ICI JML

Evaluation methodology

1. INDEX COPERNICUS VALUE (ICV)

Index Copernicus Value (ICV) is a valued measure for the evaluation of scientific journals. The unique nature of the ICV assessment is determined by the fact that it allows not only to organise the list of scientific journals from all over the world within the framework of the ICI Journals Master List, but also that it gives you – in expanded form – specific guidelines for the functional areas of scientific journals, which should be strengthened to permanently increase your citation rates.

According to the methodology of the ICI Journals Master List, the function of any scientific journal is to reach the highest possible number of readers (scientists) from all over the world who are highly likely to use the content of the journal in their current studies and future publications.

The only recognised proof that a given scientific journal has achieved this goal is the citation of its paper published in another scientific publication. At the moment, there is no complete system for identification and enumeration of all citations of scientific papers in all other published scientific papers. It was then necessary to develop a model that would allow for predicting key parameters that a scientific journal has to meet in order to effectively increase its citation rates.

More than 11 years of experience in the evaluation of scientific journals has led to the development of the ICI Publishing Stars model. It allows for calculating the performance of editorial offices in functional areas which translate into the increase in the distribution of scientific journals and their higher citation rates. To the higher extent the journal meets the ICI Publishing Starts requirements, the faster the values of distribution and citation indices grow.

The ICI Publishing Stars model distinguishes the following functional areas of a scientific journal:

• Standards and Stability
• Digitisation
• Internationalisation 
• Cooperation (in a dimension penetrating previous dimensions)

Within these areas, the criteria for increasing the chance of boosting citation index values were indicated. For every criterion, one can identify actions that should be taken by editors to ensure the increasing quality of their journal and its influence.

ICV is a measure of the impact that the scientific journal has. It tells you how fast the journal will reach the goal, i.e. increase the citation rate of its papers. The higher the ICV, the greater the likelihood that the journal in the future will:

• increase the citation rates of published articles;
• receive higher and higher assessment during journal evaluation (also in the framework of the ministerial evaluation of journals);
• receive more and more interesting manuscripts with great potential to be noticed by the scientific world;
• attract recognised authors and reviewers;
• improve its financial standing (including the acquisition of additional funding for publishing).

2. REQUIREMENTS FOR INDEXATION IN ICI JOURNALS MASTER LIST

In order for a journal to be indexed in the ICI Journals Master List database, it needs to meet all formal and preliminary requirements.

Only journals which have met all the formal requirements will undergo evaluation:

• Journal’s registration in the ICI World of Journals database - creating a passport and filling it in with information about the journal
• Submitting a questionnaire for the evaluated year
• Providing Index Copernicus with copies of all issues published in the evaluated year:

Journals which have not met all the formal requirements will not be indexed in the ICI Journals Master List database.

Journals which have not met formal requirements will remain rightful owners of the passport in the ICI World of Journals database, i.e. they will be able to update the data.

At the next step, meeting preliminary requirements is verified:

• Scientific character of the journal
Dominating part of articles published in the journal in two years preceding the year when the questionnaire was filled in consisting of scientific articles, i.e. articles presenting results of own research which was empirical, theoretical, technical or analytical, which provide the publication’s title, names of authors together with their affiliation and which present the current state of knowledge, research methodology, the course of research process, its results and conclusions, with a bibliography. Scientific articles are also considered as monographic, polemic or review studies and legal commentaries.
• Current ISSN number
• Scientific journal was published the whole evaluated year
• Active and up-to-date website of the journal (including the website of the publisher, university with a special section dedicated to the journal)
• Published review procedure

Scientific journals which have met the preliminary requirements will be evaluated on the basis of the analysis of their activity in the evaluated year.

Journals which as a result of parametric evaluation receive a positive number of points will:

• Receive the INDEX COPERNICUS VALUE (ICV) index for the given year.
• Be indexed in the ICI Journals Master List database from the moment of the assessment until the results of a subsequent evaluation (journal’s evaluation in the ICI Journals Master List indexation procedure takes place each year)

Journals which do not meet all the formal requirements or receive a negative number of points will not be indexed in the ICI Journals Master List database.

Journals which do not meet preliminary requirements or receive a negative number of points will remain rightful owners of the passport in the ICI World of Journals database, i.e. they will be able to update the data.

3. METHODOLOGY FOR CALCULATING THE ICV EVALUATION

ICV (Index Copernicus Value) is the sum of the points awarded in the assessment of two components:

• Quality of the scientific journal
Measured on the basis of the ICI Publishing Stars model and establishing to what extent the scientific journal meets the criteria specified for its functional areas

• Impact of the scientific journal
Determined on the basis of the journal’s citation rates which reflect the intensity with which the journal was noticed in the scientific world (current numbers and citation indices) and the dynamics of its impact (change in the indices’ values or the number of citations)

Division of points between each group of criteria:

• Quality – 18 points
Professionalism, layout, materials used, appropriate reviewing standards, cooperation with scientists from external institutions, lack of conflict of interest – this is the foundation without which the journal cannot achieve sustainable development.

• Active and up-to-date website of the journal (including the website of the publisher, university with a special section dedicated to the journal)
• Basic data on the cover of a paper and electronic version
• Metadata

• Keywords in the source language
• Keywords in English
• Authors’ affiliations
• Date of sending/accepting the article
• Authors’ statements on financial sources for their research presented in the article

• Instructions for authors regarding

• Article’s structure
• Literature

• Clear and aesthetic layout of articles and the whole journal
• Publication of the review procedure
• Reviewing model
• Percentage of external reviewers’ contribution
• Statements from authors about:

• Originality
• Their contribution to the article
• Absence of conflict of interest
• Financial resources used for the research presented in the article

• Stability – 4 points

• Frequency of publishing new issues
• Years of uninterrupted activity

• Digitisation – 67 points
Availability of the journal, digital versions, digital repositories, readiness for integration with databases, ease of access to the published content. Failure to meet these criteria may become a barrier obstructing the development of the journal, success in meeting them may become the impulse for development and reaching out to scientists at home and abroad.

• Keeping statistics of downloading articles from the website
• Electronic publishing and editing system
• Bibliography styles applied
• Using tools for managing bibliographical data
• Availability of full texts online
• Assigning DOI numbers to scientific articles
• Publishing in the ‘ahead of print’ / ‘early birds’ mode
• Format of online articles
• Indexation in scientific databases
• Regular indexation in the ICI Journals Master List
• Information in the ICI World of Journals about the contents of particular issues – metadata of scientific articles, including abstracts, keywords and attachment bibliography for the period of 2–4 years preceding the year when the questionnaire was submitted

• Completing the data on the content and submitting it to social verification by scientists from all over the world is one of the basic components for counteracting ‘predatory journals’ practices (link to the article entitled ‘counteracting predatory journal practices’)

• Citations are calculated on the basis of data on references (attachment bibliography) entered in the ICI World of Journals database. Journals which enter data on their attachment bibliography will be provided with access to extensive citation statistics (link to the article entitled ‘calculating citations in the ICI World of Journals database’).

• Internationalisation of the journal - 28 points
Number of language versions, language versions of titles, abstracts and keywords, and internationalisation of scientific cooperation of the editorial office affect the reach, visibility, and impact of the scientific journal. In the science of the 21st century, wise and well thought-out internationalisation of a journal and (in a broader sense) science becomes a prerequisite for success – constantly growing citation index.

• Website language versions
• Percentage of full texts published in congressional languages
• Titles and abstracts of all scientific articles in English
• Contributions of authors with foreign affiliations
• Contributions of reviewers with foreign affiliations
• Contributions of members of the Editorial Board with foreign affiliation

• Expert assessment – 10 points

Index Copernicus’ experts have decided to gradually replace the expert assessment with points for the transparency of data. For the 2016 assessment, the expert assessment was retained to a reduced extent in order to ensure indices comparison. At the beginning of 2018, the mechanism of data verification by scientific circles will be fully implemented. At the next stage, a process of calculating citations will be launched and its results will be publicly available. In view of the inception of calculating citations for scientific journals registered in the ICI World of Journals database, Index Copernicus’ experts have decided to gradually replace the current expert assessment with transparency indices

- launching the mechanism for reviewing by scientific circles
- launching the process of calculating citations
- for the 2016 assessment, the expert assessment was retained to a reduced extent in order to ensure the comparison of indices

The journal can also receive negative points (e.g. for delays in publishing or publishing combined issues) – a maximum of 4 points.

In the final assessment, it is assumed that the sum of points awarded for the entire quality of the scientific journal criterion cannot exceed 100 points.

The second part of ICV is to assess the impact of the journal.

The impact of the journal is calculated by analysing citations in the most important international databases.

• Citation rates
Rated journals are assessed in accordance with the number of citations of the articles published, but also the use and the value of the impact factor and others indicating the number of citations.
• Dynamics of the citation rates
A very important dimension of the assessment is to determine the dynamics of citation rates, which is a set of indicators developed by Index Copernicus in order to measure the vector of development of the journal and determining its weight and score.

4. APPLICATION FOR ICV EVALUATION

ICV evaluation can be used by a wide audience, including:

• Publishers of scientific journals – mainly in order to get to know the position of the journal among periodicals in the same field, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the journal, which will allow them to take actions that will ultimately help increase citation rates and prestige;
• Researchers – in order to find out which journals are striving to achieve the highest quality and will continue to increase citation rates, in other words, which journals demonstrate the greatest potential for future cooperation;
• Scientific units – in order to find out what are the strengths and weaknesses of scientific journals published in a given scientific unit; as a component of the periodic evaluation of researchers,
• Public institutions – ICV evaluation can be used as a criterion for the allocation of financial resources in the field of science (e.g. to finance the publishing activity of scientific journals).