Journal packing density across subject disciplines at the global level: a study

Pages642-659
Date13 November 2017
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/ILS-07-2017-0077
Publication Date13 November 2017
AuthorRamesh Pandita,Shivendra Singh
SubjectLibrary & information science,Librarianship/library management,Library & information services
Journal packing density across
subject disciplines at the global
level: a study
Ramesh Pandita
Central Library, Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University, Rajouri, India, and
Shivendra Singh
Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, India
Abstract
Purpose The study aims to assess the journal packing density(JPD) of the research journals published
across different subject discipline at the global level. The concept of JPD is aimed to compute the average
number of research articles published per volume or per issue of a research journal in any given subject
discipline. The study also discussesabout the leading research journals publishing countries and continents
across the world and their average JPD. An attempt has also been made to identify the leading research
countieshaving maximum JPD in any given subject discipline.
Design/methodology/approach The study covers 27 major research subject disciplines widely
popular all across the globe. To undertakethe present study, data were retrieved from SCImago Journal and
CountryRanking.
Findings In all,36,081 research journals were indexed by Scopus across27 major subject disciplines
at the global level till 2015. During the period 2013-2015, 11,023,122 research articles were published in
36,081 research journals across 27 major subject disciplines at the global level at an average of 101.84
research articles per journal per volume. This means the average JPD of the research journals at the
global level is 101.84 research articles per journal per volume. Chemistry, physics and astronomy and
multidisciplinary journals are the three leading subject disciplines to have the maximum JPD, namely,
266.66, 253.92 and 242.53 research articles per journal per volume. JPD of research journals published in
the sciences is higher than the JPD of research journals published in the social sciences and humanities.
Business, management and accounting, social sciences and arts and humanities are three subject
disciplines having lowest JPD, namely, 44.26, 35.68 and 32.66 research articles per journal per volume,
respectively. China, Ireland and The Netherlands recorded the highest average JPD in the research
journals published from these counties, namely, 213.39, 178.44 and 135.31 research articles per journal
per volume, respectively.
Research limitations/implications Countries from where a lesser number of research journalsare
indexed by the popular indexes,such as Scopus, Web of Science, etc., face greater pressureof publishing. To
ooze out this pressure,there is need to index more and more research journalsfrom these countries and that
can be done onlyby improving and maintaining the research standardover a period.
Originality/value The study is original and the rst of its kind undertakenat the global level across all
the major subjectdisciplines.
Keywords Publishing, Ranking, Research journals, Journal packing density, Scientic output,
Subject discipline
Paper type Research paper
Introduction
Research results produced by undertaking research activities all across the world are
publishedin the formof research articles in different research journals. Although there is
ILS
118,11/12
642
Received27 July 2017
Revised1 September 2017
Accepted3 October 2017
Informationand Learning Science
Vol.118 No. 11/12, 2017
pp. 642-659
© Emerald Publishing Limited
2398-5348
DOI 10.1108/ILS-07-2017-0077
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/2398-5348.htm
no limit to the number of research journals published in any given research area, all the
research journals published in a particular subject discipline do not enjoy the same
level of reputation among the researchers. Research journals earn reputation by
consistently publishing good research results over a period, following some set
standards and parameters to evaluate research results before publishing them. A
reputed research journal remains always ooded with the quality research articles; this
in turn puts pressure on the research journals to accommodate more and more research
articles in each issue it publishes, thus resulting in the increase in the journal packing
density (JPD) of a research journal.
Indexes like Scopus, Web of Science (WoS) and Ulrichs Periodical Directory have
become some common means to assess the quality of a research journal. This is because
these indexes follow their own standards and parameters, which a journal needs to
fulll before being indexed by any of these indexes. Each research journal published in
any given subject discipline follows its own set of standards, and there is no specic
pattern or the specic number of research articles that a research journal should
publish in any of its given issue or volume. Each research journal publishes any
number of research articles in any given issue and volume of a research journal, mostly
depending upon the space and the policy of the editorial board of each individual
journal. Space constraint is again the aspect associated mostly with print journals,
while most online journals do not show any space constraints and as such publish any
number of research articles in a given issue. A considerable difference exists in the
number of research articles published in each issue or each volume of a research journal
published in each individual subject discipline.
Accordingly, in the current study, an attempt has been made to work out the
average number of research articles published in each volume of a research journal
published in any given subject discipline. This study is based on SCImago, which, in
turn, is based on the Scopus data source. The study computes the JPD of the research
journals published across 27 major subject disciplines in the world and draws the
comparison of their JPD. The undergoing study is well supported with empirical facts,
so as to reect a clear picture about the prevailing trend of research articles published
in each issue or each volume of a research journal in each individual subject
discipline.
Journal packing density
The idea to work out the Journal Packing Density (JPD) of the research journals across
different subject disciplines has been borrowed from the study undertaken by (Basu,
2010), who dened JPD for a country as the ratio of the number of papers published in a
countrys own journals, to the number of journals published. The concept of JPD cannot
be limited only to seek the ratio of country research articles in the research journals
published in that particular country, while as, the scope of the JPDcan be evaluated
beyond the countrys research output. Accordingly, the present study has been
undertaken to assess the JPD of research journals published across 27 major subject
disciplines at the global level.
Keeping in view the scope of the JPD, the concept JPD can also be dened as the
average number of research articles published in each issue or each volume of a
research journal. In the undergoing study, the JPD of research journals across different
subjects has been computed on a volume basis, namely, an average number of research
articles published in each volume of a research journal in each subject discipline under
study.
Journal
packing
density
643

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