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:
Check the current Scopus title lists to be sure it's not already indexed: Journals list(opens in new tab/window)
Review the selection criteria below
Read the FAQs for the Content selection process(opens in new tab/window)
Review the CSAB’s suggestions on the Role of an Editor(opens in new tab/window)
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 Tracker(opens in new tab/window).
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:
The journal is underperforming as it does not meet any of the three metrics and benchmarks for journals in the same subject area
Concerns about the publication standards of the journal or publisher have been raised by formal complaints
The journal shows outlier behavior based on its publishing performance in Scopus
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
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.
In 2017 the Radar tool was launched, which is a data analytics algorithm created by Elsevier Data Scientists to identify outlier journal behavior in the Scopus database. Outlier journal examples include rapid and unexplainable changes to number of articles published or unexplainable changes in geographical diversity of authors or affiliations. Other features that the algorithm considers are self-citation rate and publication concerns, amongst others. The tool improves continuously by incorporating new examples or rules. It runs quarterly checking the all Scopus journals for outlier behavior.
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 list(opens in new tab/window) (incl. Scopus discontinued sources list)
For questions, please contact: [email protected](opens in new tab/window)
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:
Major publishers already publish comprehensive statements of compliance on their websites. See Elsevier for an example.
A number of industry organizations publish comprehensive guidelines and advice that can be readily adopted by any publisher. Such notable organizations include:
Guidelines for what a Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement should adhere to (PEMS(opens in new tab/window))
For more information on the importance of Ethics in Research and Publication, see researcheracademy.elsevier.com(opens in new tab/window) or watch this webinar(opens in new tab/window).
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 Centre(opens in new tab/window)
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:
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
Citedness of journal articles in Scopus Editor standing
No delays or interruptions in the publication schedule
Full journal content available online English language journal home page available Quality of journal home page
Books scope and selection criteria
Scopus covers scholarly books that represent fully-referenced, original research or literature reviews.
Subject areas: Focus on Social sciences and Arts & Humanities (A&H), but also Science, Technology & Medicine (STM)
Book types in scope: Monographs, edited volumes, major reference works, graduate level text books
NOT in scope: Dissertations, undergraduate-level text books, Atlas, Yearbook, Biography, Popular science books, manuals, etc.
Book selection is via a publisher-based approach (no individual book suggestions are considered). As the selection is evaluated on a per publisher basis, the Content Selection and Advisory Board (CSAB) is not involved in the evaluation of this content type. A dedicated group of highly educated individuals are responsible for the publisher selection process. For those selected publishers, all books deemed "in scope" will be covered.
Publishers can suggest their books for Scopus coverage via the Scopus Books Suggestion form(opens in new tab/window). Books will only be considered for evaluation if they meet the following minimum criteria:
All books must contain ISBNs
All books must be available in digital format (PDF or XML)
All metadata must be provided in ONIX or MARC
All metadata must contain BIC or BISAC subject area codes
Book metadata (including title and abstract) must be in the English language, while the full text may be in any language
All academic books (except fictions) are in scope. Serial books, conference proceedings, dissertations and theses should be suggested and evaluated through other routes
Those book lists from publishers that meet the minimum criteria will be reviewed according to the following selection criteria:
Reputation and impact of the publisher
Size and subject area of the books list (subject area(s) Arts & Humanities and/or Social Sciences are preferred)
Availability and format of the book content
Publication policy and editorial mission
Quality of published book content
A dedicated team will manually review all suggested books. All suggested books will be evaluated based upon the above described selection criteria. Scopus will contact books publisher with the outcome of the books evaluation.
For questions, please contact: Scopus book suggestion(opens in new tab/window)
Conference papers scope and selection criteria
Conference material is an important additional component to the scientific literature in many fields, but particularly in the fields of engineering, computer sciences, physical sciences and mathematics. Scopus covers only full-text conference papers, and currently there are close to eight million conference papers from nearly 100,000 conference events included in the database.
Conference paper selection is done based on the relevancy and quality of the conference in relation to the subject field. Priority is given to conference materials published by reputable organizations and publishers in relevant subject fields. Scopus does not consider individual conference material suggestions to be included in the database. Serial conference titles that have a registered ISSN can be suggested for Scopus coverage via the above mentioned title evaluation process.
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.