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Publication language and the journal scientometric indicators in global citation databases

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This article continues the topic of preparing and developing scholarly journals, which aim to reach the international level. A particular focus of the article is how journals can increase their impact in terms of citation indicators calculated by Web of Science (WoS) and Scopus. Aim. To investigate a relationship between WoS and Scopus scientometric indicators, the language of publications and the amount of English-language materials published in journals. Methods. An analysis of scholarly journals published in 23 countries was conducted using the Ulrich’s database. Their scientometric indicators were assessed using the data derived from Scopus. Results. The obtained results demonstrate a number of specific regularities. It is found, on the one hand, that the larger the country and the more journals it publishes, the fewer its journals publish the full text of their articles in English. On the other hand, the smaller the country and the fewer journals it publishes, the greater the proportion of journals that publish their content entirely in English. These results manifest the desire of larger countries to maintain their national language as the language of science, while smaller non-English speaking countries aim to achieve the international recognition by presenting the country’s scientific achievements in English. However, according to the analysed indicators, journals publishing their content in English are read and cited better. Those journals that publish their content entirely in the country’s national language show significantly lower levels of citation. The same trend is observed for both bilingual journals (those publishing articles either in the national or English languages or having a small number of English articles along with publications in the national language) and multilingual journals. Translated journals published by Pleiades or Springer and journals having two parallel versions (one in the national language and another in English) demonstrate approximately the same level of citation. Conclusion. Journals published in parallel versions are shown to perform better in terms of citation, largely because they cover both the national and English-speaking readership. Moreover, the use of certain technological tools permits the citations of both versions to be merged. A considerable attention is paid to the discussion of the RF state science policy with respect to measuring national scientific results and various ethical issues arising in this context.



About the Author

O. V. Kirillova
Association of Science Editors and Publishers (ASEP)
Russian Federation
Cand. Sci. (Eng.), President


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For citations:

Kirillova O.V. Publication language and the journal scientometric indicators in global citation databases. Science Editor and Publisher. 2019;4(1-2):21-33. (In Russ.)

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ISSN 2542-0267 (Print)
ISSN 2541-8122 (Online)