The curation process for Web of Science Core Collection is unique: our editorial decisions are conducted by our expert in-house editors who have no affiliations to publishing houses or research institutes thus removing any potential bias or conflict of interest.
Each editor is focused on specific subject categories enabling them to gain a deep, nuanced knowledge of the journals in that field. This level of in-house editorial curation contrasts sharply with methods used to create other databases that rely on predominantly algorithmic approaches and/or delegate aspects of editorial decision making to the research community.
The basic principles of our selection process remain the same: objectivity, selectivity and collection dynamics. We use a single set of 28 criteria to evaluate journals; these are divided into 24 quality criteria designed to select for editorial rigour and best practice at the journal level, and four impact criteria designed to select the most influential journals in their respective fields using citation activity as the primary indicator of impact.
Journals that meet the quality criteria enter Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI). Journals that meet the additional impact criteria enter Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) or Arts & Humanities Citation Index (AHCI) depending on their subject area.
These are dynamic collections subject to continuous curation to ensure journals are in the appropriate collection. ESCI journals that gain impact move to SCIE, SSCI or AHCI. SCIE, SSCI and AHCI journals that decrease in impact move to ESCI. Any journal that decreases in quality will be removed from the Web of Science Core Collection.
- Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE): clinical, natural and applied sciences
- Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI): social sciences
- Arts & Humanities Citation Index (AHCI): arts and humanities
- Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI): all disciplines
- Book Citation Index (BKCI): all disciplines
- Conference Proceedings Citation Index (CPCI): all disciplines