THE GLOBALIZATION OF WEB OF SCIENCE

Jim Testa, Vice President, Editorial Development and Publisher Relations

Essay Overview
Recent years have seen a flood of original research issuing from every country and region in the world. The number or researchers and nations accessing Web of Science has likewise increased. To meet the demands of the global research community, Thomson Reuters continually seeks to complement its coverage of top tier, highly cited international journals with an appropriately broad representation of the world's best regional literature. Scholars have increasingly recognized that regional journals are important to discovery since they relate directly to the daily lives of researchers around the world.

This essay reviews the impact and implications of Thomson Reuters' increased focus on regional journal coverage in Web of Science, particularly the high volume period between 2007-2009. This regional surge effectively realigned the overall journal coverage in the Web of Science and reflects the concern for the expanding world of scholars and scholarship.

From 2007-2009, the Editorial Development Team at Thomson Reuters focused on a collection of more than 10,000 regional journals, from which 1600 met the review standards for inclusion in the Web of Science.  The essay offers coverage statistics for the previous decade to contextualize the significant realignment that resulted from the regional surge. Most notably, the 1600 regional journals added during this period account for 55% of all new journals indexed between 2005-2010, and 45% of new journals from 2000 to 2010.

Thomson Reuters applied the same rigorous evaluation standards to regional journals as international ones. Through diligent application of the Journal Selection Process, we are able to bring our users the studies that will advance their work while avoiding a great deal of marginal research.

This recent growth spurt has changed the fabric of the Web of Science in unique ways and has expanded its horizon of discoverable material. To explore the potential impact of the regional initiative, the essay reviews changes in the representation of journals from specific countries in Web of Science as well as shifts in overall editorial content in seven broad subject areas:

  • Agriculture Biology & Environmental Sciences
  • Arts & Humanities
  • Clinical Medicine
  • Engineering Computing & Technology
  • Life Sciences
  • Physics Chemistry & Earth Sciences
  • Social and Behavioral Science

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