Indexing

Indexing is an old fashion for paper-based articles to locate a given publication; helpful before the digital era. In the digital era, indexing is uselessly duplicating (even multiplying) an already existing information.

Even more, indexing entities are overwhelmed be the requests for indexing and only a tiny fraction of requests [i.e., 3-5%] receive attention, due to lack of personnel. As a result, there is a tremendous backlog in processing the requests for indexing. As there are more than 10,000 subtopics, and a large variety of scientific events, it is impossible to use any quality-based selection criteria, as the indexing entities have no sizable personnel and no top-experts in particular fields either.

Sometimes, indexing is now based on special needs of some (paying) customers of the indexing entities (as fee-based subscribers) and, therefore, is not longer preference-free.

With open indexes, like Google Scholar and others, and with exiting free-access digital libraries (ThinkMind, European Union, French Scientific Council, etc.), targeted indexes becomes obviously obsolete in our digital era. Most probably, they will disappear in a few years.

Despite of this evidence, the IARIA publisher still submits the conference and journal proceedings to the appropriate indexing entities (even though they are Indexed by Google Scholar, and thus, freely accessible); this is because, apparently, some university administrations, in some countries, impose index-related criteria for allowing a submission to an event.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee on 'if' and 'when' the events will be indexed, as, barely 3-5% of yearly requests can be handled (backlogs just accumulate)

Visibility index

Visibility index is a metric focusing on online events/publications. Two extensions are considered in the 'visibility index', when compared to other existing metrics:
i) covering several databases and other publications sites,
and
ii) considering the downloads of the published articles (from ThinkMind digital library, www.thinkmind.org)

There are many metrics used to characterize a publication, an event, or a personal contribution, e.g., impact factor, Eigenfactor, R-Factor, Y-Factor, etc. They were all used to estimate an impact, not related to the value of a contribution, but rather to how much it is known.

Note that it is especially difficult, if not impossible, to correlate values expressed in different metrics. Therefore, each metric has a value per see.
Originally, the impact factor was used as an indication of how relevant a publication (journals, conference) is and is based on the references to the articles of that particular publication. Originally, the impact factor was designed for print publication references.

As an example, for the impact factor, a standard formula for computation exists; variations of this formula also exist, which lead to a large spectrum of values, for the same event. The standard calculation is very simple: “In a given year, the impact factor of a journal is the average number of citations received per paper published in that journal during the two preceding years.[1]"

For example, if a journal has an impact factor of 3 in 2008, then its papers published in 2006 and 2007 received 3 citations each on average in 2008. The 2008 impact factor of a journal would be calculated as follows:
A = the number of times that articles published in that journal in 2006 and 2007, were cited by articles in indexed journals during 2008.
B = the total number of "citable items" published by that journal in 2006 and 2007. ("Citable items" are usually articles, reviews, proceedings, or notes; not editorials or letters to the editor.)
2008 impact factor = A/B.
(Note that 2008 impact factors are actually published in 2009; they cannot be calculated until all of the 2008 publications have been processed by the indexing agency.)”

Visibility index (r)

Citations were the basis on print-only published articles. However, in the digital era, electronic versions are more popular. Therefore, considering article downloads from digital libraries seems a legit extension of the visibility of a contribution on a given community. This makes the reproducibility calculation more difficult, but this considers the digital evolution of publications.

Therefore, a visibility index was defined to capture various facets of digital publications and not only one well-established database/digital library (e.g., ISI Thompson database, SCOPUS database, etc.)

r (|Reference-to {p1, p2,…pk} + |Downloads|}, |Total-of {p1, p2,….pN}|, {D1, D2, …Dm}, T; [t, t’]) --> R+

with

r = |Reference-to {p1, p2,…pk} + |Downloads|} / |Total-of {p1, p2,….pN}|

with pi referring to a paper, over a set of publishing domains, {D1, D2, …Dm}, like digital libraries, web sites, social networks, etc., and  over a time period T.

Considering the Downloads, searching over multiple Domains, and various lengths of the time period leads to different values for the visibility index.

The intent is to capture more accurate statistics, and not to refer to the quality of the content/paper/event/journal.

Any impact factor is subjective, as it is almost impossible to capture all references at a given time, and then continuously update it.

Methodology:
- computed using the formula mentioned above
- from open-access databases, without username/password
- from selected free-based subscription databases, with username/password
- from selected fee-based subscription databases
- selected posting sites (university, personal web sites, blogs, social media, etc.)
- downloads from free-access www.thinkmind.org digital library
- updated every year
- based on the last 5 years
For a more in depth discussion of impact factor methodologies, you can refer to this article. Also, you might visit many other pages discussing the impact factor, Eigenfactor, R-Factor, Y-Factor, etc., their accuracy, and their usefulness.  

Usefulness

#1
We estimate that the impact / visibility metric based on a unique database is not representative and provides less visibility for an author, as it is inaccurately limited to about 3-5% of publications potentially indexed by an indexing entity (and captured in that given database).

#2
Visibility index does not refer to the value of a particular publication; it is only provided as an online-oriented metric, as all downloads are from the free-access proprietary ThinkMind digital library; downloads have a major weight in computing the visibility index.

#3
For an idea on the values of the visibility index, please see a computation for the visibility index here.

 
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