How to Select the Right Journal Database

Journal databases are an important research tool to navigate prior to completing a well-organized research publication. Following on from the first steps of finding the right journal to publish, the exploration delineates by research topic thereafter. Once you find a key platform suited for your impending publication, you can investigate its potential to build up your manuscript. Therefore selecting the right journal database is as important as the right journal selection for your manuscript.

Multidisciplinary Research

The frontiers of research have increasingly become multidisciplinary with the advent of advanced and interconnected technologies. In alignment, many multidisciplinary research databases have come into existence, including Academic Search Complete, designed for academic and government institutions. At a glance, the database supports cutting-edge multidisciplinary research fields, offering journal lists by title or subject. The full-text subject title lists range from the social sciences and humanities, to health and medicine, science and education. In accordance with multidisciplinary subjects of interest, the list offers journal publications, publishers and details of the journal’s peer-review process. The database includes more than 4,000 active full-text, peer-reviewed journals that exclude an embargo, and are indexed on Scopus. In addition to journal information, the database hosts author affiliations, email addresses, abstracts, keywords and native files in PDF format.

Humanities and Social Sciences

In the specialized subject area of digital humanities and social sciences, authors can access Project MUSE, for scholarly content. Designed by the academic community, for the academic community, the database disseminates scholarly research and assists research engagement. Founded and designed as a non-profit collaboration between libraries and publishers, the digital content introduced to MUSE remain permanently online. The portal allows researchers to search books and journals, with access to sample full-texts and book chapters, without a subscription. More than 120 publishers currently participate in the project that offers book-length scholarship, fully integrated with scholarly journals.

Education Resources

The Education Resources Information Center, ERIC, offers a similar range of educational resources as that with Academic Search Complete. Selections include human resource management in higher education, accounting education, mathematics, and reviews by demography, indexed via selection policy. The database is straightforward, and lists a comprehensive range of journals and non-journals for users, arranged in the alphabetical order. ERIC further improves its accessibility by offering a ‘Thesaurus’ search option, allowing users to discover a range of thematic possibilities.

Science and Medicine

Although almost all listed databases offer cutting-edge scientific journals, the non-profit, open-access publisher PLOS, sets out with a unique mission. The journal aims to transform research communication to accelerate progress in science and medicine. Aside from free and unrestricted access to open research, PLOS further aims to create open data and transparency in peer-review. Launched in 2003, PLOS has departed from archaic tradition, to enable rapid sharing of scientific work to accelerate science. The journal also provides a platform to discuss negative results, facilitating a transparent window to the process of scientific discovery. Notably, PLOS ONE has in this way assisted researchers by publishing all rigorous science, providing a scope for researcher’s work. PLOS has proven the viable nature of open-access research as an effective business model, while enhancing the researcher’s citation metrics. PLOS offers a range of specialized publications for potential authors, including PLOS biology, PLOS computational biology, PLOS medicine and genetics. Publication criteria for each journal provides detailed analysis, to potential authors intending to feature their work within the journal.

On the Same Vein

Among the databases for scholarly resources, JSTOR and BMC also take center stage. JSTOR has recently accrued Security Studies and Sustainability to its database. Accordingly, the resource explores scholarly resources on international security, peace and conflict studies, alongside research reports on environmental stressors. The JSTOR research archives span multidisciplinary research fields, including Biological Sciences, Law, Urban Studies and Business and Economy. Areas further include the Arts, History, Science-Technology-Engineering-Medicine and Mathematics (STEMM). Another pioneer of open-access publishing, BioMed Central (BMC) provides an evolving portfolio for broad interests of biology and medicine. Specialist journals such as Microbiome and the Malaria Journal are also included within BMC. Additionally, subject-specific journals are available on Evolutionary Biology or Public Health. The BMC series further outlines its highly selective, flagship journals, their editorial thresholds and structure, on each journal site. BMC research notes is a platform hosting publications of scientifically valid research outputs that cannot reach a full methodology article. BMC proceedings allow conference proceedings, peer-reviewed full-length articles, meeting abstracts and reports across the scientific and clinical spectrum.

The process of research publication need not reflect the academic research process of indirect tangents. Most academic researchers are specialized in a discipline of interest or skilled across disciplines and their scope warrants a robust platform. Open-access and open-data research platforms can boost research metrics, while allowing a broader audience to engage with the publications. Specialized research publications, narrow-down the subject area to a specific audience, promoting research scope in the niche of interest. Once researchers finalize their research output, journal databases can streamline the publication process.

What are the different jounal databases that you have come across for drafting your manuscripts? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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