About ISI

Journal Evaluation and Selection

The mission of Institute of Science Index (ISI) is to provide comprehensive coverage of the world's most important and influential journals and research results. Currently, ISI collection covers nearly 25,000 international and regional journals, essays and book series in every area of the natural sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities. We provide the largest collection of business information in the world. The most important part is the collection of nearly 8,000 international journals. The collection of these journals with English abstract, author, publisher address, and references and all journals indexed by ISI are included.

To meet customers' need of retrieve recent knowledge developments as well as information of the past, ISI have the obligation to provide the world’s most important and influential journals, but comprehensive does not necessarily mean all-inclusive.

Update Journal Coverage

Index of scientific journal literature might be expected to cover all the scientific journals published. This approach would be not only impractical economically, but as analyses of the scientific literature have shown needless. It has been demonstrated that a relatively small number of journals publish the bulk of significant scientific results. This principle is often referred to as Brad ford’s Law. In the mid-1930's, S.C. Bradford realized that the core literature for any given scientific discipline was composed of fewer than 1,000 journals. Of these 1,000 journals, there are relatively few with a very strong relevance to the given topic, whereas there are many with a weaker relevance to it. Those with a weak relevance to the given discipline or topic, however, typically have a strong relevance to some other discipline. Thus, the core scientific literature can form itself around various topics, with individual journals becoming more or less relevant depending on the topic. Bradford understood that an essential core of journals forms the literature basis for all disciplines and that most of the important papers are published in relatively few journals.

Recently, an analysis revealed that as few as 150 journals account for more than 50% of what is cited and more than 25% of what is published in them. A core of 2,000 of these journals accounts for about 80% of published articles and more than 95% of cited articles. This core is not fixed. Its basic composition changes constantly, reflecting the evolution of scholarly topics. Our mission is to update journal coverage by identifying and evaluating promising new journals and eliminating journals that have become valueless.

Evaluation Process

Each year, our editorial staff reviews over 2,000 journals titles and selects around 10-12% of the journals evaluated for inclusion in our database. Moreover, existing journal coverage in ISI products is constantly under review. Journals now covered are monitored to ensure that they are maintaining high standards and a clear relevance to the products in which they are covered. Our evaluation team member who perform journal evaluations have educational backgrounds relevant to their areas of responsibility they are also experts in the literature of their fields. In addition, ISI consultant team will join the evaluation group whenever there’s a need. Many factors are taken into account when evaluating journals for coverage, ranging from the qualitative to the quantitative. The journal's basic publishing standards, its editorial content, the international diversity of its authorship, and the citation data associated with it are all considered. No one factor is considered in isolation, but by combining and interrelating the data, thus editor is able to determine the journal's overall strengths and weaknesses.
Basic Journal Standards

Timeliness of publication is a basic criterion in the evaluation process. It is of primary importance. A journal must be publishing according to its stated frequency to be considered for initial inclusion in the database. The ability to publish on time implies a healthy backlog of manuscripts essential for ongoing viability. To measure timeliness, we need to see three consecutive current issues, one after another, as soon as they are published.

We also notes if the journal follows international editorial conventions, which optimize retried ability of source articles. These conventions include informative journal titles, fully descriptive article titles and abstracts, complete bibliographic information for all cited references, and full address information for every author.

English is the universal language of science at this time in history. It is for this reason that we focuses on journals that publish full text in English or at very least, the bibliographic information, title, abstract, keywords and references are in English. However, going forward, it is clear that the journals most important to the international research community will publish full text in English. This is especially true in the natural sciences.

Application of the peer-review process is another indication of journal standards and signifies overall quality of the research presented and the completeness of cited references. It is also recommended that whenever possible, each article is published with information on the funding source supporting the research presented.

Editorial Content

As mentioned above, an essential core of scientific literature forms the basis for all scholarly disciplines. However, this core is not static — scientific research continues to give rise to specialized fields of studies, and new journals emerge as published research on new topics achieves critical mass. ISI editors determine if the content of a journal under evaluation will enrich the database or if the topic is already adequately addressed in existing coverage. With an enormous amount of citation data readily available to them, and their daily observation of virtually every new scholarly journal published, ISI editors are well positioned to spot emerging topics and active fields in the literature.


ISI editors look for international diversity among the journals, source articles and cited articles contributing authors from every country. This is particularly important in journals targeting an international audience. Today’s scientific research takes place in a global context and an internationally diverse journal is more likely to have importance in the international community of researchers. Selection criteria for regional journals are the same as for international journals although citation analyses play a somewhat different role in the outcome. Many excellent regional journals target a local, rather than an international, audience. Therefore, the emphasis on extensive international diversity is less than for internationally focused journals. All regional journals selected must be publishing on time, have English-language bibliographic information (title, abstract, keywords), and be peer reviewed.

Citation Analysis

The ISI evaluation process is unique in that our editors have a wealth of citation data available to them. The importance of interpreting and understanding these data correctly cannot be emphasized too strongly. Using quantitative citation data to measure impact is meaningful only in the context of journals in the same general discipline. In some areas, particularly in the arts and humanities, it may take a relatively long time for an article to attract a meaningful number of citations. But in other areas, such as the life sciences, it is not unusual for citations to accrue rapidly and peak after two or three years. These facts must be taken into consideration if citation data are to be used correctly.

Citation analysis takes place on at least two levels. We look for citations to the journal itself, as expressed by impact factor and/or total citations received (overall citation rate, impact fact and immediacy index). We also examine the citation record of the contributing authors, which is a useful study in evaluating new journals where a citation history at the journal level does not yet exist.

Electronic Journal

As stated earlier, the basic mission of ISI is to provide access to the world's most important and influential journals. Publishing standards, editorial content, international diversity, and citation analysis are all considered when evaluating a purely electronic journal. Many factors are taken into account same as evaluating regular journals for coverage, ranging from the qualitative to the quantitative. The journal's basic publishing standards, its editorial content, the international diversity of its authorship, and the citation data associated with it are all considered.

Timeliness is also essential for electronic journals, or e-journals. Evaluating the timeliness of publication of an e-journal may require a somewhat different approach. If the e-journal is publishing distinct issues at a stated frequency, these issues should appear online in a timely manner. However, when an e-journal publishes articles one at a time rather than collecting articles for release as an issue, which is an exciting features of electronic journals because of the perfect timing. ISI editor simply looks for a steady flow of articles over several months. In general, better less than six months.

Print journal usually will also have electronic version, electronic journals can also provide supplements, and can be sent faster from the publisher to researchers, if electronic version of the journal can provide these positive changes, then we will consider to collect it and give up on print journal.

The first ISI collection was issued on May 1995, since then, we are identifying all the applicable e-journals, and to evaluate the possibility of collection. In future, the collection of electronic journals will be growing considerably in number of catalogs.

ISI is the online platform in the world for this type of database and research. The Scientific business of Thomson Reuters is recognized as a leader in providing e-information solutions to the scientific community.

ISI is co-operating with the ISII web of knowledge platform at the same phase. ISI offers you the option of making your journal available to all via the platform.