On Lists, Indexes, and Quality: Is there a Connection?

Abstract: Starting from the argument-based critique of one of the papers indexed in the Web of Science Core Collection, the article examines if there is a connection between quality of works, journals in which they are published, lists in which these journals feature and indices that list these articles, advertising authors who often do not deserve it. The paper deals with the untoward consequences of such a short-sighted practice and argues in favor of a constant revision of the lists and indices supported by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia, thus increasing the relevance of the lists and indexes applied as yardsticks of academic achievement.

Key words: Journals, Lists, Indexes, Methodology, Forced Labor


The paper proposes a reexamination of the validity of the various lists and indexes of scholarly journals supported by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia. The author feels that the publication of articles in the journals that feature on these lists could lead to a wrong evaluation, i.e. that publishing in otherwise good, but for our scientific community irrelevant journals, could bring undue points and visibility to certain authors who do not deserve them. The very fact that a journal is on a list can mislead less informed readers, especially foreign, into taking for granted the results of articles published in such journals, spread them around, doing thus a disservice to science. In order to illustrate how dangerous papers of spurious quality featuring on certain lists and indexes can be, the author subjects to well-founded critique an article from his field of expertise. Based on that example, the author pleads once again for caution and against lending credence to quality of certain articles just because they had been published in a journal featuring on a list or an index.