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The importance of high-quality content in Scopus

 by Rachel McCullough

Maintaining the integrity of Scopus and its high-quality, curated content is of paramount importance to us. Scopus is vigilant in identifying and discontinuing journals that are, or have become, predatory.

Nature recently published an article based on research looking into predatory publishing using Beall’s list as a definition for predatory journals. Beall’s list has not been maintained since 2017.

This article is based on a study from 2017 which we were aware of. Therefore, in 2017 the Scopus Content Selection and Advisory Board (CSAB) immediately re-evaluated all Beall’s list journals in Scopus and discontinued the underperforming journals. This was part of our ongoing journal re-evaluation program.

Any research that helps shine a light on predatory journals is welcome. Poor-quality and predatory journals are a threat to the integrity of science.

Scopus has an acclaimed, independent and transparent selection process to determine which journals are indexed on its platform; it has an independent Content Selection & Advisory Board, made up of world-leading experts in their fields; and rigorous re-evaluation mechanisms which identify outlier and underperforming journals. These initiatives help us ensure that only the most reliable scientific articles and content are available in Scopus.

Determining if a journal is predatory or not is complex and requires a detailed review based on various considerations. This position statement explains how Scopus identifies and re-evaluates predatory journals.

Of all titles that have been flagged for re-evaluation on Scopus because of publication practice concerns (including those journals listed by Beall), the decision has been made to stop covering 65% of them. When the decision is made to discontinue covering a journal, the content that is already in Scopus remains and going forward no more new articles will be included. We provide a complete overview of which titles have been discontinued, and the last content indexed on the platform from each, on the Scopus info site (navigate to the section “Title Re-evaluation”). 

Our customers want access to the most up-to-date and highest quality interdisciplinary content out there. Scopus has a clearly stated selection policy and an internationally acclaimed board of selection experts so you can be sure that what you see on Scopus meets your high standards. We hope this gives you a sense of the level of scrutiny and focus on authority that is the hallmark of Scopus.

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