Parallel Session A

From National to International: Benefits of the digital era for regional journals

Ida Raffaelli
Department of Linguistics, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Zagreb, Croatia
Editor-in-Chief of the journal Suvremena lingvistika
[email protected]

This session will highlight some of the major issues which regional journals or nationally oriented journals often deal with. The terms regional journals or nationally oriented journals refer to journals which communicate science that directly affects the national scientific community. The Humanities are one of the most prominent scientific fields with nationally oriented research, since they are organized around the so-called ‘national sciences’, such as national literature, national philology, national art.  However, other sciences such as geology, meteorology, maritime sciences, botanical sciences, also conduct research relevant for developing national knowledge within a scientific field.  Regional journals publishing this kind of knowledge often remain internationally invisible and less influential.  This is changing in the digital era— regional journals are becoming more visible internationally and therefore open to mainstream science.  The main question would be how the digital era enables a regional journal to become an international journal and how a regional journal becoming an international journal preserves its commitment to the national scientific community. 


Geologia Croatica: from regional journal to international authors

Prof. Mladen Juračić, Editor-in-chief
Alisa Martek, MLIS, Managing Editor
Dr. Marija Horvat, Technical Editor

Geologia Croaticais a scientific journal of the Croatian Geological Survey and the Croatian Geological Society, that deals with all aspects of Earth sciences, with emphasis on the Dinarides, the Adriatic/Mediterranean region, the Pannonian Basin and karst issues. Geologia Croatica has been published continuously since 1947. Editors have always worked on the international visibility of the journal and it is indexed in almost all relevant databases for the Geosciences (GeoRef, GeoBase, Geological Abstracts, GeoArchive, Geotitles)as well asScopus andWeb of Science. Bibliometric analysis of the journal since 1992 shows a steady increase in the number of authors with international affiliations.  It also shows the important role of issues devoted to specific international conferences. Journal visibility improved substantially with the introduction of free access to the electronic version. New authors brought new topics to the journal (geomathematics, geomorphology, karst research) and presented new areas of investigation.


The effect of subsidised access to scholarly journals on publications in developing countries: Bangladesh

Sioux Cumming, Programme Officer, Publishing Support, International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications, Oxford, UK

Researchers in INASP’s partner developing countries are provided with subsidised access to a range of scholarly journals through the Programme for the Enhancement of Research Information (PERii). INASP also supports local research by hosting nationally published journals on the Journals Online websites.  I will describe a study that investigated whether access to scholarly journals has had any effect on Bangladeshi journals.  The references in journals hosted on BanglaJOL were examined to determine whether the number of PERii resources being included had increased during their membership of the site and whether more current references were being used.  The impact of international exposure was measured by counting the number of international authors on papers.  Although the journals have been on BanglaJOL for a relatively short time, there has been a small, statistically significant, increase in the use of resources supplied through PERii.  The number of international authors increased, but not significantly.  Surprisingly, the use of current references decreased slightly: this requires further investigation.


Deutsches Ärzteblatt and Deutsches Ärzteblatt International
Transition from a national to an international medical journal

Stephan Mertens, Scientific Editor, Deutsches Ärzteblatt, Medizinisch-Wissenschaftliche Redaktion, Köln, Germany

Background: Deutsches Ärzteblatt, the official journal of the German Medical Association, is a weekly peer-reviewed journal founded in 1872.  In order to increase the range and scientific perception of the journal, in September 2006 we decided to publish all articles of the medical section in both German and English.  On 1stJanuary 2008 Deutsches Ärzteblatt International was launched as an open access online journal.

Methods :Manuscript submission and rejection rates, page impressions and citation rates (as an indicator for scientific perception) were determined over time. In order to learn about our authors´ experiences with the bilingual publication initiative, all 368 authors who had published an article between January 2008 and April 2011 were asked to complete a survey.

Results: The presentation will describe the results of this study.


From National to Digital: the experience of scientific journals published by the Croatian Institute for History

Unfortunately, this paper has been withdrawn as the authors are unable to attend.

Nikica Barić PhD, Chief Editor of Časopis za suvremenu povijest (Journal of Contemporary History), Croatian Institute for History, Zagreb, Croatia

Mario Jareb PhD, Editorial Board Member of Časopis za suvremenu povijest and Review of Croatian History, Croatian Institute for History, Zagreb, Croatia

The Croatian Institute for History publishes three historical journals in the Croatian language, with a total of six issues annually: Journal of Contemporary History, Historical Contributions (covering mediaeval and early modern period) and Scrinia slavonica (covering the historical topics of Slavonia, one of the Croatian regions). Currently, all these journals publish articles mainly in Croatian language and most of the authors are Croatian historians. All Croatian historians are motivated to publish their articles in these journals because the national law on scientific work places high value on such publications for career advancement. The main problem for the journal editors is the fact that they are not professionally employed to work on their journal—their primary obligations are to carry out research. Thus it is reasonably easy to manage the editing duties that are directly connected with historical science, such as selection and reviewing of articles. It is much more difficult to establish successful communication with the editors of other Croatian scientific journals in order to develop general guidelines for all scientific journals.  Editors sometimes lack knowledge about the international indexing services, such as which are most relevant and to what extent they are willing to include Croatian historical journals. It should also be noted that many Croatian historians do not understand foreign languages (for example English) proficiently enough to write their articles in that language and journals themselves have neither the financial means nor time to translate articles into English. Still, in 2005 the Croatian Institute of History began publishing the Review of Croatian History in English language exclusively (one issue per year) to present the work of Croatian historians to a wider international public.

 Possible improvement could be achieved with better communication and coordination between all historical journals that are published in Croatia as well as between all social sciences and humanities journals. Editors of these journals should be better informed and educated about the developments in the international community of scientific journals. The position of an editor of scientific journal should be valued more within the criteria for scientific advancement which would motivate editors to improve their journals.