Open Access: OA Content but Indexable? A Chicken and Egg Problem.

Posted by Rob Walsh, community karma 1466

This is a question that I asked over at the Open Access Week forums. I felt like this was an appropriate place to ask as well:

We're all excited about Open Access – knowledge that is freely available is an amazing goal, and the internet lets us share research across the world quickly and efficiently. Scholastica is proud to support OA journals, and be part of the OA movement.

I'm curious to know what others think about scholarly indexes and the difficulty new journals find themselves in regarding getting into them.

For instance, imagine that there is a scholar who is really excited about starting a new journal in her subfield – let's call this scholar Dr. Sampson. Many indexes, even OA ones, require her journal to have multiple issues and go through a lengthy approval process before it can be indexed. This creates a chicken-and-the-egg problem of incentives: when Dr. Sampson approaches her colleagues to submit to the new journal, the lack of indexing disincentivizes these authors from wanting to publish in the new non-indexed journal. At the same time, Dr. Sampson needs to publish good content in order to be indexed.
I'm curious to know what others think about the value of scholarly indexes, and any thoughts on the difficulty new journals have becoming indexed?

over 11 years ago

1 Comment

Nadine Dexter, community karma 179

You ask a great question. I think that you must prove the value of the new journal to the scientific community which will mean a certain amount of time (like at least 4 years) will have to pass before the journal will be indexed by specific indexers and accepted by others in the subject field as relevant.

about 11 years ago
That makes a lot of sense. For OA journals to succeed scholars need to feel comfortable that their content will be found by other scholars in the community. I've got a sneaking suspicion that in our post-Google world indexes as we know them will change. For example, Google (I'm talking about 'Google Search' and not 'Google Scholar') has created a model that does a pretty good job of helping us find good content. The current indexing model seems a lot more like a Google saying, "Hey, it's great that you want to start a blog, but if you want people to find it you have to have 1 year of blog posts and fill out this application."
Rob Walsh – about 11 years ago
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