Is there any known criteria on which journals or articles are included within databases listing scientific articles (e.g. Web of Science, Google Scholar)? Of course the traditional scientific journals are but sometimes I find articles, reports and so on that do not seem to have been peer-reviewed. Recently I also wondered why articles from the Journal of Emerging Investigators (https://emerginginvestigators.org/articles), a peer-reviewed journal for studies conducted by school children, do not seem to be indexed by Google Scholar. Does anybody know about inclusion and exclusion criteria?

1 Answer 1


Getting indexed in Google Scholar is simple - it's based on inclusivity and will index pretty much anything that looks like an academic article, as long as it meets the technical requirements. These should be straightforward, e.g. the first page or the abstract must be available for free, it must have the necessary metadata, etc. For many publishers this process is automatic since Google crawls anything that uses the well-established publishing platforms, like Atypon.

Web of Science is different and uses a list of 28 criteria (24 'quality criteria' and 4 'impact criteria'). These include:

  • Your journal must publish regularly, without missing issues, for at least a couple of years.
  • Your journal's articles must generate citations from papers that are already in the database. (Easily the toughest hurdle.)
  • Your journal's articles must generate enough citations - otherwise you either get delisted if you're already indexed. If you aren't already indexed, you could be put into a less prestigious index instead, like ESCI.
  • Your journal must have policies, an editorial board with international representation, etc.

For the journal you linked, it seems to me like the publisher simply have not really tried to get the journal indexed by Google Scholar. I don't see why Google Scholar would not index it if they're crawling the website.

  • Thanks so much for the detailed explanations and especially checking what the problem with this journal could be!
    – Stockfisch
    Sep 29, 2022 at 7:51

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