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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 97-98

Indexed journals – Roles and purpose

1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Srinivas Institute of Dental Sciences, Mukka, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Oral Biology, Faculty of Dentistry, Melaka Manipal Medical College, Manipal Campus, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication8-Jun-2017

Correspondence Address:
Kuldeep Singh Shekhawat
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Srinivas Institute of Dental Sciences, Mukka - 574 146, Mangalore, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/srmjrds.srmjrds_11_17

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The life span of any research begins with an idea and ends in a scientific journal. Every journal claims to be indexed in various databases. A database is a collection of information and journal articles that are organized so that it can easily, accessed, managed, and updated. There are a large number of databases which are managed by various organizations/institutions and each one is different. These databases assist in identifying citations for specific area-related journal articles. There is a growing demand to publish in select indexed journals. The authors need to know and understand the concept behind such databases and also know how to identify the validity of such databases. This commentary is a useful update for authors understanding of indexed journals.

Keywords: Journal impact factor, peer review, PubMed, research

How to cite this article:
Shekhawat KS, Chauhan A. Indexed journals – Roles and purpose. SRM J Res Dent Sci 2017;8:97-8

How to cite this URL:
Shekhawat KS, Chauhan A. Indexed journals – Roles and purpose. SRM J Res Dent Sci [serial online] 2017 [cited 2022 Nov 29];8:97-8. Available from:

From its beginning, the computer has been an aid in producing existing forms of indexes and made possible the establishment of large databases. Biomedical information is growing explosively, and new and useful results are appearing every day in research publications.[1] The World Wide Web and associated advances have enabled the availability of information in various forms to virtually everyone around the globe. The presence of vast data has mandated the creation of various databases which makes searching information relatively easier and faster.

Often we are flooded with predatory publishers' and journals inviting researchers to submit their valuable research work to publish in their respective journals. They claim their journals being covered by many abstracting and indexing services (A&I). For a clearer view, an A&I service is a platform provided by many companies where the research work is made available for other researchers and/or clinicians in their databases by assigning few select words to each research work. Today, almost all journals mandate their authors to provide them with an abstract (summary) of their manuscript, so A&I services do not compose abstracts anymore. They create a searchable database with subject, author, and title access to individual articles from a selection of journals they choose to include in their database.[2]

Indexed journals are a hallmark of its quality. They are considered to be of better scientific quality than nonindexed. It also helps journals achieve its aim of being accessible to wider audience. To create a niche in publishing space, journals make themselves visible and available to their readers. One of the ways by which they achieve this is getting their journals indexed in one or more leading databases. Once a journal is indexed by a database, it is immediately available to all users. Some database index only titles, some full articles, while others index only abstract and/or references. Some of these A&I services are affiliated with institutions (e.g., PubMed maintained by the United States National Library of Medicine at the National Institute of Health) while some are provided by publishers (e.g., SCOPUS and EMBASE by Elsevier). Indexing a journal in right database is equally important, since, just as editors do not consider manuscripts that lie outside the scope of their journal, indexing companies also do not consider journals that lie outside their scope. These A&I companies use certain criteria like quality of content published, publishing timeliness and journal workflow and processes. In other words, the process of getting indexed is similar to manuscript submission and peer review.[3]

The important question of which A&I services is best and valid is a gray area. It partly depends on the requirements of universities. Some universities provide emoluments for their researchers and faculties on publishing their research work in journals indexed in select databases. These databases provide h-index, which is an indirect indicator of productivity and impact of a scholarly journal [4] as well as group of scientists, such as a department or university or country.[5] Various other metrics apart from the impact factor have been introduced to compare the journals. However, this question must be subject to debate regarding the validity of A and I services with inputs from various stakeholders. Nevertheless, in spite of having a vast ocean of information at the click of a button, it often becomes difficult to search the precise piece of information the user is looking for. Retrieving the required information without the background noise of other remotely relevant information is the need of the hour.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Shatkay H. Hairpins in bookstacks: Information retrieval from biomedical text. Brief Bioinform 2005;6:222-38.  Back to cited text no. 1
Journal Indexing: What it is, and what it's not. Available from: [Last accessed on 2016 Oct 20].  Back to cited text no. 2
Rajagopalan J. Journal Indexing 101: Understanding the Basics. Available from: [Last accessed on 2016 Oct 20].  Back to cited text no. 3
Google Scholar Metrics for Publications – Google Scholar Blog. Available from: [Last accessed on 2016 Oct 20].  Back to cited text no. 4
Jones T, Huggett S, Kamalski J. Finding a way through the scientific literature: Indexes and measures. World Neurosurg 2011;76:36-8.  Back to cited text no. 5


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