(18 November 2015) Web of Science has announced the addition of Emerging Sources Citation Index for all subscribers of the three core citation indexes: Science, Social Science and Arts & Humanities. If “emerging sources” conjures up images of remote locations or a picture of a struggling researcher coming out of the jungle with a pile of journals, then you will be disappointed.
This new database, starting with 2015 publications, is to include “high-quality, peer-reviewed publications of regional importance and in emerging scientific fields.” About 1,500 titles were added for roll-out with about 31,000 publications on first load date of 11 November 2015. More titles will be added through 2016. The structure of the database is the same as the other citation indexes.
I did a quick check of this database to see how it compared with the existing footprint of the core three databases.
The top five countries in the new Emerging Sources Citation index are the US, England, Australia, India, and Canada with the US having 2.8 times more publications than runner-up England. The traditional core collection has US, China, England, Germany and Japan as the top five with the US having only 1.8 times more publications than China.
The top five organizations in Emerging Sources are University of London, University of California System, Florida State System, Islamic Azad University (Iran) and University of Toronto. Only U London and UC System are in the top five in the traditional core collection while Florida State system and University of Toronto are in the top ten.
The top five journals included four Open Access publications the International Journal of Advanced Computer Science; Frontiers in Oncology; International Journal of Surgery Case Reports. The dominant journal overall is open access PLOS One.
English is the language of over 80% of the publications in this initial batch, followed far behind by Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian and French. Looking at East Asia, four publications are in Malaysian and three in Japanese. This is an improvement over the 97% of 2015 documents in SCI, SSCI and A&H. English is followed by German, French, Spanish and Chinese with Japanese and Korean included plus another four in Malaysian.
1,500 titles still does not expand the coverage of WOS to that of SCOPUS. While top universities are concerned about “quality” journals as a differentiator, universities in emerging economies need to be concerned about quantity. It is visibility of publications that leads to citations.
There are too few sources and publications at this point to know what if any impact this will have on choices of WOS or SCOPUS for rankings’ metrics.
Ruth’s Rankings News Flash! is written by Ruth A. Pagell, currently an adjunct faculty [teaching] in the Library and Information Science Program at the University of Hawaii. Before joining UH, she was the founding librarian of the Li Ka Shing Library at Singapore Management University. She has written and spoken extensively on various aspects of librarianship, including contributing articles to ACCESS – orcid.org/0000-0003-3238-9674.