I have a question for editors and publishers of journals regarding the immediate publication of research papers online.
I am a member of the editorial board of Acta geographica Slovenica. We publish open access files online with the help of the Open journal system (PKP). A few years ago (before our OJS implementation) we started publishing pdfs online immediately after the paper went through all the review and copyediting processes. However, the problem came when these papers were harvested/indexed in the Scopus database. Numerous mistakes happened (e.g. the year of publication was indexed wrong if the paper was online in December 2015, but the official year was meant to be 2016)… This resulted in a big mess and a drop of the journal index value.
Now we would like to try again with the immediate publication of pdf files without waiting for the entire volume to be finalized. But, due to our past experiences, we would like to do it with great care and without any troubles with the indexing process. Therefore, I would be happy if anyone can present their experiences on how to properly deal with immediate pdf publication. I’ve sent an email to Scopus several times to get information on what kind of things are important/necessary when publishing papers in order to be easy to harvest/indexed by their systems. I haven’t received any answer from them and it has been several months now… Thank you for any advice.
I would like to share with you my experience. As an e-journal manager, I observed that - in the platform that I use, there was automatically inserted the date of submission and the date of publication, which was other than the date of the issue release. By the immediate publication, the article takes the doi that particular date of publication and with the publication of the whole issue, which takes the doi of a later date there is a mix-up and the problem occurs. The best way for my situation was to gather all the articles, to wait till the official date of the issue publication came and then to publish all the articles together.
I hope, I have helped you in a way.
Dear Lamprini, thank you for sharing your experience. Yes, this is how we currently do also (we wait for all articles). In OJS date of publication can be manually set, therefore it is possible to control that. However, I am not sure that Scopus harvest/index with a help of doi-s…
the e-journal that I am currently managing is new in the field with only almost a year of life, so I do not know anything about connecting procedures with SCOPUS.
can you write a bit more about SCOPUS? How did you manage to have a connection with it?
Thank you in advance
It seems to me that Scopus’s procedures are not well aligned with recent publishing practices. The same problem may be observed even in online-first articles published by Elsevier.
The most efficient way to identify a relevant contanct in Scopus is to inquire at your local library consortium. These people have contacts with various officers of publishing companies and they can usually help you get to the right person. Also, my experience with correction requests via the Scopus feedback form is rather positive. This is not a long-term solution, but may be helpful while awaiting the final soultion. So, you could keep an eye on your articles indexed in Scopus and submit a correction request for each individual article whenever the final version is published. I would strongly advise you to indicate in the issue description (in the submission form) that the problem is due to the inability od Scopus to capture changes in a timely manner, asking support officers to escalate it to a higher support level. For some reason, Scopus handles straightforward technical requests very smoothly, while more complex requests sometimes remain without a response.
Thank you, Milica. In the past, we successfully used the Scopus helpdesk for correcting false metadata. It went ok, but it is a really inconvenient way to constantly checking Scopus portal. And,yes, for such broader issues, they have a slow response. Maybe, some international initiatives would help to pass such questions on behalf of several editorial boards in order to be taken seriously by Scopus (or other indexing systems)…
we have exactly the same problem with Scopus for our journal, which is indexed in Scopus. We practise publish as you go with only one issue per year and continuous publication.
My intermediate solution to achieve fast indexing and prevent our CiteScore from dropping is to request indexing of single articles by hand. I fill out this online form to add missing content as soon as I release an article: https://service.elsevier.com/app/contact/supporthub/scopuscontent/
It then takes about 3-4 weeks until some support person from India transfers this manually into the Scopus database.
I have browsed all of Elsevier’s support websites but found no information at all how their indexing process works (technically). I have tried to get contact information to someone at Elsevier who can actually tell me what they need for faster indexing but so far, no one has answered my requests. For comparison: Clarivate does web scraping for Web of Science indexing. We don’t have to do anything at all and it takes only 2-3 weeks for published articles to appear in WoS. For CNKI we upload metadata to an ftp server CNKI provides. No problem here either. I have a feeling, that, at Elsevier, support people from India browse websites and harvest metadata per hand. It might be faster if we sent print-outs of our e-only journal. No joke.
My next move is to press our local Elsevier sales contact for more information. We are part of a Scopus licensing consortium. Maybe support for paying customers is better?
Thank you for sharing your experience. We also are part of licensing consortium and in the past, we haven’t really been successful when trying to get information. Well, I hope you will get a useful response in your case…
greetings from Vienna. I am the technical director of the journal REGION (http://region.ersa.org) and we do exactly that. We publish papers immediately when they are ready. I do the layout editing and the publishing. We are also in Scopus, and did not have any problems with them.
Our policy is that we have a “current issue”, where papers are accumulated. We publish two issues a year and we officially close the issues on June 30th and on December 31st. Practically, when the first paper is ready for publication after that date, we close the old current issue, start a new current issue and publish the paper there. This way we never have an empty current issue on the webpage. The official year of publication is the year of the date when the paper was published.
One challenge we had was with special issues. There, our policy is the following: We again publish a paper just as a regular paper whenever it is ready. When all the papers of a special issue were published this way, we request an editorial from the special issue editors, and compile that and all the papers belonging to the special issue into an extra issue (the “special issue”). We publish that then right before the next regular issue change. If you want to know more, contact me via the journal.
Dear Gunther, thank you for your valuable comment. Your website is nice. We’ll keep in touch.