This editorial discusses the recent inclusion of the Journal of Chiropractic Education in Scopus and places this accomplishment in context of the growth of the journal over the past 12 years. New open access reference cross-linking is also introduced.
The Journal of Chiropractic Education (JCE) is the official journal of the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC). The Journal has published chiropractic education discourse and research for 32 years. It has outlived other chiropractic journals, which is an indication of its value and support to continue as a viable publication.1 The authors, editors, editorial board, peer-reviewers, and journal production team deserve a great deal of the credit for the accomplishments of JCE over the years. The Journal was published first in 1987 and became the official journal of the ACC in 1989 due to the backing of the presidents of the chiropractic colleges and president of the ACC, David O'Bryon.2 The presidents, indeed, deserve accolades for their forward thinking. During my tenure as editor since 2006, these leaders have continued to show outstanding encouragement for the Journal and my strategic initiatives.
Publication of new knowledge is only one of many journal responsibilities. Another important responsibility is to make sure that the content in the Journal is discoverable by scholars, researchers, and other stakeholders. There is no point in publishing a journal if no one can find the contents. This is why indexing in recognized systems is so important. Indexing systems catalog content, provide search platforms, enable readers to find the papers, and some provide citation metrics for journals and authors. For a journal to serve its constituents, robust indexing is essential.
Therefore, one strategic initiative that I proposed to the ACC was to expand indexing for the JCE. While the Journal has been included in several indexing systems since 1988,3 it was clear that inclusion in additional major citation databases was necessary. The purpose of this initiative was several-fold: (1) to disseminate JCE contents widely, (2) to make papers more readily available to international scholars, and (3) through increased accessibility, to increase potential citation of the works of JCE authors. The ACC presidents fully backed this proposal so the Journal staff moved forward with the strategic plan.
Application for indexing is a long process, which takes many steps over years. Candidate journals must upgrade content and processes to meet rigorous requirements. With focused efforts over 2 years, we achieved inclusion in PubMed in 2008. After this accomplishment, further encouragement from the ACC leadership led to the inclusion in Web of Science through the Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) in 2015. Web of Science is a set of databases containing a “core collection” that provides comprehensive indexing of journals, books, and proceedings. This collection is used to measure research impact and with its inclusion in ESCI, the JCE is being evaluated for impact factor.4
The latest accomplishment for JCE indexing occurred in 2017. I am happy to report that the JCE was accepted by Elsevier for inclusion in Scopus, a trans-disciplinary database. This is important because Scopus is a prestigious indexing system and regarded as the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature globally. Acceptance into Scopus is a significant milestone for the Journal, as it increases the number of opportunities for papers to be cited. This is important particularly to the international authors who have requirements to publish in journals either indexed in MEDLINE or Scopus. Scopus also is used to measure research impact and JCE will be included in these citation metrics.
The journal selection board at Scopus commended the JCE in their acceptance letter, stating, “The Editors are to be commended for the growing level of citations in Scopus-based journals, indicating a recognition by the scientific community in the field of the scholarship found in the articles.” The letter goes on to say (the Journal), “has a large international editorial board which offers a broad perspective from other countries in the development of this international journal.”
Upon hearing of the acceptance to Scopus, Clay McDonald, DC, MBA, JD, Chair of the ACC and president of Logan University, commented, “It is a great honor for the Journal to be recognized and included in Scopus. The addition of the JCE in Scopus is a testament to the quality of the JCE, those who contribute to it, its editor, and its editorial board. The ACC is proud of our affiliation with the JCE and we are confident it will continue to mature and reflect the best in chiropractic education and research.”
The JCE is now indexed in eight prestigious systems, including:
Web of Science (Emerging Sources Citation Index)
Index to Chiropractic Literature (ICL)
Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL)
Manual, Alternative and Natural Therapy Index System (MANTIS)
Allied and Complementary Medicine Database (AMED)
Another feature that is new to the Journal is that links to references cited in it are now open access. Linking of references is a service that is paid through the publisher of JCE with the publisher being a member in the nonprofit CrossRef organization. CrossRef makes scholarly material easy to find, cite, link, and access. JCE has been a member of CrossRef for several years and abides by its ethics and standardization policies. In brief, we provide each article with a unique digital object identifier and these data are registered with Crossref. Crossref then uses its computer software systems to link citations in authors' articles and the article itself to many search engines and reference management systems. Important sources where articles are discovered by readers are Web of Science, Scopus, ReadCube, Ebsco, Elsevier, Google, and others. As noted above, JCE is indexed in most of these databases. Thus, the JCE being a member of CrossRef and maintaining a high quality standard to be indexed in these prestigious databases increases authors' opportunities to be cited and the citation metrics of the Journal. By changing our reference linking status from being limited only to other Crossref members to being “open,” anyone now can access the linking feature.
It is exciting to see the above changes in this journal that represents chiropractic academe. We use a continuous quality improvement program for the JCE. We always are looking for ways to strive toward excellence, increase the relevance, engage a diverse international audience, and more widely disseminate the papers published in the Journal. The JCE is the only peer-reviewed journal that focuses on the mission of training chiropractors and has chronicled and preserved the scholarship in education for the chiropractic profession over the last 32 years. We are positioning the Journal to continue that tradition for many years to come.
You are invited to join in developing the future of chiropractic education research. You can participate by publishing your work in the Journal or simply by reading and applying the contents in the clinic or classroom. The JCE is open access, included in highly regarded indexing systems, has open access reference links, and engages participants from nearly every chiropractic training program from around the world. Together, let us shape the future of chiropractic education.
Bart N. Green, DC, MSEd, PhD
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