Web of Science Core Collection
Communication of Editorial Decisions
Embargo Policy for Journal Evaluations
Removal from Coverage
Exceptions to standard embargo and removal from coverage policies
Coverage of journals/platforms in which publication is decoupled from validation by peer review
Title Changes, Mergers and Splits
Journal Category Changes
Editorial Decision Appeals (Journals)
All communications regarding editorial decisions, including evaluation or re-evaluation outcomes will be communicated to the publisher. Any updates regarding the journal evaluation will be sent to the individual that was listed as the Editorial Contact at the time of submission. Publishers are responsible for communicating outcomes to their editorial boards, authors and readers.
Any review of publication practices is confidential. The Web of Science™ editorial team does not share details of concerns sent by users with the publisher, and equally does not share the outcomes or details of their review with users. Clarivate maintains a freely accessible Master Journal List where information about journal coverage is provided. Our Master Journal List should be considered the authoritative source for coverage.
Journals may be put under embargo if they fail to meet the quality criteria. Journals placed under embargo cannot be re-submitted until the end of the embargo period. Embargo periods are determined as follows.
Initial Triage: There is no embargo period for re-submission if a journal does not pass initial triage.
Editorial Triage: There is no embargo period for re-submission if a journal does not pass editorial triage in its first evaluation. If a journal is subsequently re-submitted and fails editorial triage for a second consecutive time, re-submission is subject to an embargo period of one year.
Editorial evaluation (quality): If a journal does not pass the editorial evaluation (quality) step, re-submission is subject to an embargo period of at least two years.
Journals removed from coverage: Journals previously covered in the Web of Science Core Collection that have been removed from coverage are subject to an embargo period of at least two years after the removal decision is communicated to the publisher. For more information see our removal from coverage policy.
Acceptance into the Web of Science does not guarantee permanent indexing. Journals evolve their scope, reset their editorial thresholds, refresh their editorial leadership and change ownership; each of these can affect a journal’s characteristics and the quality of its published content.
We proactively monitor changes in journal behavior, consider community feedback and periodically re-evaluate journals to ensure they continue to meet our quality criteria.
If valid concerns arise regarding an indexed journal – either through internal monitoring by our AI tools or in-house editors, or external feedback from users and/or trusted community sources – the journal will be re-evaluated according to our quality criteria. During this period, new content will not be processed for indexing and an ‘On Hold’ notice will be placed on the Master Journal List for transparency.
If a journal is removed from coverage because it no longer meets the quality criteria, it will be removed from the Master Journal List and appear as an ‘Editorial De-listing’ in the next Monthly Changes file available from the Monthly Changes Archive.
Text of On Hold notice:
Concerns have been raised about the quality of the content published in this journal. The journal is being re-evaluated according to our selection criteria; new content will not be indexed during the course of the re-evaluation.
When the evaluation is complete, the publisher will be informed of the outcome and the journal will either:
• be removed from coverage if it no longer meets the quality criteria
• or remain covered if it continues to meet the quality criteria.
If the journal meets the quality criteria, any missing content will be indexed. If the journal is removed from coverage, content will not be backfilled. In the most serious cases of breaches in a journal’s editorial standards, as determined by our selection criteria, published content may be removed from Web of Science. Timeframes for completing a re-evaluation will depend on the particular circumstances of each case.
Our standard policy states that any journal that fails one or more of our quality criteria will be de-listed and subject to a two-year embargo before it is eligible to be resubmitted for evaluation.
However, we are committed to work together with publishers, to strengthen our joint capability to safeguard the integrity of the scholarly record. Our aim is to minimize negative outcomes for authors of trustworthy content and responsible publishers who proactively investigate breaches in research integrity and correct the scholarly record in a timely and transparent manner. In these cases, Web of Science may consider either continued coverage or a reduced embargo period for a de-listed journal.
The policy will apply when:
• Publishers directly approach us with their concerns and details of their investigations in the absence of prior notification that the impacted journals are under re-evaluation by Web of Science.
• Publishers provide timely details of their investigation and act promptly in response to notification that their journal is under re-evaluation by the Web of Science editorial team, either as a result of our own findings or community feedback.
For an exception to our standard de-listing and two-year embargo policies to be considered, a publisher must provide clear evidence that the conditions below have been met. Information shared by the publisher will be subject to verification by our independent, internal analyses where possible. Any discussions and details shared by either party will be handled confidentially.
a) The publisher has provided us with details of the issue and identified the impacted journal(s) and content set(s). We encourage publishers to reach out to us at an early stage and do not require a full list of affected articles when publishers first contact us but do expect publishers to keep us regularly updated with progress.
b) The publisher has put effective measures in place to prevent additional compromised content from being published.
c) The publisher is comprehensively reviewing all potentially compromised content sets and is committed to correcting the scholarly record in a timely manner. Inappropriate content should be retracted following industry best practice. Articles under investigation should be marked with an editorial expression of concern for transparency.
d) The publisher has put effective measures in place to prevent a recurrence of the issue and to meet our quality criteria going forward.
This policy will be applied on a case-by-case basis, considering the above points and the level of transparency provided by the publisher in discussions with Clarivate. Our priority is to ensure that we provide the research community with trusted content. Therefore, in order for us to consider an exception to our standard de-listing and/or embargo policies, publishers need to provide compelling evidence that all content of concern has been investigated, and appropriate editorial expressions of concern or retractions have been issued. Journals are not penalized for issuing retractions, which we recognize as a normal and necessary part of correcting the scholarly record.
If we conclude that the above conditions have not been met and/or identify additional content of concern not identified by the publisher, the journal will be subject to our standard de-listing and embargo policies.
Our long-standing policy of cover-to-cover coverage applies to journals that only publish research articles that have been validated by peer review.
The cover-to-cover policy does not apply to journals/platforms with a policy that states that they will publish research articles that have received peer review comments that support the validity of the published research alongside:
In these cases, evaluation and coverage will be limited to the subset of published articles where the content has been validated by peer review.
To be considered for inclusion – or continued coverage – in the Web of Science, publishers must be able to provide a feed of content that is limited to articles that have been validated by peer review.
Our subject categories are intended to group together journals that publish similar content. A citation index makes use of the way scholars, themselves, create a meaningful network of relationships between journals through their cited references. The category assignment of a journal is done not to define its scope, but to reflect its location in the Web of Science citation network.
Upon submission, publishers can suggest up to three subject categories for each journal. The editorial team takes into consideration the publisher’s suggestions, but the final decision is made by the Web of Science editors at their sole discretion.
Journals can be assigned up to six categories. Publishers can request to add or change the categories assigned to a journal using the form provided below. Please carefully consider and refer to the category scope notes available here. Category change requests can be sent throughout the year; however, they will take a lower priority to journals that have not yet been evaluated and are considered at the editor’s discretion. Journals may be subject to a full re-evaluation before any category changes are applied – journals need to meet all 24 quality criteria to remain indexed in the Web of Science Core Collection.
To request a category change for an indexed journal, please fill-in this form and send it as a PDF to email@example.com. Please note that only category requests sent by publishers will be considered. If you are an editor or author of an indexed journal and want to suggest a change in category, please contact the journal publisher.
Our selection criteria are designed to ensure rigorous, consistent, objective and data-driven decision making. However, in the event a publisher believes a decision is unjustified, appeals will be considered as follows.
Editorial Triage (first evaluation): There is no embargo period for re-submission if a journal does not pass editorial triage in its first evaluation, therefore appeals will not be considered. Instead, publishers should re-submit the journal.
Editorial Triage (subsequent evaluation): Publishers are requested to provide a detailed rebuttal containing evidence of how the journal is meeting the criteria indicated as failed in the editorial decision letter (please use the form below). Appeals based on corrective action taken after the rejection decision will not be considered. In these cases, a 1-year embargo on re-submission will remain, at which point the journal may be re-submitted and the results of the corrective action will be evaluated.
Editorial Evaluation (quality): Publishers are requested to provide a detailed rebuttal containing evidence of how the journal is meeting the criteria indicated as failed in the editorial decision letter (please use the form below). Appeals based on corrective action taken after the rejection decision will not be considered. In these cases, a 2-year embargo on re-submission will remain, at which point the journal may be re-submitted and the results of the corrective action will be evaluated.
Editorial evaluation (impact): Appeals based on publisher calculations of the estimated journal impact factor will not be considered. Appeals based on content significance will only be considered if evidence is provided that the journal adds to an area of research underrepresented by the current collection. Publishers are requested to provide a detailed rebuttal containing said evidence (please use the form below). Appeals based on content significance will not be considered for well-represented areas of research.
Appeals must be submitted by the journal publisher. After the appeal is received, the editorial team will review the evidence provided and inform the publisher of the final decision. The outcome of an appeal may be:
Appeals will take a lower priority to journals that have not yet been evaluated and re-evaluations of currently covered journals and are considered at the editor’s discretion. Any decision made following an appeal will be final.
To submit a formal appeal to an editorial decision, please fill-in this form and send it as a PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that only appeals submitted by publishers will be considered.
As an independent organization, Clarivate does not become involved in and is not responsible for the editorial management of any publication or the business practices of any publisher. Publishers are accountable for their publications’ performance and compliance with ethical publishing standards. The views and opinions expressed in any publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Clarivate. Clarivate allows journals, books, proceedings volumes, publishers, institutes and authors to specify their address and affiliation details including territory.
Criteria for selection of any submitted titles and re-evaluation of existing titles in the Web of Science are determined at the sole discretion of Clarivate. If a publisher’s editorial policy or business practices negatively impact the quality of a publication or its role in the surrounding literature of the subject, Clarivate may decline to include the publication in any Clarivate product or service. Clarivate, in its sole discretion, may remove or deselect a publication or journal from coverage (including a content already indexed in the Web of Science) at any point if the publication or journal fails to maintain our standard of quality, does not comply with ethical standards, or otherwise does not meet the criteria determined by Clarivate. The publication will have no further content indexed from a date determined by Clarivate in its sole discretion.
Books or proceedings volumes may be removed from Web of Science indexing if the content is later found to have major flaws that affect the quality of the Web of Science database.
Clarivate’s decision on all matters relating to content maintained in the Web of Science collections will be final.