Content Policy and Selection

You need quality content, and Scopus delivers: An overview for individual researchers

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.

Continuously reviewing and expanding Scopus: What publishers need to know

As the largest indexer of global research content, Scopus includes titles from more than 5,000 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 their papers, in grant applications and reports, or in patent applications. To ensure that Scopus serves the broad information needs of researchers, our Content Selection & 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)
  • Give you access to a global audience of researchers and experts for peer review programs
  • Track the performance of your publication(s)
  • Monitor competitive publications.

Title evaluation process

We're 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. 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.

Journal selection criteria

To be considered for review, all 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
  • Have content that is relevant for and readable by an international audience, meaning: have references in Roman script and 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:

Category

Criteria

Journal Policy

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

Content

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

Title Re-evaluation

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. Therefore, titles flagged as low-performing become subject to re-evaluation based on these 6 metric benchmark requirements:

Metric

Benchmark not met when

Explanation

Self-citation rate

≥200% compared to the average in its subject fields

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

Total citation rate

≤50% compared to the average in its subject fields

The journal received half the number of citations, when compared to peer journals in its subject field.

Impact Per Publication (IPP)

≤50% compared to the average in its subject fields

The journal has an IPP score half or less than the average IPP score, when compared to peer journals in its subject field.

Number of articles

≤50% compared to the average in its subject fields

The journal produced half, or less, the number of articles, when compared to peer journals in its subject field.

Number of full-text clicks on Scopus.com

≤50% compared to the average in its subject fields

The journal's abstract are used half as much, or less, when compared to peer journals in its subject field.

Abstract usage on Scopus.com

≤50% compared to the average in its subject fields

The journal's full text are used half as much, or less, when compared to peer journals in its subject field.

The performance of all journals covered by Scopus is measured every year. If a journal does not meet each of the six benchmarks for two consecutive years, it is flagged for re-evaluation by the independent Scopus Content Selection and Advisory Board (CSAB). The review criteria for re-evaluation are similar to the Scopus content selection criteria used for newly suggested titles. Upon completing the re-evaluation process, the CSAB will decide to either continue a journal’s coverage or to discontinue the forward flow of the journal coverage in Scopus (content coverage in Scopus prior to the re-evaluation completion will remain in Scopus). Please note that journal coverage will continue throughout the re-evaluation process.

For more details on the re-evaluation workflow and timelines, please view: Scopus Re-evaluation Workflow and Timelines (pdf 483 kb)

For questions, please contact re-evaluation@scopus.com

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:
    • Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)
    • World Association of Medical Editors (WAME)
    • International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)
    • Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT)
  • Guidelines for what a Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement should adhere to (PEMS)

For more information on the importance of Ethics in Research and Publication, see http://www.ethics.elsevier.com or watch this webinar.

Books selection criteria

Many content types—journals, conference proceedings and books— contribute, through citation activity, to the overall evaluation of scholarly research and therefore, should be included in Scopus. While journals and conference proceedings are usually associated with timely dissemination of scholarly information, books typically provide a more thorough analysis of a specific (or broad) topic. By adding books to Scopus, we continue to connect the citation patterns of journals, conference proceedings and now book content. Our aim is to:

  • Improve: Research within Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences is frequently published in books rather than journals. By adding books these subject fields become more complete, as do the author profiles and h-index of researchers working in the A&H and Social Sciences.
  • Enhance: Simply by having the books content in Scopus, makes them more discoverable.
  • Measure: Because books often cite journals, adding books makes the citation counts of journals more accurate. And, we are able to further measure the impact of those books.
  • Increase: For research assessment, the addition of books gives researchers within the A&H the opportunity to better show their full scientific output in their Author Profiles. This is currently easier for other sciences such as life sciences and physics due to the publishing patterns of researchers.

Scope and selection of books expansion

Scopus covers scholarly books that represent fully-referenced, original research or literature reviews.

  1. Subject areas: Focus on Social sciences and Arts & Humanities (A&H), but also Science, Technology & Medicine (STM)
  2. Coverage years: Back to 2003 for all subject fields
  3. Number of books: 120,000 by early 2016; 10,000 each year thereafter
  4. Book types: Monographs, edited volumes, major reference works, graduate level text books
  5. 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 book 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. All books from selected publishers deemed "in scope" will be selected for coverage. Priority and selection of book list from a specific publisher depends on:

  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

Conference papers 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 around 7.2 million conference papers from around 88,000 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.