Strategy in Selecting the Appropriate International Journals

Strategy in Selecting
the Appropriate
International Journals
Mien A. Rifai
Indonesian Academy of Sciences
c.o. “Herbarium Bogoriense” Puslit Nasional Biologi –
LIPI, Jalan Juanda 22, Bogor
A survey published by Scientific American
indicated that in 1994 the contribution of
Indonesian scientists and scholars to the
body of world knowledge, science, and
technology annually represents only
0,012%, which is far below Singapore which
contributes 0,179%, and highly insignificant
if compared to that of the US scientists and
scholars which amount to over 20%.
Some observers stated that the efforts of
Indonesian scientists and scholars to
participate in advancing science and
technology represented lost science in the
third world. They acknowledged the
voluminous work being done but
unfortunately the results never reached their
peers simply because they were being
published in numerous periodicals that
unfortunately never went beyond the fence
of the publishing agencies.
A closer examination at the situation
does indeed reveal that in general
Indonesian scientific journals are
published in a very limited numbers (many only 300
copies per edition)
circulated only locally (and often privately)
not subscribed by major libraries (not even in
written in Indonesian (only recently being provided with
English abstracts)
not being used by university lecturers as source of
teaching material
haphazardly produced, managed, and edited
ignored by the scientific world
It follows that even the titles of scientific
articles written by Indonesian scientists and
scholars do not appear in rapid
bibliographic services, and their keywords
have not been scanned and picked up by
information service providers, so that they
are not available to be accessed through
internet. Consequently, very few Indonesian
scientific periodicals are being covered by
abstracting journals, and none of them has
been listed in Science Citation Index.
On the other hand, it is imperative that
Indonesian scientists and scholars should
made the results of their scientific activity
available to their fellow scientists all over
the world by publishing them in readily
accessible journal internationally, among
other things in order to improve the
competitive ability of Indonesian products in
the world market which in turn will improve
the welfare of Indonesian people as a
Correlation between Country Productivity
and Number of Publication and Citation
Number of
Number of
318.286 2.199.617
336.858 1.852.271
1.265.808 10.850.549
GDP per capita
Therefore if one feels that the results of
the self assessment and evaluation
reveal the merit of the research
findings for international consumption,
it is a duty to publish them as soon as
possible. It should be considered a
criminal act not to do so, especially if
public funds have been spent in
supporting the research.
For this purpose an effort should be made to
identify the most suitable journal to publish
it, a periodical with the highest qualification
that can be reached. In making the choise
once again it is necessary to be very certain
about the uniqueness of the content of the
article to be contributed, especially in
ascertaining the field of specialization being
addressed to.
One can begin by identifying and classifying the
content of the articles from the narrowest field of
specialization in order to ascertain that it is suitable to
the type of audience to be addressed:
the super-super spesialists
 the super specialist scientists
 the specialists
 or just generalist experts
Do not be too dishearten if the identification reaches
the lowest mark, because it is possible that the data
and information revealed by the research or study isof
 cross sectoral
 or transdisciplinary
in nature. If it is inter- or transdiciplinary,
then decide which sector has the
highest potentials readers.
Bear in mind that modern disciplines
such as ecology, ethnobotany,
biotechnology, or subjects related to
gender use transdisiplinary
approaches without diminishing their
superspecialization demanded by
modern science and technology, so
that their journals have a high degree
of specialization.
As an active researcher in any particular
field of specialization, one should be
fully aware on the identity of
prominent experts in the field
concerned, and know also which
journal(s) are frequented by them, as
well as the niche or ranking of the
journal in advancing the related
science and technology.
Among the many identified
journals, choose the one which:
receives the highest acclaim (accredited with high
citation index)
has the strongest impact in advancing the field of
disciplin concerned
has the widest audience (written in UN languanges)
has global aspiration in geographical scope
contains only articles based on research results (rather
than review articles)
is often refered to
is rapid in processing articles for publication (short
waiting list)
is issued with high frequency (monthly or bimonthly
insted of annually published)
It should be noted that not all journals
using English (or other UN languages)
are of high or international standard.
They are foreign periodicals but not
necesaarily of high standing because
their interests are often of a local
value (such as Transaction of
Yorkshire Naturalist Union)
To be considered having an
tnternational merit, a journal should
accomodate articles written in one of the UN
contain high quality original articles which contribute
significantly to the advancement of the disciplin being
much sought after by specialists all the world over
be managed openly by a team of editors from all over
the world, and the mechanisms of blind review by the
peer group system is used in screening, selecting, and
evaluating articles to be accepted for inclusioan
has contributors that come from notable institutes in
many countries having experts specializing in disciplin
has a global circulation because it is subscribed by
specialized institutes from all over the world.
Specialized journals are
published by
scientific profesional associations of
international renown (such as the British
Mycological Society, the American Chemical
major publishing houses (like Elsevier
Group, Cambridge University Press,
Springer Verlag)
resarch institutions (such as Boyce
Thomson Institute, Royal Botanic Gardens
Kew, Rijksherbarium at Leyden)
It pays to join and become a member of
a scientific profesional association
because it will enable one to
receive regularly free scientific journal
published by the society
submit article to be published in the society
journal, often free of charge
establish networking and cooperative
research venture with fellow members
keep up with the news about new
development, scientific events and other
related happenings as well as the progress
of the specialized disciplin
Some important websites to brows for
finding suitable major international
Cambridge Univ. Press (UK):
International Institute for Asian Studies:
Ingenta Environment (contains some 4500 journals):
Wiley Interscience:
Taylor & Francis:
After a journal has been chosen
study two or three latest issues or editions
peruse carefully its instructions to contributing authors
(which may up to 64 pages long)
find out if the journal also issues further instructions in
its website
ensure that the instructions and all requirements are
fully understood to their minutest details
read carefully four or five sample articles (preferably
ones closely related to topics being dealt with) and
compare them closely them with the instructions to
When the style and format of the journal have
been completely understood and mastered,
then one may start preparing the draft
article to be submitted. In doing so, ensure
that every items (title, byline, abstract,
punctuations, list of references etc.) are
executed wholly in line with the instructions
to authors issued by the journal.
It cannot be overemphasized thar in preparing
the manuscript to be submitted, it is
compulsary to follow the instruction to the
authors very closely if one really wishes that
the article be accepted by the journal. Small
deviations may make the computer
employed by the journal to scan incoming
contributions to reject automatically the
article being sent.
After completing and revising the first draft, it
is not a bad idea ti hand it over––together
with a copy of the instruction to authors––to
one or two close associates to read and
comment on it. Based on criticisms and
suggestions received, revise the draft
accordingly to prepare the final draft to be
sent to the editor of the journal chosen.
After sending the draft to the
appropriate address, take a rest, and
wait patienly for the answer and
respond from the editor(s) . . . and
Upon receiving an answer, promtly
respond to it accordingly (normally
within a fortnight by post or within 48
hours by e-mail).
Indonesian editors often complain on
the habit of Indonesian authors who
generally are very slow or event
reluctant to respond if asked to revise
their draft as suggested by their
Two small popular handbooks
written in Indonesian are available
Mikrajudin Abdullah. 2004. Menembus Jurnal
Ilmiah Nasional Internasional: Petunjuk
Ringkas dari Penulisan Paper hingga
Koreksi Proof. Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka
Utama. ix + 112 pp.
Zifirdaus Adnan & Indrawati Zifirdaus 2005.
Merebut Hati Audiens Internasional: Strategi
Ampuh Meraih Publikasi di Jurnal Ilmiah.
Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka Utama. xv +
136 pp.

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