Scopus Journal Index by Elsevier: Why Publish With Scopus?

If you are in the academic world, you would have heard of your circles talking about Scopus journals, indexing, or Elsevier. What are these, and how are they different from regular academic journals?

In this article, we explore Scopus journals, and how these indexed journals differs from regular ones. We also look at how Elsevier selects journals to be indexed in Scopus, and why academic publish with Scopus-indexed journals.

Finally, we look at several other journal indexes that also works like Scopus, such as DOAJ and WOS.

What Is Scopus?

Scopus is a comprehensive abstract and citation database launched in 2004. Think of it as a vast ocean of scholarly content, where every drop is:

  • an article,
  • a conference paper, or
  • a book.

Diving into Scopus, you encounter an intricate web woven with over 64 million records. This colossal figure includes a myriad of peer-reviewed journals, each with its unique ISSN, ensuring that every piece of work can be distinctly identified and accessed.

scopus journal

But Scopus isn’t just about quantity. The quality of content is meticulously safeguarded by the Scopus Content Selection and Advisory Board, a vigilant guardian ensuring that only the most credible, peer-reviewed materials make their way into the database.

For authors and publishers, Scopus is more than a repository; it’s a beacon of recognition and prestige. Metrics like the:

  • h-index,
  • CiteScore, and
  • SCImago Journal Rank (SJR)

often serve as critical indicators of a journal’s impact, guiding readers to the most influential works.

Scopus-index journals are usually listed within the Q1 to 4 range – the lower the quartile, the higher the score, and the more impactful the journal is within Scopus:

  • Quartile 1 – 75%-99%
  • Quartile 2 – 50%-74%
  • Quartile 3 – 25%-49%
  • Quartile 4 – 0%-24%

Scopus also works with other major scholarly platforms, such as Web of Science and Google Scholar, to create a robust ecosystem for scholar article  discovery.

This interconnected network enriches the Scopus database with a diversity of subject areas, from the hard sciences to the humanities.

What Is Elsevier?

Elsevier is a Dutch publishing company specialising in scientific, technical, and medical content. If offers products to help academic and research communities, such as:

  • Academic journals, 
  • Journal databases like Scopus, and 
  • A range of analytics tools.

Elsevier is a giant in the industry, publishing over 600,000 articles annually converge across 2,800+ journals. Some of the world’s most prestigious academic journals such as The Lancet or Cell are published by Elsevier.

This isn’t just any collection; it’s a meticulously curated library where each piece undergoes rigorous peer review, ensuring that only the most impactful research reaches your screen.

Elsevier also developed Scopus in 2004, as a way to evaluate and rank academic publications.

Elsevier is known for its commitment to quality and innovation. The Content Selection and Advisory Board, an independent entity, guarantees that only journals meeting the highest standards are indexed in their Scopus system.

This rigorous selection process ensures that whether you’re an author looking to boost your h-index or a librarian curating a collection, you’re working with top-tier content.

Elsevier’s influence extends into the realm of metrics, offering tools like the Journal Impact Factor and CiteScore, which provide a snapshot of a journal’s influence in the field. These metrics, while sometimes debated, are crucial in a world where the impact is king.

In essence, Elsevier isn’t just a publisher; it’s a linchpin in the academic ecosystem, driving forward the dissemination and evaluation of scientific knowledge.

Whether you’re diving into a new research project or assessing the quality of published work, chances are, Elsevier’s extensive resources and innovative tools are part of your journey.

How Do Scopus Select Journals?

Not all journals can make it into Scopus index – they need to be inspected and checked for quality and integrity. This is usually done by Scopus’ Content Selection and Advisory Board (CSAB). 

This board ensures that every journal within Scopus not only meets but surpasses a set of rigorous benchmarks. These benchmarks are not arbitrary; they are grounded in a transparent and robust selection process that scrutinizes each journal’s:

  • impact,
  • relevance, and
  • contribution to its field.

Here are some things the CSAB looks at when evaluating a journal for indexing within Scopus:

Editorial Policy: This process begins with the journal’s policy, examining its editorial standards and the diversity of its contributions, ensuring a global perspective in its scholarly discourse.

Content Quality: The content itself undergoes a thorough review, assessing the clarity of abstracts, the relevance to the stated aims and scope, and the overall readability and academic contribution.

Journal Standing: SCAB then looks at metrics like citation rates and the h-index play a pivotal role, providing a quantitative measure of a journal’s influence. If a journal is frequently cited within Scopus-indexed journals, it shows the journal’s good standing.

Publishing Schedule: Scopus also consider the editorial standing and ensuring the publication adheres to a consistent publishing schedule, guaranteeing reliability for its users.

Online accessibility: In an age where digital is the default, Scopus mandates that journals not only have their full content available online but also maintain a high-quality web presence in English.

Re-evaluation: To maintain its place in Scopus, a journal must demonstrate an ongoing commitment to quality. Scopus’s re-evaluation policy identifies journals that may no longer meet the high standards expected, and remove it from the index.

Through metrics analysis and continuous curation based on CSAB feedback, Scopus ensures that its collection remains relevant and authoritative.

How To Know If A Journal Is Scopus-Indexed?

Given Scopus’s reputation as a leading abstract and citation database for peer-reviewed literature, being indexed there is a badge of quality for any journal. If you are in academic world, you may also want to read, and cite works in Scopus-indexed journals.

Here are a couple of ways you can tell if a journal is scopus-indexed:

Check Scopus’s Website

To determine if a journal is Scopus indexed, start by visiting the Scopus website. Here, you can access the list of indexed titles.

This resource is meticulously curated and regularly updated to reflect the most current information. It’s a treasure trove for researchers, librarians, and academics seeking to verify the indexing status of journals.

Journal’s Official Website

Another route is to check the journal’s official website. Many journals proudly display their Scopus indexing status, often alongside other metrics like impact factor or SJR (SCImago Journal Rank).

scopus journal

These statuses are usually linked right to the journal’s page within Scopus, so you can view its metrics quickly there.

This information is usually found in the ‘About Us’ or ‘Journal Metrics’ sections, serving as a testament to the journal’s standing in the academic community. 

Scopus Title Suggestion Form

For a deeper dive, you might consider the Scopus Title Suggestion Form. While its primary function is for publishers or editors to suggest their journal for inclusion, it also offers a backdoor glimpse into the Scopus ecosystem.

By initiating a title search here, you can uncover whether a journal is under consideration or already indexed. 

Check With Your Librarian

Engage with your institution’s library or consult a librarian. These knowledge guardians often have direct access to Scopus and can swiftly confirm the indexing status of journals. 

Their work can quickly guide you through related links and resources to ensure your research is built on a foundation of credible and recognised scholarship. You can also save a lot of time and headache.

Why Do Academics Publish Articles With Scopus-Indexed Journals?

Scopus-indexed journals stand out as gold threads, illuminating paths for researchers and scholars worldwide. The allure of these journals is not accidental but rooted in a myriad of benefits that directly impact an academics career and research impact.

Here are a couple of reasons why academics are drawn to publish their articles with Scopus-indexed journals.

Peer-Reviewed Quality Assurance

Publishing in a Scopus-indexed journal means your work has passed through rigorous peer-review processes.

These journals are recognised for maintaining high standards of scholarly communication, guided by the expertise of the Content Selection and Advisory Board (CSAB).

This board ensures that only journals adhering to the highest quality metrics and peer-review integrity are indexed. Such a stamp of approval signals to your peers, funders, and institutions that your work meets global standards of excellence.

Enhanced Visibility and Accessibility

Scopus’s extensive database ensures your work reaches a broad audience. Being indexed amplifies the visibility of your research, making it accessible to millions of users worldwide. This increased exposure is vital for:

  • fostering collaborations,
  • attracting citations, and
  • making a tangible impact within your subject area.

Scopus’s robust search features and related links further ensure that your work is easily discoverable by those who need it most.

Citation Metrics and Analytics

Scopus offers a wealth of citation metrics, providing a multifaceted view of your research’s impact. These metric include:

  • h-index,
  • citation counts, and
  • CiteScore.

These metrics are crucial for evaluating the reach and influence of your work.

High citation rates not only elevate your personal standing in the academic community but also enhance the prestige of the journals in which you publish, creating a cycle of success and recognition.

Global Academic Prestige

Publishing in a Scopus-indexed journal lends prestige and recognition to your work. These journals are often the go-to sources for cutting-edge research, setting trends in various disciplines.

Having your article published alongside esteemed peers adds to your professional reputation, opening doors to advancement opportunities, speaking engagements, and leadership positions in academia.

scopus journal
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Multidisciplinary Exposure

Scopus’s database is not confined to one discipline but spans a wide range of subject areas, from the sciences to the humanities.

This multidisciplinary approach ensures that your work can transcend traditional boundaries, reaching researchers and practitioners in related fields.

Such cross-disciplinary exposure is invaluable for research that sits at the intersection of multiple areas, fostering innovative collaborations and new insights.

Support for Open Science

Scopus-indexed journals often lead the charge in embracing open access policies, aligning with the global push towards open science.

Publishing in these journals ensures your work contributes to the democratisation of knowledge, making research findings available to all, free of charge. This commitment to open access not only widens your audience but also aligns with ethical practices in research dissemination.

Continuous Content Curation

Scopus’s commitment to quality doesn’t end at indexing. The platform continuously curates its content, re-evaluating journals to ensure they maintain their standards.

This ongoing process of quality assurance means that your work remains part of a collection that is always relevant, up-to-date, and reflective of current research excellence.

Publishing in these journals not only elevates your work but also contributes to the broader scientific dialogue, pushing the boundaries of knowledge and discovery.

Are There Other Journal Indexes Other From Scopus?

While Scopus stands as a renowned index in the academic world, it’s not the only beacon guiding researchers and librarians through the sea of scholarly literature. Here’s a few you may heard of:

Web of Science (WOS): WOS offers a comprehensive platform that spans numerous disciplines, providing citation metrics that help in assessing the impact of research. Similar to Scopus, it uses rigorous criteria overseen by an expert editorial board.

Google Scholar: Google Scholar provides an accessible, albeit less curated, avenue for researchers. Though it lacks the formal editorial oversight of Scopus or WOS, its broad reach makes it excellent for initial research phases.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ): DOAJ indexes high-quality, peer-reviewed open access journals, ensuring that all content is freely available and adheres to clear quality standards. This focus on open access makes research universally accessible.

PubMed: Subject-specific databases like PubMed caters to the life sciences and biomedical fields, offering a vast repository of articles, many of which are indexed with precise biomedical terms, facilitating targeted research endeavours.

Scopus Journal: Evaluation System For Journal Impact

Publishing with Scopus-indexed journals offer unparalleled benefits. It not only enhances your research visibility and accessibility but also situates your work within a repository of quality, peer-reviewed content.

The rigorous selection process, underpinned by Scopus’s Content Selection and Advisory Board, ensures that your work is recognized and valued globally.

This recognition bolsters your academic credibility, opens up collaborative opportunities, and significantly impacts your field, making Scopus an ideal platform for disseminating scholarly work. As a student, citing articles from these journals help to lend more credibility to your work too.

The Author

Dr Andrew Stapleton has a Masters and PhD in Chemistry from the UK and Australia. He has many years of research experience and has worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate at a number of Universities. Although having secured funding for his own research, he left academia to help others with his YouTube channel all about the inner workings of academia and how to make it work for you.