Blog Post

A journal milestone, and what it means.

SCImago Journal & Country Rank

Many of you who have read, published in, or considered submitting to CSA’s journal, Citizen Science: Theory & Practice (CSTP) have been asking when the journal would be officially rated. We are proud to announce that CSTP is now appearing in the SJR (SCImago Journal Rank) metrics for multidisciplinary publications.

What does this mean? 

Rankings are indications of a journal’s influence and significance. To receive a rank means that CSTP is gaining the attention of official systems that track journals (SJR is one, Impact Factor is another). More importantly, the metrics show that other authors are finding CSTP papers valuable, and are referring to them in their own publications (more on metrics*). 

Why does this matter?  

For authors:  In academic and research professions, an individual’s career success can depend on publishing in highly-ranked (influential) journals. The basic idea  is that a higher-ranked journal must be where the best research is being published. In some circles, authors may not even be allowed to submit their work to journals without rankings. Being ranked therefore means that CSTP is “unlocked” for some and more attractive for others to submit their best work. 

For readers: While we have known this all along (of course!), this validates that CSTP offers you timely and broadly relevant content. It also means that you are not alone. Papers are being read and shared beyond our small community of dedicated practitioners, an indication that the significance of public participation in scientific research is increasingly appreciated in broader circles. That’s great news for, and in a huge part thanks to, all of you who are dedicated to doing good work in this field.

What’s next?

A ranking is a significant first step in the growth of this journal and field. You can play an important role in building on this milestone, and continuing to increase the metrics. Consider these options:

  • Read, and share – Want summaries of new publications? We post to LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • Submit your work – Be read alongside other influencers in this field (learn more).
  • Review if asked – Reviewers play a critical role in helping authors (and CSTP) present work that is readable by and relevant to a broad audience.

Finally, reaching this stage would not have been possible without the vision and work of a committed editorial team from the journal’s earliest days through now. We are grateful to founding Editor-in-Chief Rick Bonney, the current editorial leadership of Jennifer Preece, Muki Haklay, Sayzie Koldys, and (newly) Cat Davis, as well as so many others who devote their time and attention to making CSTP both a supportive and a significant place to publish. Drop us a line if you have any interest in being part of this team and the next phase of this journal’s growth. We look forward to where we can go from here.

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* SJR draws from the Scopus (Elsevier) database of journals and citations, and rates journals based on a number of different metrics. Among other indicators shown for CSTP (scroll down the page), the “citations per document” ranking is 4.5 for 2021. This is the 2 year average of citations of CSTP articles divided by the total published “citable articles” in the journal over that time period. This rank is not static – it will continue to be influenced by the specific papers published in any particular year. But for a first ranking, for relatively young journal in a distinctive field, this is respectable (according to some sources, 3 is considered good).

For those who want to know more about journal rankings and metrics, this Elsevier page offers an overview and comparison.

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