this post is published, I am Managing Editor of International Journal of Built Environment and Sustainability (IJBES). To be recognized by international audiences, IJBES submitted an application to Content Selection and Advisory Board (CSAB) for evaluation to be included in Scopus Index in October 2016, after two years of IJBES publication in 2014. We were aware that expert reviews are based on five criteria. The criteria are:

    1. Journal Policy. This criterion includes: (a) Convincing editorial policy (b) type of peer review (c) diversity in geographical distribution of editors, and (d) diversity in geographical distribution of authors.
    2. Content: (a) Academic contribution to the field (b) clarity of abstracts (c) quality and conformity with stated aims and scope (d) readability of articles.
    3. Journal Standing: (a) Citedness of journal articles in Scopus (b) Editor standing.
    4. Regularity: No delay in the publication schedule.
    5. Online availability: (a) Content available online (b)English language journal home page available (c) quality of journal home page

The above five criteria are basically categorized into two parts: quantity (1, 4 and 5), and quantity (1, 2, 3,  and 5).

We received the following comments and suggestions from Scopus:

(1,+ive): The abstracts are in keeping with Scopus English Language requirements. 
(2,-ive): There are a few good, informative articles, but also many articles that make little contribution to the field. 
(3,-ive): The journal shows an uneven scholarly quality in the articles 
(4,-ive): Despite being published for quite some time, articles in this title have attracted few citations by other titles currently covered by Scopus. 
(5,-ive): Journal title implies that it is international but this is not supported by the stated aims and scope. 
(6,-ive): Many good international journals already cover this subject area.
(7,+ive): Although the scope of this journal is narrow, it addresses the need of an important niche audience. 

The above Scopus’ suggestions do not imply the quantity issue. Thus, the anticipations by IJBES during the submission of application is in right track. The quality issue, on the other hand, is hard to accomplish at the same time within short period.

For a journal, to get indexed by Scopus, it needs quality article that contributes to the field (comments #2) and attract other to cite the article in Scopus indexed Journal (comments #4). But, on the other hand, the quality articles most probably will not be submitted to non-Scopus indexed Journal like IJBES. This is like a chicken and egg dilemma, who comes first? or which one comes first?

We will resubmit for Scopus evaluation after embargo period in April 2020.