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 *WORKSHOP ON INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC PAPER WRITING 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 Indonesia!) 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 whole. Correlation between Country Productivity and Number of Publication and Citation (1997–2001) Country India Cina Jerman Jepang USA Number of Publication Number of Citation 77.201 118.481 115.339 341.519 318.286 2.199.617 336.858 1.852.271 1.265.808 10.850.549 GDP per capita 487 989 24.051 31.407 36.006 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 interdiscipilnary 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 languages. 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 covered 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 Society) 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 journals: Cambridge Univ. Press (UK): www.journals.cambridge.org International Institute for Asian Studies: www.iias.nl Ingenta Environment (contains some 4500 journals): www.ingentaconnect.com Elsevier: www.sciencedirect.com Springer: www.springer.com Wiley Interscience: www.interscience.wiley.com Taylor & Francis: www.taylorandfrancis.com 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 authors 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 pray. 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 peers. 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.