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Content policy and selection

Scopus delivers quality content: An overview for individuals

For your research to be the best that it can be, you need access to the most up-to-date and highest-quality interdisciplinary content out there. This is why Scopus has a clearly stated selection policy and an internationally acclaimed board of selection experts, so you can be sure that what you see on Scopus meets your high standards.

While most of the information provided on this page is written for publishers wishing to have their content included on Scopus, we invite you to read on. We hope you'll get a sense of the level of scrutiny and focus on authority that is the hallmark of Scopus.

What publishers need to know: Continuously reviewing and expanding Scopus

As the largest indexer of global research content, Scopus includes titles from more than 7,000 publishers worldwide. These journals, books and conference papers are visible to millions of Scopus users, who in turn read your content and then cite it in papers, in grant applications and reports, and in patent applications. To ensure that Scopus serves the broadest information needs of researchers, our Content Selection and Advisory Board (CSAB) continuously reviews suggestions and publishing programs in order to expand our content listings.

Scopus helps to:

  • Increase the visibility of your publication(s)

  • Deliver a global audience of researchers and experts for your peer-review programs

  • Track the performance of your publication(s)

  • Monitor competitive publications

Title evaluation process

We are proud of our transparent selection process and independent review board. The international experts on our content selection and advisory board continually review new titles using both quantitative and qualitative measures. Only serial titles may be suggested to the content selection and advisory board for inclusion on Scopus. Serials include journals, book series or conference series. Suggestions may be made by publishers or editors of a title. Individual researchers and librarians can also suggest titles for Scopus, but these suggestions need the support from the publisher and/or editor. Before suggesting a serial title, please:

The individual who suggests a title and the publisher (if different) will be informed about the outcome of the review and reason(s) for the decision. Please be advised that Scopus is pro-actively adding titles to its evaluation pipeline that can potentially enrich the database. Note that in such cases the evaluation will only commence after consent has given by the publisher or journal management. You can also track the progress of the evaluation process by entering the unique Tracking ID provided at the time of submission into the Title Evaluation TrackerWird in neuem Tab/Fenster geöffnet.

Title re-evaluation policy

The quality of our content is paramount for Scopus. In addition to journals undergoing a rigorous evaluation and selection processes prior to acceptance into Scopus, they must also demonstrate the ability to maintain their quality status year over year.

To determine journal quality, Scopus runs an ongoing Re-evaluation program, which identifies outlier and underperforming journals in four different ways:

  1. The journal is underperforming as it does not meet any of the three metrics and benchmarks for journals in the same subject area

  2. Concerns about the publication standards of the journal or publisher have been raised by formal complaints

  3. The journal shows outlier behavior based on its publishing performance in Scopus

  4. Continuous curation based on CSAB feedback

1. Metrics and benchmarks

Once a year, Scopus analyzes the performance of all journals in the database. All journals must meet the below three metrics and benchmarks in the table below. If a journal does not meet all of the three benchmarks for two consecutive years, it will be flagged for re-evaluation by the independent CSAB.


Benchmark and Explanation

Self-citation rate

The journal has a substantially higher self-citation rate, when compared to peer journals in its subject field.

Total citation rate

The journal received a substantially lower number of citations, when compared to peer journals in its subject field.


The journal has a substantially lower CiteScore, when compared to peer journals in its subject field.

2. Publication concerns

A journal can also be flagged for Re-evaluation based on publication concerns at either the publisher or journal level. Concerns for such journals are identified by Scopus or flagged to Scopus by the research community. If the concern is legitimate, the title will be added to the Re-evaluation program and re-evaluated by the CSAB in the year of identification of the publication concern.

3. Outlier performance

Elsevier Data Scientists created a data analytics algorithm called RADAR to identify journal outlier performance in the Scopus database. Outlier journal signals include, but are not limited to: 

  • Rapid and unexplainable changes to the number of articles published;  

  • Unexplainable changes in the geographical diversity of authors or affiliations;

  • Unexplainable shifts in publication topics compared to the journal’s aims and scope;

  • Self-citation rates.

The tool improves continuously by incorporating new examples or signals. It runs regularly to check all Scopus journals for outlier performance.

4. Continuous curation

Since the establishment of the CSAB in 2010, Scopus has continuously collected review data as part of the content curation process. For example, the CSAB can indicate whether any accepted title should be evaluated again in the future. This is an ongoing process and ensures continuous curation of Scopus content.

All titles identified for underperformance, publication standard concerns, outlier behavior, or during continuous content curation will be re-evaluated by the CSAB. The review criteria for re-evaluation are identical to the Scopus content selection criteria used for newly suggested titles. Upon completion of the re-evaluation process, the CSAB will decide to either continue a journal’s coverage or to discontinue the forward flow of the journal's coverage in Scopus (content covered in Scopus prior to the re-evaluation completion will remain in Scopus). Discontinued titles will only be considered for evaluation again 5 years after the discontinuation decision was made.

Download the Source title listWird in neuem Tab/Fenster geöffnet (incl. Scopus discontinued sources list)

For questions, please contact: [email protected]Wird in neuem Tab/Fenster geöffnet

Publication ethics and publication malpractice statements

Publication malpractice is an unfortunate occurrence in the world of scholarly literature. It happens in all subject areas and in all jurisdictions; and few journals or books are immune. The prevention of publication malpractice is the responsibility of every author, editor, reviewer, publisher and institution.

Scopus requires that every journal we index has clear and publicly available statements of publication ethics and publication malpractice. Scopus will hold each publisher listed in the database accountable for the performance and compliance with these policies. Scopus does not mandate any specific wording of publication ethics and publication malpractice statements, but notes that:

For more information on the importance of Ethics in Research and Publication, see researcheracademy.elsevier.comWird in neuem Tab/Fenster geöffnet.

Journals scope and selection criteria

To be considered for review, journal titles should meet all of these minimum criteria:

  • Consist of peer-reviewed content and have a publicly available description of the peer review process

  • Be published on a regular basis and have an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) as registered with the ISSN International CentreWird in neuem Tab/Fenster geöffnet

  • Have content that is relevant for and readable by an international audience, meaning: have English language abstracts and titles

  • Have a publicly available publication ethics and publication malpractice statement

CSAB members have deep subject matter expertise, and are committed to actively seeking out and selecting literature that meets the needs and standards of the research community that they represent. Journals eligible for review by the CSAB will be evaluated on the following criteria in five categories:



Journal Policy

Convincing editorial policy Type of peer review Diversity in geographical distribution of editors Diversity in geographical distribution of authors


Academic contribution to the field Clarity of abstracts Quality of and conformity to the stated aims and scope of the journal Readability of articles

Journal Standing

Citedness of journal articles in Scopus Editor standing

Publishing Regularity

No delays or interruptions in the publication schedule

Online Availability

Full journal content available online English language journal home page available Quality of journal home page

Books scope and selection criteria

Scopus covers globally sourced academic books, that include scholarly, professional, and educational information. For book selection, serial books (serial titles with ISSN), conference proceedings and dissertations are not considered and are evaluated through other routes.  

Book selection is done via a publisher-based approach in which the entire book program is considered. No individual book suggestions are considered. Decisions on which book publishers are selected are made by the Content Selection and Advisory Board (CSAB).    

Publishers can suggest their books list for Scopus coverage via the Scopus Books Suggestion formWird in neuem Tab/Fenster geöffnet. The books list will only be considered for evaluation if it meets the following minimum criteria:   

  1. All books must contain ISBNs.  

  2. All books must be available in digital format, i.e., books only available in hard-copy are ineligible. All metadata must be provided in ONIX or MARC format.  

  3. All metadata must contain BIC, BISAC or, eventually, THEMA subject area codes.  

  4. Book metadata (including title and abstract) must be in the English language, while the full text may be in any language.  

Those book lists from publishers that meet the minimum criteria are reviewed by the CSAB according to the following selection criteria:  

  1. Reputation and impact of the publisher  

  2. Size and subject area of the books list   

  3. Availability and format of the book content  

  4. Publication policy and editorial mission  

  5. Quality of published book content  

For those selected publishers, in principle, all academic books of the entire book program, including its imprints, are in scope for coverage. At all times, Scopus reserves the right to remove a book or an imprint collection from a selected publisher’s book publishing program. For example, something objectionable such as hate literature, or an imprint exhibiting questionable publishing practices, could be removed.  

For questions, please contact: Scopus book suggestion.Wird in neuem Tab/Fenster geöffnet

Scope and coverage policy for preprints

What are preprints?

Preprints are preliminary, unpublished, non-peer-reviewed versions of scholarly papers that precede publication and can act as an early indication of research. Preprints reside on preprint servers which are online repositories, which usually cover a set of subject domains and allow for dissemination, laying claim to an idea, and help collect feedback prior to submission. Some preprints may get submitted and accepted for publication while other preprints may never be submitted or accepted for publication and will remain as the preprint version. Preprints allow authors to showcase their research, making a paper discoverable earlier in the publication process, and are an avenue for finding new research collaborators. Preprints differ from Articles-in-Press in that preprints are not peer-reviewed and have not been accepted for publication.

Scopus coverage policy

The Scopus collection of preprints contains preprints from the preprint servers selected based on (but not limited to) the following criteria:

Usefulness to the research community (i.e.: should be recognized either for its broad coverage or as serving a specific subject domain);

Maturity status (e.g.: scope, preservation and storage plan, availability of curation and retraction processes, documentation, etc.);

Preprint metadata quality (i.e.: should essentially contain most major bibliographic elements such as preprint title, unique identifier (preferably DOI), abstract, language, publication date, author(s), author affiliation(s), references, etc. to ensure preprint discoverability).

Preprint servers included are:

New preprint servers are considered for inclusion on a case-by-case basis.

The Scopus collection of preprints covers preprints posted from 2017 onwards for all selected preprint servers and does not include archives from earlier years. Documents uploaded to the preprint servers that are not preprints (e.g. accepted manuscripts or published articles) are excluded from the Scopus collection of preprints. Only the most recent version of each preprint is displayed.


There are no metrics for preprints and preprints do not contribute to any existing Scopus metrics of the main peer-reviewed content collection curated by the CSAB, such as citation counts, document counts, h-index, CiteScore, etc. Preprints do not contribute whatsoever to the metrics of the author profile and are available in author profiles in a separate tab. Preprint-only author profiles are not being displayed.

Awarded grants scope and coverage criteria

Awarded grants are usually and given by a funder to an individual or organization to facilitate a goal or reward performance. Awarded grants in Scopus show the historical funding awards made by funders. Awarded grants appear on author profiles where the researcher is listed as the awardee or co-awardee on awarded grant records in the Scopus grants database.

For the initial implementation, Scopus will cover awarded grants from 100 US based funders, with a particular focus on governmental funders. Broader coverage of funding bodies is planned for next phases.

Going forward awarded grants are selected via a funding body-based approach in which the Funding Body and its specific posting policy, data format, volume and subject scope is being assessed. In general funding bodies selected for Scopus need to have some minimum metadata available at sufficient quality and the funding information needs to be publicly available and be reusable.

Scopus strives for broad, unbiased coverage of high-quality awarded grants. To assess this, additional criteria that the Funding Body is reviewed by include:

  • The funding body offers competitive funding

  • There is sufficient overlap of the awardees with current Scopus authors

  • The funder impact and significance

  • The regional coverage of the grants awarded by the funding body

From the selected funding bodies all awarded grants in its final version going back to 2010 will be captured for Scopus coverage. The grants will be linked to author profiles of authors that already have a profile in Scopus. Awarded grants do not affect existing publication and citation metrics in Scopus.

Scopus AI Policy

What is Scopus AI?

Scopus AI combines generative AI with content of the publisher-neutral abstract and citation database Scopus, curated by the Content Selection & Advisory Board (CSAB).

What content is included in Scopus AI?

Scopus AI is powered by the trusted Scopus content collection. The following Scopus content is included in Scopus AI:

  • Content with publication year 2013 and later.

  • Source types include journals, conferences, books and book series.

  • Document types include articles, conference papers, reviews, book chapters, short surveys, books, data papers and reports.

  • The data elements used in Scopus AI are abstracts, titles, author and indexed keywords, total reference counts and cited-by counts. Full-text articles are not used.

Not included in Scopus AI are:

  • Source type trade journals

  • Retracted items

  • Content that is not in the Scopus main database (such as preprints)

Acceptable and Responsible Use of Scopus AI

With Scopus AI, we follow a transparent approach aligned to the Elsevier Responsible AI Principles:

  1. We can explain how our solution works.

  2. We consider the real-world impact of our solution on people.

  3. We take action to prevent the creation or reinforcement of unfair bias.

  4. We create accountability through human oversight.

  5. We respect privacy and champion robust data governance.

The Large Language Model (LLM) in Scopus AI is hosted in a private environment. There is no data exchange or use of the Scopus AI data to train public Generative AI models. Although Scopus AI leverages trusted Scopus content and has undergone rigorous engineering and testing, Scopus AI is not fault tolerant. Generative AI models can sometimes produce misleading or inaccurate results. We therefore recommend exercising your expertise and discretion before incorporating Scopus AI outputs into official documents like dissertations or manuscripts. It is essential to understand that Scopus AI is not designed to offer legal, financial, or medical advice.

As new content is continuously added to the Scopus database and the overall system gets updated, the responses to questions generated by Scopus AI will likely change over time.

Scopus AI responses are generated in real time and there is no human author review of every response. Scopus AI outputs are therefore not suitable for citing. Instead, we advise to cite the papers referenced by Scopus AI within your work.

Technological and legal development of Generative AI is fast and for the use of a Generative AI tool like Scopus AI in research, we strongly encourage to follow the applicable policies at your institution and laws in your region.

Erfahren Sie, wie Scopus Ihrer Einrichtung hilft, festgelegte Ziele zu erreichen.

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