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The scholarly disciplines are concentrated relatively in a small number of journals as propounded in Bradford’s Law. Following this principle, ’’Indian Citation Index (ICI)’’ Journals Selection Policy was formulated and continues to be the guiding force and principle behind the Journal Selection Process. Furthermore, the number of selected journals is not static; it is dynamic and getting changed periodically. ICI updates journal coverage by identifying and evaluating promising new journals for ICI indexing and also existing indexed journals of ICI are deleted periodically based on various reasons like - usefulness, quality, predatory nature, journal acts not as a journal rather mass level articles publishing machine, publication discontinued name changed, merged, amalgamation, etc.

Indian Citation Index (ICI) is a national bibliographical and citation database. The basic purpose of developing ICI is twofold.

  1.  To fill the long standing needed gap of National Citation Database required for comprehensive measurement and evaluation of Research Performance of individuals, institutions, universities, councils and other R&D bodies, etc. for strategic planning, decision making and development;
  2. To inculcate quality standards in journals published from India by rendering guidance and support and advisory to publishers of the journals

Initially to start with, ICI prepared a list of about 1000 indexable journals published from India and for this purpose, adopted the following method:

  1. Journals should have been indexed in any national or international indexing and abstracting sources, like – ISA, MAPA, SCOPUS, WoS, CA, BIOSIS, INSPEC, etc.
  2. Learned society journals, institutional journals, such as INSA, ICAR, CSIR, etc. and other journals qualify ICI journal selection parameters. Thus, selected journals indexation for country’s self reliance & pride was started.

ICI considers many factors when evaluate journals for their indexing ranging from qualitative to quantitative parameters. These include - Basic publishing standards; editorial context; focus whether National and International; Citation Analysis, etc. No single factor is considered in isolation, but by combination and interrelations thereof, we determine the journal’s overall strengths and weaknesses and accordingly take decision to cover or not cover in ICI.

In the emerging world, ideal situation would be that the journals of all disciplines and languages published world widely should be indexed in a single source of the world scholarly journals literature. But it is neither feasible nor practicable because estimated number of living journals in the world covering all subjects and languages is < 150,000, so tapping & managing such a huge literature is impossible, therefore, national citation index like ICI is essential for reliable, comprehensive analysis, self reliance and national pride.

  1. Ethical Publishing Practices - evidence of unethical policies and practices such as predatory publishing or editorial instructions or advisories, or any other fraudulent practices, etc. if followed by a journal that does not get indexed in ICI. In case of a journal already indexed in ICI that can be discontinued or dropped immediately on finding such unethical publishing practices.
  2. A journal should be published from India irrespective of its publisher’s origin.
  3. Timeliness of publication is a basic condition in the evaluation and selection of a journal for indexing in ICI. Thus, timeliness of a journal is of primary and paramount importance. Journal must be publishing according to its defined frequency. The ability to publish on time needs substantial backlog of manuscripts essential for selection and ongoing viability of the journal. However, in case of India many journals are running late, not only one or two months but years and therefore, all such journals are not being indexed in ICI.
  4. A journal should be of Research oriented nature for ICI indexing and therefore, popular journals or magazines do not get indexed in ICI
  5. A journal should be well peer reviewed because peer-review process is another indication of journal standards and signifies the overall quality and integrity of the research published and the completeness of bibliographic elements, especially cited references.
  6. A journal should be regular, on time with its defined time schedule. ICI does not index irregular journals or serials.
  7. A journal should be at least three years old in its age for getting indexed in ICI because journals born and die too fast. Also, based on three years data of a journal, citation analysis of that journal can be examined or judged for the selection of a journal.
  8. The editors and reviewers should be professional in approach, expert in respective domain to sustain required quality and standard of the journal. Also, there should be diversity of editors and reviewers according to focus of the journal, like national or international.
  9. There should be diversity in contributing Author(s) affiliations with complete address details.
  10. The appended references to an article should be relevant, complete, preferably from Indian publications if found so and all be rigorously examined by the editors and reviewers.
  11. For citation pattern – we use Citation Analysis to determine the importance, visibility and influence of a journal in the surrounding literature of its subject. Citation data and metrics are interpreted and understood in the editorial context of the journal under evaluation
  12. For regional/local language documents/journals, at least all bibliographical meta data details like title, authors, affiliations, abstract & keywords along with references used to write the document should be in English language. The full text article may be in any language.
  13. ICI also evaluates or considers the reputation & authority of journal’s publisher, and availability & popularity of a journal
  14. ICI does not index literature/material - like Digests; Book Reviews; News and Views; Abstracts; Announcements; Advertisement; from the desk/chairman/president, etc.
  15. ICI does not index journals working as mass level articles publishing machines. Of late it is the emerging trend of some of the OA journals working as publishing machines. However, if inadvertently such journals (s) have been indexed, that will be dropped immediately after noticing this kind of unethical publishing practice without any notice to its editor/publisher.
  16. Though, there is no defined limit to publish scholarly articles in an issue of a journal however, as per worldwide practice the average number of articles in good scholarly journals is 15 ± 3 articles per issue leaving some exceptional special cases or occasions, etc.
  17. ICI has observed that in some of the cases, there is article difference between print and online accessible copies available on site. ICI does not index such journals, however if inadvertently such journal (s) have been indexed, that will be dropped immediately after noticing this kind of discrepancy.
  18. In OA journals, some are updating respective sites with addition or deletion of articles after publication of that particular issue. If such journal (s) come in ICI notice, that will be dropped and notified immediately to all stakeholders.
  19. In addition to above mentioned parameters, ICI being multidisciplinary in nature and scope, we consider little relax standard in journal selection particularly emanating in less developed disciplines and regions of the country wherein scholarly activities are at its developing stage, such as Sport Science, Media, etc. and J&K and North East regions of the country. This is being done to have proper representation of all subjects developing and emerging and have a balanced approach.
  20. The journal’s contributing authors, editors, and editorial advisory board members should be from diverse institutes and areas appropriate for the journal’s target audience. If the journal’s content is aimed at an international audience then we expect to find an internationally diverse group of authors, editors and editorial advisory board members contributing to it.
  21. A journal should publish at least one issue per year and should carry the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN).
  22. ICI’s one of the basic intents is to catalyze and support quality improvement of journals published from India. In order to do this and maintain transparency & objectivity, ICI solicits evidence based views/feedback/comments, etc. from all users, editors, reviewers, publishers, etc. with respect to predatory nature and quality of journals indexed in ICI. Such received feedback, views, comments, etc. will be examined objectively to take appropriate action accordingly.
  23. Overall quality of a journal should be comparable to world standards.

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