ERIH PLUS — three years at the Norwegian Centre for Research Data

Bergen/2017-12-20

In 2014, the responsibility for the maintenance and operation of the European Science Foundation's reference index for scholarly journals, ERIH, was transferred to the NSD — Norwegian Centre for Research Data. ERIH was founded as a measure to render visible scholarly journals in the humanities. However, after NSD resumed the responsibility for the reference index on July 9, 2014, it was named ERIH PLUS as it included also scholarly journals from the social sciences.

July 9, 2017 marked ERIH PLUS' three year anniversary here at NSD in Bergen, Norway. To celebrate this anniversary, the ERIH PLUS Team wishes to share some of the developments made over the three year period.

After NSD became responsible for the index, ERIH PLUS opened for submissions for inclusion of new journals. To be included, scientific journals in the humanities and social sciences must meet the benchmark developed jointly by NSD and EFS (see criteria for inclusion). The number of submissions of new journals per month has been quite consistent from October, 2014, until now. The average of submissions the last seven months has been 192 journals which is a slight increase compared to an average of 185 and 171 journals per months during the same period in 2016 and 2015, respectively.

ERIH PLUS submissions received 2014-2017

Moreover, in 2015, 2.053 new journals were submitted to the index, and in 2016 as many as 2.226 journals were registered as new submissions. From January to July of this year, 1.345 journals (and counting) have been newly registered submissions. The ERIH PLUS Team continues to receive submissions from scholars, journal editors, librarians and other members of scholarly association. At the moment there are about 70 journals waiting to be processed.

Furthermore, as regards the usage of the ERIH PLUS, the number of searches for journals on the website of the database has been varying to some degree through the months from opening the service in July 2014 until January of 2017. Here the numbers have varied from 10.000–33.000 per month. The figure below demonstrates trend lines for this three year period. While the figure shows prominent variations from month to month, yet the average number of searches conducted demonstrates that the interest is consistently high.

ERIH PLUS searches 2014-2017

The newest and most prominent development made in the ERIH PLUS reference index during the three year period has been the ERIH PLUS revision process. Between 2015 and 2017 all journals transferred from ERIH to ERIH PLUS were revised against the new ERIH PLUS criteria. The aim of the revision has been to ensure that all indexed journals follow the ERIH PLUS standard. 5.637 journals were transferred from ERIH to ERIH PLUS. During the revision process, the ERIH PLUS Team collected data for all the journals in order to make this information transparent for the users of the index, and to ensure that the information in ERIH PLUS is up to date. Of the ERIH journals that were revised against the new ERIH PLUS criteria, 2.987 were given ERIH PLUS approval. The remaining 2.686 journals were not given the new approval, and were therefore excluded from the database. However, the ERIH PLUS Team has maintained records of all ERIH journals in a separate and unofficial list should the editors of journals not given the new approval wish to apply for/request a re-evaluation. The figure below demonstrates the number of revisions carried out on a monthly basis between the years 2015 to 2017.

ERIH Journals revised 2015-2017

We are pleased to see that through the three years ERIH PLUS has been located at NSD, the interest in the reference index has remained consistently high, both in terms of new journal submissions and searches for journals in the database. Furthermore, we are happy to celebrate ERIH PLUS' three year anniversary by having finalized the revision of all ERIH journals - a process that has lasted for two years. Finally, we hope you find this newsletter interesting, and we encourage all our users, partners and other interested parties to look out for future updates and news as we intermittently will continue to update the ERIH PLUS website and Facebook page with statistics and facts regarding ERIH PLUS.

    —   The ERIH PLUS Team