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Jindal JGLR journal first in India to get into Scopus database for likely rankings & publications boost

JGLS journal JGLR joins Scopus
JGLS journal JGLR joins Scopus

JGLS Sonepat’s flagship faculty-edited journal, the Jindal Global Law Review (JGLR), has been accepted into Elsevier’s online journals citation database Scopus.

This makes JGLR one of 846 law journals part of Scopus (which has indexed more than 36,000 titles across all subjects) and also probably India’s first pureplay law journal to do so (or at least one published by a law school, see provisos below).

Scopus is a commercial enterprise from publishing and information conglomerate Elsevier, but is significant in part because it is used as a metric by many university rankings, including India’s own National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) and the international QS university rankings.

JGLS has not participated in the former, to date, but did make it into the 101-150 tier of QS' global law schools after a concerted push by its “Office of Ranking, Benchmarking and Institutional Transformation” (NLSIU Bengaluru has consistently ranked first in the NIRF, and 151-200 in the QS for the first time this year).

In QS, JGLS had scored 45.4 out of 100 in “H-index citations” and 55.4 in “citations per paper”; H Index is weighted to make up 15% of the total Scopus score and citations per paper makes up 5% (NLSIU had scored 32.3 and 27.3 respectively in those categories).

The JGLR had been founded in 2009 before JGLS had begun its first classes, and to date has completed 17 issues, via 10 volumes of usually two issues per year, across seven themes.

In 2015, it began being published by international publishers Springer (which has also meant that the content of the journals’ content and articles are currently locked away behind a paywall, though we understand that JGU is working on making more content openly accessible).

How to Scopus

JGLS dean Prof Raj Kumar, who is also editor in chief of JGLR, explained the process for inclusion in Scopus: “Your publisher has to apply on your behalf. Our [JGLR’s] publisher is Springer, and Springer applies for you and they ask us to submit all the issues that have been ever published.

“And then they [Scopus] evaluate the citation index, they evaluate the whole board and authors and their reputation.”

Kumar confirmed that inclusion in Scopus should have a positive effect for JGLS in the law school rankings game, besides fuelling other virtuous cycles.

“There are several advantages of this: all international rankings are driven by Scopus and citations as well,” he said. “What will happen now, the good journals around the world are always finding people to publish in it and good people don’t publish in non-Scopus [journals] because they don’t get cited.”

“So this is a ripple effect,” he noted. “Where more and more renowned scholars will want to publish in our journal, whatever they publish will be cited more, and also our faculty will get published and get cited more in Scopus recognition.”

Around 20% of contributions to JGLR currently came from JGLS’ and Jindal Global University’s own faculty members.

“It is a huge breakthrough, and the first time an Indian law journal has been indexed,” Kumar added.

India’s Economic and Political Weekly (EPW), which sometimes includes contributions from lawyers, is already indexed by Scopus, but we are not aware of any other Indian pureplay law journals that are.

Update 2 November: Thanks to readers for pointing out that the Journal of Intellectual Property Rights by the government’s National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR) is also included in Scopus already, which we have confirmed. The journal is listed in the law category by Scopus, though it also appears to cover technical and policy issues besides just law, though of course there is not a distinct line between those in subjects such as IP.

Due disclosure: JGLS is an advertiser on Legally India.

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