I'm currently looking at the requirements of a (Comp. Sci.) job that seems to only take into account "ISI-indexed publications". I'm vaguely aware of what ISI is and so forth, but I'm struggling to find a definitive list of ISI-indexed venues, or what "ISI-indexed publications" means.

Or at least I hope it doesn't mean what I think it does ...

I found the following list on the Thomson Reuters' page as a journal list for science. However, the list doesn't contain any conferences (even the "big ones" like WWW, (P)VLDB, SIGMOD, etc.) and a few journals I would expect to be on there aren't.

Would I be correct to say that any Comp. Sci. venue not on that list is not "ISI-indexed"?

Is this "ISI-indexed-only" restriction common?

(If so, seems quite antiquated really. Not being able to mention good, highly-cited, highly-selective conference papers sucks.)

  • A short answer is: ISI only index journals and ISI-indexed journals usually mean relatively high-quality journals. But not necessarily.
    – Jhz832
    May 1, 2014 at 18:35

2 Answers 2


Right, the IP & Science business of Thomson Reuters (the business formerly known as ISI) curates the indexes Web of Science and Current Contents Connect. The journal coverage in those two is almost identical. Thomson Reuters then creates some data products from the Web of Science and Current Contents Connect data, such as the Journal Impact Factors.

Other indexes that are important in computer science include IEEE Xplore and ACM Digital Library. There are also more open indexes such as DBLP and CiteSeerX.

Thomson Reuters mentions "Bradford's Law" as a principle it uses to include or exclude journals. The general idea is to include some 12,000 journals that are well woven into the network of scholarly citations, viewed broadly.

I have read more than once that computer science is unusual in the value it places on conference papers. That fact may help to explain limitations in the collection of conferences in the Web of Science collection. I am not certain whether or not the collection strategy for Web of Science specifically takes into account that computer science is unusual in that way.

The Web of Knowledge product that provides access to the Web of Science collection happens to have a more subject-specific collection called Inspec available for subscription. That is a bibliographic collection curated by the Institution of Electronics and Technology that historically was the UK's counterpart to IEEE. Not every institution that subscribes to Web of Knowledge elects to include Inspec in its subscription. Conversely, Web of Knowledge is not the only way to access the Inspec collection - although I believe it is the only way that is cross-referenced with Web of Science.


Would I be correct to say that any Comp. Sci. venue not on that list is not "ISI-indexed"?

I suspect the answer is Yes. Click here to search for your journal. Many CS top journals are not indexed by ISI. This says nothing whatsoever about the quality of the work. Limiting publications to only ISI-indexed is really really a bad decision. This may vary between fields, but in CS, I am certain most of the high quality venues of publishing are not ISI-indexed. Note that some scam journals would claim they have impact factor x.xxx where actually they are not even listed by ISI.

Is this "ISI-indexed-only" restriction common?

I know some universities (like King Saud University; a list from one guy from KSU is also here ) where researchers are required to publish in ISI-indexed venues to get promoted (i.e. to associate or full). But these are exception cases and not common.

  • 1
    I'd like to add a link to the description of ISI. BTW: The ranking (list) they publish is actually called JCR AFAIK.
    – Trylks
    Nov 11, 2013 at 9:16

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