Transforming Access to the Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning
Miller, Rebecca K., Hires, Will, Lawrence, Frances C., Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning
The Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning has been consciously adapting to the emerging publication trends among business periodicals for the past several years. Since 2006, efforts to improve the visibility of and access to JFCP have included expanding the number and type of indexing services that house the journal, promoting the journal's open access status, and changing the publication's title to align it with other major periodicals. Although these efforts are ongoing, the Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning continues to seek out new ways of enhancing access to its scholarship and reaching a wider audience of scholars, researchers, students, and financial practitioners.
Key Words: indexing databases, journal trends, journal visibility, open access journals
Tempest (2005) wrote that in this digital age of research, many "fields take a new direction and the journals in the field need to adapt accordingly" (p. 57). The Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning (JFCP) has been consciously adapting to the new directions of many business publications since 2006, when the journal's editor and a member of the editorial board began a project to "increase the visibility and use" of the publication (Kelsey, 2007, p. 18). Over the past 4 years, efforts to increase the impact of JFCP included broadening the number and type of locations that index the journal, promoting the journal's open access status, and improving the journal's presentation.
JFCP's transformation began with an indexing project that was documented in Kelsey's 2007 article. Kelsey, serving as a JFCP editorial board member in addition to his role as an academic librarian, argued that "faculty and students almost exclusively use electronic indexes to conduct literature searches for articles relevant to their academic research" and that a scholarly publication's inclusion in numerous indexing databases would considerably improve the impact of, as well as the access to, that publication (Kelsey, p. 18). Research indicating that the number of indexing services covering a journal correlates significantly with a journal's total citations, visibility, and library holdings augments Kelsey's claim, providing the impetus for JFCP to persistently seek out indexes and databases that would provide new access points to the journal's scholarship (Kelsey).
Since the beginning of the indexing project, JFCP has been successfully placed within 18 prominent indexing databases, including ABI/Inform, Academic Search Complete, Current Abstracts, Business Source Complete, Business Source Corporate, TOC Premier EconLit, Journal of Economic Literature, PsycINFO, Social Services Abstracts, Business Education Index, Wilson Business Full Text, J-Gate, Directory of Open Access Journals, Open Science Directory, PAIS International, ProQuest/ProQuest Central, Lexis Nexis, and ERIC. As the indexing project is ongoing, JFCP is still being considered for inclusion in Web of Science and Scopus. On average, each of the journals included in Kelsey's research sample were covered by 20 indexing services, a number that he indicated would be a "reasonable" goal for JFCP (Kelsey, p. 22). Depending on the outcome of its outstanding applications, JFCP appears to be on the brink of attaining its indexing goal and maximizing access to its scholarship.
In addition to increasing its inclusion in indexing services managed by various vendors, JFCP has explored the potential of open access (OA) publishing. Full-text articles, although available on the AFCPE website (http://www.afcpe.org/publications/journal-articles.php), are also available via a large number of OA platforms. Recent research reveals that across disciplines OA journals reach a wider audience than scholarship restricted by subscriptions and high fees. Eight years ago, Nature published a paper that described the clear correlation between an article's cites and the probability that it is a freely available, online article (Lawrence, 2001). …