The Financial Counseling and Planning Indexing Project: Establishing a Correlation between Indexing, Total Citations, and Library Holdings

Article excerpt

The researcher hypothesized that increasing the number of indexing services covering a journal would increase library holdings and total citations for the journal. A sample group of 40 Journal Citation Reports (JCR) journals in the "Business, Finance" category was identified and checked for the number of times indexed in Ulrich's Periodicals Directory, the total citations in the JCR, and the library holdings in Online Computer Library Center's (OCLC) WorldCat. A Pearson correlation matrix was constructed, and the conclusion reached was that increasing the number of indexes for a journal increases library holdings and positively affects citation patterns. A discussion of the ongoing efforts to index Financial Counseling and Planning is provided.

Key Words: indexing and abstracting services, journal indexing and visibility, library holdings, total citations


Publishers of both commercial and scholarly association and society journals rely heavily upon indexing and abstracting services to increase the visibility and use of their academic journals. From a publisher or journal editor's perspective, the numerous advantages of submitting a journal for inclusion in a large number of indexing databases appear self-evident. Faculty and students almost exclusively use electronic indexes to conduct literature searches for articles relevant to their academic research. EBSCO Publishing, Cambridge Scientific Abstracts (CSA), Proquest CSA, Thomson Gale, H. W. Wilson, and other major information services providers now lease subject specific and multidisciplinary indexes (e.g., ABI/INFORM®, PsycINFO, Academic Search® Premier, and EconLit) to academic libraries in formats that allow their constituents to seamlessly retrieve full text journal content. Increased use by faculty and other researchers will likely affect the number of citations to a publisher's journal, enhancing a journal's reputation and the possibility of attracting submissions by prominent researchers. Increasing a journal's visibility in indexing databases should also result in more requests by researchers for institutional subscriptions for academic libraries. For these reasons, the researcher hypothesized that increasing the number of indexing services covering a journal will likely benefit publishers by increasing library holdings and total citations for the journal.

The editor of Financial Counseling and Planning (FCP), the research journal of the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®), first approached the author in January 2006 to discuss the possibility of submitting the journal for inclusion in appropriate indexing and abstracting services. The author agreed to identify appropriate indexing resources and to collaborate with the editor on the process of submitting the journal to the indexing services for consideration. Although familiar with indexing services and negotiating with information service providers, the author did not possess previous experience submitting journals for indexing and abstracting. The author also recommended promoting the open access aspect of the journal to further increase use and visibility. The author and editor successfully placed the journal in 10 major indexing and abstracting services over a 12-month period. The collaborative indexing venture is ongoing, with pending submissions for additional indexing services. A description of the indexing project is presented in detail below.

Literature Review

Notwithstanding the apparent advantages of placing a journal in the major indexing and abstracting services, the literature is relatively silent on the possible correlation between a journal's presence in these databases and total citation rate, journal reputation, article submissions, and library holdings. Citation analyses and other studies predicated upon impact factor as a measure of journal quality have largely dominated the bibliometric research literature (despite serious concerns about the misuse of Eugene Garfield's impact factor1). …