I am applying to a university for a PhD and in the application it asks for information on journal publications. And under that it asks for journal's Impact factor and database the journal is indexed in.

What is meant by database the journal is indexed in? How can I find it?

I have my journal submitted to BMC systems biology and I found the 2015 impact factor to be 2.213. What is the database the journal is indexed in?

  • 2
    Wow, that's a weird thing for them to ask. Is there space for exactly one entry? What about journals that are indexed by more than one database?
    – ff524
    Aug 4, 2016 at 5:00
  • @ff524 It's a PDF form, so I can write more than one entry,I guess.
    – clarkson
    Aug 4, 2016 at 5:14
  • 1
    Well, then, here you go: About BMC systems biology. Scroll down to "Indexing Services". There are about 20 on the list :)
    – ff524
    Aug 4, 2016 at 5:19
  • @ff524 Thank you. But I can't include all that in the application. As it says "You can also access all articles published by BioMed Central on SpringerLink." Can I use SpringerLink as the database the journal is indexed in?
    – clarkson
    Aug 4, 2016 at 5:39
  • I would answer "Google". (And then I would not get the job.)
    – JeffE
    Aug 4, 2016 at 8:48

1 Answer 1


It sounds like a poorly worded question.

However, if I were to guess their intentions, they might be interested in whether the journal appears in the "Science Citation Index - Expanded" or "Social Sciences Citation Index". Or another influential one is whether it is in the Proquest index.

The reason I say this, is that inclusion in these indices are sometimes used as a minimal criteria for legitimacy as a journal for inclusion in world rankings.

E.g., The Shanghai rankings use:

ARWU uses six objective indicators to rank world universities, including the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, number of highly cited researchers selected by Thomson Reuters, number of articles published in journals of Nature and Science, number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index - Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index, and per capita performance of a university. More than 1200 universities are actually ranked by ARWU every year and the best 500 are published.

You can search for inclusion in Science and Social Science Citation Index here.

  • BMC Systems Biology is in SCIENCE CITATION INDEX EXPANDED. So would SCIENCE CITATION INDEX EXPANDED work as the database the journal is indexed in
    – clarkson
    Aug 4, 2016 at 5:46

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