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Science Editing > Volume 8(2); 2021 > Article
Putera, Suryanto, Ningrum, Widianingsih, and Rianto: Policies of scholarly journal accreditation in Indonesia

Introduction

It was known that there were 5,900 scientific journals in Indonesia in 2013. Those journals were grouped into three classes, namely non-accredited journals (5,579 titles), accredited journals (342 titles), and international journals (16 titles), and most journals are published by universities, faculties, or departments [1]. In June 2019, the number of scientific journals increased to more than 14,000. Among them, only a few journals are indexed in international databases. Up to 2019, there were 49 journals in Scopus, 63 in Web of Science master journal list, and 1, 358 in Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) [2]. In July 2021, the number of journals in SCImago (https://www.scimagojr.com), which included Scopus journals, was 69; in Web of Science Master Journal List, 88; and in DOAJ, 1,867. It showed that there had been a remarkable improvement in the journal qualities. It may be possible not only by the editors’ and researchers’ devotion to the journals but also by the national policies of scholarly journal accreditation in Indonesia. Also, the Indonesian government has provided some support for journal publishing. It is necessary to review the scholarly journal accreditation policies to improve its system. This essay aims to explain the history of policies of scholarly journal accreditation, to clarify the current national accreditation policies, and to show trends in the journal accreditation in Indonesia

History of Policies of Scholarly Journal Accreditation in Indonesia

Since 1975, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) has evaluated and monitored scientific journals and other forms of publications in Indonesia. The assessment emphasizes the content and substance of publications. This framework recognized three categories of publications: scientific, semi-scientific, popular, and a mixture thereof [3]. However, the development of this straightforward assessment framework was not accompanied by success in raising the prestige of journals or establishing a tradition of high-quality publications. Therefore, in the early 1990s, the Directorate of Research Development and Community Service–Directorate General of Higher Education formed a team to examine the situation of about 300 scientific journals published by universities. Fundamental flaws were found in the editing of most periodicals currently available.
At the 1996 National Research and Technology Coordination Meeting held by the Office of the State Minister for Research and Technology, the need was recognized to develop an assessment instrument that could be used to accredit scientific journals nationally. Proposals were then developed with the involvement of additional experts from the Agency for Agricultural Research and Development, the Center for Agricultural Library and Research Communication (Bibliotheca Bogoriensis)–Ministry of Agriculture, Center for Scientific Documentation and Information–LIPI, and the Indonesian Editors Association. These proposed improvements were then published in the Minutes of the 1996 Research and Technology Coordination Meeting. After being evaluated based on findings in the field and corrected for deficiencies, and also with the involvement of the Ministry of Religion, the second edition of “Evaluation instruments for scientific accreditation” was published in May 2000 [4].
The policy for accreditation of scholarly journals in Indonesia was dualistic, from 2000 to 2017. In this framework, the accreditation of scholarly journals published by research and development institutions was carried out by the LIPI, whereas the accreditation of scholarly journals published by universities was carried out by the Directorate of Research and Community Service, Directorate General of Higher Education, Ministry of Education and Culture.
It was only on March 21, 2018, that a scholarly journal accreditation policy was issued based on the Regulation of the Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education of the Republic of Indonesia Number 9 of 2018 concerning the Accreditation of Scholarly Journals. Since then, the accreditation system for scholarly journals has been conducted in a unified manner. The dynamics of scholarly journal accreditation policies in Indonesia can be briefly seen in Table 1.

Current National Accreditation Policy for Scientific Publications in Indonesia

Currently, Indonesia has a national accreditation policy for scientific journals. The purpose of this arrangement is to increase the relevance, quantity, and quality of scientific publications of Indonesian scientists to support the nation’s competitiveness at the international level. Accreditation in this regulation plays the role of an assessment activity for quality assurance of scholarly journals through objective manuscript screening, appropriate management, and timely publication of scholarly journals [5].
A proposal for accreditation of a scholarly journal is handled by considering whether the scholarly journal fulfilled following conditions: 1) It contains articles that significantly advance science, technology, and/or art based on the results of research, engineering, and/or studies containing original findings and/or thoughts without plagiarism; 2) presents a qualified journal editorial board in accordance with the field of science that represents the fields of science, technology, and/or art; 3) involves qualified peer reviewers in accordance with the journal’s scientific field from various universities and/or research and development agencies and different industries from within and/or abroad who screen manuscripts objectively; 4) utilizes Indonesian and/or an official language of the United Nations; 5) maintains consistency of writing style and appearance format; 6) is managed and published electronically through information and communication technology networks; 7) is published according to a schedule; and 8) has an e-ISSN (electronic international standard serial number) and a DOI (digital object identifier) [6].
Meanwhile, for the evaluation of accreditation, eight elements of the scholarly journal accreditation assessment are used, namely: the name of the scholarly journal/journal title, aims, and scope; publishing institutions/publisher; journal editing and management/editorial and journal management; article substance/quality of articles; writing style; appearance/format of PDFs and the e-journal; periodicity/regularity; and dissemination (Table 2) [3].
Furthermore, journal managers are eligible to propose accreditation of scholarly journals to the Director General of Research and Development Strengthening, at the Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education. Proposals are made through the submission system for accreditation of scientific periodicals on the Arjuna website at the address http://arjuna.ristekbrin.go.id/ [7].
The results of the accreditation of scholarly journals are divided into six groups, as follows: rank 1 (score: 85–100), rank 2 (score: 70–85), rank 3 (score: 60–70), rank 4 (score: 50–60), rank 5 (score: 40–50), and rank 6 (score: 30–40). Each scholarly journal’s accreditation rating is evaluated periodically (at least once every 5 years).
The Scholarly Journal Accreditation Team for evaluating scholarly journals was formed and determined by the Director-General of Research and Development Strengthening at the Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education. The team members come from institutions that foster careers of lecturers, institutions that foster careers of researchers, institutions that foster careers of engineers, and career development agencies for other functional positions, comprising a total of seven people. The Scholarly Journals Accreditation Team evaluates journals based on predetermined assessment indicators (Table 2) [3].

Trends in the Accreditation of Scholarly Journals

To date, as of July 2021, there are 5,990 accredited scholarly journals in Indonesia [8]. The trend of adding accredited scholarly journals in Indonesia can be seen in Fig. 1 [9]. These accredited scholarly journals are published by 1,396 institutions in 343 cities throughout Indonesia. The accredited scholarly journals in Indonesia are dominated by the fields of education (746 journals), social sciences (283 journals), law (242 journals), business, management, and accounting (223 journals), and agricultural and biological sciences (145 jour-nals) [8].
The top three regions of Indonesia in terms of the distribution of accredited scholarly journals are East Java Province, with 1,008 accredited journals; Central Java, with 723 accredited journals; and Special Capital District of Jakarta/Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta Province, with 660 accredited journals. The institution that manages the most accredited journals is Semarang State University, which manages 120 accredited journals, followed by Diponegoro University, which manages 82 accredited journals, and Ganesha Education University, which manages 81 accredited journals.. For the categorization of the ranking evaluation results, a recent report found that 97 journals had a rank of 1; 910 journals had a rank of 2; 1,165 journals had a rank of 3; 1991 journals had a rank of 4; 1,598 journals had a rank of 5; and 229 journals had a rank of 6 [10].
In Indonesia, the repository system for scientific publications is openly accessible through two platforms: the National Scientific Repository (RIN) and, as a real-time option, http://rin.lipi.go.id/. The RIN is used to store, preserve, cite, analyze, and share research data, and acts as an online medium for managing, storing and sharing research data [11] that is accessed through the “Digital Referral Guard” (GARUDA; https://garuda.ristekbrin.go.id/). GARUDA currently provides 1,404,765 articles, originating from 2,269 publishers, 12,184 journals, and 160 organizations that hold conferences [12]. Accredited scholarly journals are deposited in the national repository system and can be accessed via https://sinta.ristekbrin.go.id/journals.

Conclusion

The government of Indonesia has made efforts to develop policies for the accreditation of scholarly journals to provide quality references in Indonesia. Official accreditation of scholarly journals in Indonesia began in 1975. Up to 2017, there was a dualistic management of accreditation. It was only in 2018 that the accreditation system for scholarly journals was integrated into the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education. The government of Indonesia additionally provides a repository system, which is openly accessible through http://rin.lipi.go.id, https://garuda.ristekbrin.go.id/, and https://sinta.ristekbrin.go.id/journals. For the evaluation of accreditation, eight elements are used. The results of the accreditation classified scholarly journals into six groups according to the evaluation score. The number of accredited journals has increased year by year, and it reached 5,990 in July 2021 from 333 in 2017. There may be a continuous increase in the number of accredited journals in the future. The above accreditation system is believed to increase the article quality and style and format of scholarly journals in Indonesia.

Conflict of Interest

No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

Notes

Funding

The authors received no financial support for this study.

Trends in the accreditation of scholarly journals in Indonesia. Based on [9].
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Fig. 1.

Table 1.

Dynamics of scholarly journal accreditation policies in Indonesia
1975 2000 2005 2006 2011 2014 2018
Regulatory Unknown Guidelines for Submission of Proposals for Accreditation of Scholarly Journals in 2000 Regulation of the Head of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences Number 01/E/2005 concerning Guidelines for Accreditation of Scientific Magazines/Journals Decree of the Director-General of Higher Education, Ministry of National Education Number 11/DIKTI/Kep./2006 about Scientific Accreditation Guidelines Regulation of the Head of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences Number 04/E/2011 about Guidelines for Accreditation of Scientific Magazines/Journals Regulation of the Director-General of Higher Education Number 49/DIKTI/Kep/2011 Regulation of the Head of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences Number 3 of 2014 about Guidelines for Accreditation of Scientific Periodicals Regulation of the Director-General of Higher Education Number 1 of 2014 about Guidelines for Accreditation of Scientific Periodical Publishing Regulation of the Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education of the Republic of Indonesia Number 9 of 2018 about Accreditation of Scientific Journals
Institution responsible for scholarly journal accreditation Indonesian Institute of Sciences Directorate of Research Development and Community Service, Directorate General of Higher Education, Ministry of National Education and National Accreditation Board Indonesian Institute of Sciences Director General of Higher Education, Ministry of National Education Indonesian Institute of Sciences Director General of Higher Education–Ministry of Education and Culture Indonesian Institute of Sciences Director General of Higher Education–Ministry of Education and Culture Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education
Scope of scholarly journal accreditation Scientific magazines/journals published within the scope of R&D institutions Scientific magazines/journals published within the scope of higher education Scientific magazines/journals published within the scope of R&D institutions Scientific magazines/journals published within the scope of higher education Scientific magazines/journals published within the scope of R&D institutions Scientific magazines/journals published within the scope of higher education Scientific magazines/journals published within the scope of R&D institutions Scientific magazines/journals published within the scope of higher education Scientific magazines/journals published within the scope of R&D institutions and universities
Elements of scholarly journal accreditation assessment Content and substance of the publication Name of periodical (5), institutional publisher (5), editor (30), stability of appearance (10), style of writing (10), substance (25), periodicity (12), and post-publishing obligations (3) Name of periodical (5), institutional publisher (13), editor/editorial board (12), stability of appearance (9), writing style (11), substance (28), periodicity (10), circulation (5), and others (7) Periodical name (5), publishing institution (5), editing (21), appearance (9), writing style (11), substance of content (36), periodicity (10), and post- publishing obligations (3) Substance (36), editor and reviewer (17), writing style (15), publishing institution (9), periodicity (8), appearance (8), additional services (4), and naming (3) Name of scientific periodicals (3), publishing institution (5), editing (18), appearance (8), writing style (13), substance of content (40), periodicity (9), and dissemination (4) Name of scientific periodicals (3), institutional publishers (4), editing and management of publications (17), article substance (39), writing style (12), appearance (8), periodic (6), and dissemination (11) Name of scientific periodicals (3), publishing institutions (4), editing and management of publications (17), article substance (39), writing style (12), appearance (8), periodicity (6), and dissemination (11) Name of scholarly journals (3); publishing institution (4); journal editing and management (17); article substance (39); writing style (12); appearance (8); periodicity (6); and dissemination (11)
Scholarly journal accreditation classification Scientific, semi-popular, and popular science, as well as a mixture of the three Accredited fair (C) 60–69; accredited good (B) 70–79; and accredited very good (A) 80–100 Accreditation A (80–100), accreditation B (70–79), accreditation C (60–69), and not accredited (<59) Nationally accredited scientific periodical rank A (>85), nationally accredited scientific Periodical rank B (70–85), and unaccredited scientific periodicals (<70) Accredited scientific magazines/journals (≥70), unaccredited scientific magazines/journals (<70) Nationally accredited scientific periodical rank A (>85), nationally accredited scientific Periodical rank B (70–85), and unaccredited scientific periodicals (<70) Nationally accredited scientific periodical rank A (>85), nationally accredited scientific Periodical rank B (70–85), and unaccredited scientific periodicals (<70) Nationally accredited scientific periodical rank A (>85), nationally accredited scientific Periodical rank B (70–85), and unaccredited scientific periodicals (<70) Sinta 1 accreditation (85 n≤100); Sinta 2 accreditation (70 n<85); Sinta 3 accreditation (60 n<70); Sinta 4 accreditation (50 n<60); Sinta 5 accreditation (40 n<50); and Sinta 6 accreditation (30 n<40)

Table 2.

Evaluation indicators for scholarly journal accreditation in Indonesia
Indicators Quality
Management Substance
Journal title, aims, and scope 3 -
Publisher 4 -
Editorial and journal management 17 -
Quality of articles - 39
Writing style - 12
Format of PDFs and e-journal 8 -
Regularity 6 -
Dissemination 11 -
Total 49 51

Based on [3].

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