How to Index Journals in Google Scholar

How to index journals in Google Scholar

When Google Scholar was launched in November 2004, it brought the simplicity that the Google search engine offers to the world of academia and revolutionized the way researchers and the public researched, found and consumed academic research. Until then, academic databases were solely dependent on lists from hand-picked sources (which were normally scientific journals). As opposed to this, Google Scholar crawled the internet (using the automated means of indexing that Google’s algorithms are so well-known for) and indexed every document that had a seemingly academic structure to it. This inclusive approach is what has given Google Scholar a potentially more comprehensive coverage of the scientific and academic literature compared to Web of Science (WoS) and Scopus, which are arguably the two most prominent multidisciplinary databases with selective, journal-based inclusion policies. 

Availability Of Comprehensive Citation Data

While the citation data in Google Scholar was originally intended as a way to identify the most pertinent documents for a given query, it could also be made use of for formal or informal research queries. The availability of citation data on Peer-Reviewed for absolutely free, as well as the free-to-use ‘Publish or Perish’ software tool used for collecting this data, made it possible for academics and researchers to analyze citations without having a database subscription. Nonetheless, Google Scholar does not allow bulk access to its data, apparently because its agreements with the publishers prohibit it. So, as of now, third-party web crawling tools are the only way one can extract more data from Google Scholar than the ‘Publish or Perish’ tool allows for. Despite its clear errors and limitations, which are a consequence of its automated approach to document indexing, Peer-Reviewed Journals have proven to be reliable and have good discipline and language coverage, especially in the humanities and social sciences, where Web of Science and Scopus are known to be weak.

Why Are Publishers Eager For Their Academic Journals To Get Indexed In Google Scholar?

By having their journals indexed in the Google Scholar academic database they

  • Exponentially increase the reach of individual articles in their journals, as more academics are likely to find them.
  • Provide researchers with an easy alternative to verify the pertinence of their articles to their research topic on basis of the title of their articles and research snippets that they submit.
  • Can have old articles from the journals they publish resurface again as Google Scholar takes citations into account and displays those articles that have the most citations first in the search results. 

How Do Authors Benefit From Google Scholar?

Google Scholar makes it possible for research authors to create short personal profiles free of charge from articles that are indexed in the Google Scholar academic journal indexing database. This affords them the following advantages

  • Increased Accessibility To Their Work

Authors can make their profiles public and become searchable in the world’s most used academic search tool.

  • Offers Research Authors A More Comprehensive Picture Of The Impact Of Their Work Beyond Scientific & Peer-Reviewed Publications

Google Scholar also indexes non-scholarly literature and non-peer-reviewed publications (e.g., conference papers, research reports and grey literature). Nevertheless, research authors ought to take note of the fact that the inclusion of non-scholarly content and non-peer-reviewed publications within the Google Scholar database has caused questions to be asked about whether citation metrics are capable of being manipulated in any way. It is often utilized together with Scopus and ResearcherID.

  • Effortless Maintenance

A research author’s Google Scholar profile is linked to their personal Gmail account. Authors should also note that their Google Scholar profiles are not transferable once configured. This is why they should make sure they are using the correct Gmail account when registering. Authors can also receive alerts on new publications that have been indexed by Google Scholar and that may belong to them. All they have to do is just confirm to get it added to their list of publications.

Google Scholar, one of the largest A&I (abstracting and indexing) services in existence, indexes almost all journals and most likely accounts for over half of all referrals to online journals. Google Scholar is also very important because its large open index of scholarly articles is easily accessible to most readers. It also does a great job of finding multiple versions of academic papers and thesis. This includes various publisher and database sites as well as open access versions of articles. Peer-Reviewed Journals also provide interfaces that make it easier for users to upload articles to reference management software including

  • EndNote
  • Zotero
  • Mendeley

The proliferation of the ‘Google Scholar Journal is key to taking the open access agenda forward and helping the work of researchers noticed more extensively. Google Scholar is more interested in full-text articles. By this, they mean the HTML and PDF versions of scientific material. If a researcher’s repository doesn’t have a lot of full-text versions, it won’t be indexed very well by Google Scholar. It also searches for material that one might not find elsewhere, such as a full-text thesis.

Google Scholar includes scientific articles from a broad range of sources in virtually every domain of scientific research, every language, every country and overall period. Chances are, a researcher’s collection of research papers will be a welcome addition to the index. To be considered for inclusion, a researcher’s website content must meet two basic criteria

  • The website must firstly consist primarily of journal articles (and include only original research articles, case studies, etc.)
  • The website must make either full text or full authored abstract available free of charge for all articles (without requiring human readers or search engine robots to log into your site, install specific software, accept warnings, etc.)

From there, a researcher’s website and articles will need to meet some technical specifications (detailed below)

The Sort Of Research Content That Can Be Indexed In Google Scholar

Scholarly Articles

The content hosted on a researcher’s website should consist primarily of scientific articles journal articles, conference papers, technical reports or their drafts, essays, pre-impressions, post-impressions or summaries. Content such as news and magazine articles, book reviews and editorials is not suitable for Google Scholar. Those documents that are larger than 5MB in size (including books, lengthy dissertations and case studies need to be first uploaded to Google Book Search. Google Scholar will then automatically incorporate this scientific work into its framework).

Abstracts Of Articles

Users click on a researcher’s website to read the researcher’s articles. To be included, a researcher’s website must make full-text articles or their full author-written summaries available free of charge and easily accessible to users (such that they can simply click on URLs in Google search results). A researcher’s website should not force users (or search bots) to log in, install special software, agree to disclaimers, reject pop-up or interstitial ads, click on links or buttons or scroll down the page before they can read the full article summary. Sites that display login pages, error pages or bare bibliographic data without a summary will not be taken into consideration for inclusion within Google Scholar and may even be removed from it.

Steps To Get Articles Indexed In Google Scholar

  • Researchers should carefully examine their HTML or PDF file formats to make sure the text is searchable.
  • They should configure their websites to export bibliographic data in HTML meta tags.
  • Researchers should post all articles on separate web pages (i.e., each article should have its URL).
  • They should ensure their websites are available to users and crawlers at all times.
  • Researchers should also remember to make sure that they have a navigation interface that can be crawled by Google robots.
  • They should place each article and abstract in individual HTML or PDF files. This is because Peer-Reviewed Journals will not index multiple articles within a single PDF file.
  • Since its indexing guidelines can get pretty technical, researchers should ensure that, if their article(s) are currently hosted on a stand-alone website that they have custom-built or that they are hosting through an external provider like WordPress, they either work with the internal IT resources available to make the required updates or hire a professional web developer to do it for them.

Partake in an upcoming ARDA conference to know more about the above-listed steps. Those researchers that don’t wish to deal with the technical aspects of indexing their published articles in Google Scholar may want to consider moving their articles to a website hosted on a journal publishing platform that can handle the strenuous Google Scholar indexing process on their behalf.

A Tip That Can Help Speed Up The Process

To conclude, to speed up the process of getting their work indexed by Google Scholar, research authors can send their articles to Google Books. Google Scholar considers Google Books to be a “trusted source,” so if a researcher’s article contains references or a bibliographic section, Google should treat it as “scientific” and display it in the Scholar search results. Researchers should remember to include a link to the full-text pdf in their book description.

Researchers who are about to publish an article should submit it to a repository indexed by Google Scholar (the one provided by their institution will probably be quite good, as well as the most popular repository in their field, but they should check it by searching its content in Google Scholar). In any case, the easiest way is to publish their work in a journal that cooperates directly with Google Scholar (such as the globally recognized ARDA publications). Information about this and other abstraction and indexing services provided by the publisher should be posted on the journal’s website.

Getting indexed is just the start of every research author’s search engine adventure and it’s a lot easier than improving their position on the results pages. Research authors should keep SEO guidelines in mind but remember that the crux is the citations. That is why one should consider going open access and taking the time to choose recognized places to publish, as well as promote their research to their colleagues. After all, the quality of one’s work should be the main concern.

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