Web of Science: how journals are selected for inclusion

Web of Science is one of the main metrics tools that will be used to inform REF2021, however, not all journals are indexed within it.

This useful link explains how the journal selection process works.

Here is a summary of the key points:

The Web of Science Core Collection now contains four main Citation Indexes, the established Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) and Arts & Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), plus a new Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI).  The ESCI is mainly a source for some of the more recently established journal titles that are being evaluated with respect to their quality and influence within academic publishing; titles in this index do not have impact factors and do not appear within the Journal Citation Reports.

The following factors are taken into consideration when including journals within the indexes:

  • Publishing standards, such as the peer review process, format, timeliness and bibliographic information in English
  • Editorial content
  • International focus
  • Citation analysis

These stringent rules ensure that only the most cited journals are included in the 3 established indexes. However, some good quality journals are excluded, especially those outside science. This is why being familiar with other sources such as a Scopus and metrics such as Scimago is important to get a clearer picture of citations.

Remember to visit the following Library & Learning Support Guides for additional information:

Jose Lopez Blanco,  jlopezblanco@bournemouth.ac.uk
HSS Faculty Librarian