Q: How to get a journal indexed in multiple databases?

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Thank you for the useful tips in your post Journal indexing 101: Understanding the basics. The last paragraph, however, raised some questions on how it is possible to index on multiple databases. As far as I know, most of them (Elsevier, Springer, etc.) offer an exclusive distribution agreement only, unless the journal is Open Access. Is there a standard type of agreement that allows the journal to be visible on multiple platforms? Or are those types only offered via less influential platforms for most of the time?

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Answer:

You’ve raised a very interesting question! There may not be an immediate and very specific answer to it. Journal indexing is a complex system. If we consider indexing as a means of increasing journal visibility, then, theoretically, the more databases a journal is indexed in the greater is the visibility of the research it publishes. Also, considering the fact that research today is becoming more and more interdisciplinary, getting indexed in multiple databases has greater benefits.

Throw in the open access element and things get more dynamic – there are different types and levels of open access, and indexing in the open access and mixed access scenario takes a whole new form. Having said that, it may not be uncommon for publishers to offer an exclusive distribution platform, and this could often be the case with larger publishers that manage a gamut of journals from different fields.

However, in some cases, it would be possible for journals to be indexed in more than one database. As for the type of agreement that Abstracting and Indexing (A&I) services use, this could differ between services and it may not be possible to easily access these terms and conditions in detail. Having said that, I assume, a journal would approach multiple A&I services with full disclosure, i.e., “We have already been indexed in database A and would like to be considered for inclusion in B.”

So the last paragraph in the article about journal indexing was intended to be generic and assumed that dynamic conditions would be at play in the journal indexing process, given the complex scenarios in the scholarly publishing space today.

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