In December, 2017, the scientific database of the ASEAN Citation Index (ACI) accepted three Vietnamese scientific journals as meeting the ACI standard, including two journals published by the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST), including Vietnam Journal of Science and Technology, and Vietnam Journal of Earth Sciences.
The ACI, a common database for the entire ASEAN region, links the National Citation Index (NCI) of ASEAN member countries with International databases such as ISI, SCI or Scopus. ACI has the function of archiving and searching articles and quoting, helping classify and evaluate the quality of scientific journals of ASEAN countries similar to the Thailand Centre for Citation (TCI) or the other National Centres for Citation. However, to be in this database, scientific journals need to meet higher standards of presentation and content which is close to Scopus standards.
ACI, established with an executive board in 2013 to officially approve the journals since 2014, was funded by Thailand Science Research Fund until 2016; since 2017, the fund has been collected from member countries. ACI President is Professor Narongrit Sombatsompop; the Executive Board consists of representatives from ASEAN member countries. Each ASEAN member country is allowed to send 2 individuals introduced by their Ministries of Education. Each year ACI reviews the nomination of the journals on November 15th at the deadline. The journals listed in Scopus or ISI are automatically accepted, and the other journals are reviewed in accordance with ACI criteria.
By the end of December 2017, ACI obtained 408 standard scientific journals, including 161 from Thailand, 101 from Indonesia, 100 from Malaysia, 28 from the Philippines, 8 from Singapore, 6 from Vietnam, one from Brunei, one from Myanmar and one from Cambodia. (http: // www.asean-cites.org/index.php?r=contents%2Findex&id=9)
In the period of reviewing in December, 2017, three Vietnamese journals were accepted to meet ACI standard. Of which, 2 journals which come from VAST, Vietnam Journal of Science and Technology, and Vietnam Journal of Earth Sciences, scored high points. Four other ACI standard journals from other units include 2 journals reviewed in 2015, Journal of Economic Development of Hanoi National Economics University, and Journal of Economics and Development of the University of Economics in Ho Chi Minh City, a journal recognized in 2016 which is Biomedical Research and Therapy of the University of Natural Sciences under the Ho Chi Minh city-based National University, and Dalat University Journal of Science recognised in 2017 together with the two of VAST. With 6 journals accepted by ACI, Vietnam is just over Brunei with 1, Cambodia with 1, Myanmar with 1 and Laos with zero.
Two journals of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology listed by ACI
According to the State Council for Professor Title of Vietnam, as of July 19, 2017, 387 Vietnamese scientific journals were included in the Council's journals, including three listed by Scopus (Advances in Natural Sciences: Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ANSN) by VAST, Acta Mathematica Vietnamica by VAST and Vietnam Journal of Mathematics by the Vietnam Mathematical Society and VAST). Therefore, among the 387 journals mentioned above, Vietnam has only 3 (accounting for approximately 0.78%) of the journals included in the Scopus list, and only 32 journals in English or Vietnamese - English (approximately 8.3%). Meanwhile, ACI statistics show that by the end of 2016, the number of ISI/Scopus scientific journals from Asian countries are as follows: China 538, Japan 459, Singapore 101, Malaysia 69, Thailand 23, Philippines 21, Indonesia 12, Vietnam 3. All ASEAN member countries have 225 ISI/Scopus journals, including 3 from Vietnam, and of 408 ACI journals, Vietnam has only 6.
These preliminary figures show that although we have made great efforts, the quality of the current scientific journals of Vietnam is still relatively low in comparison with the ASEAN region and the world. Therefore, the hardest and longest task is to seriously strive to improve the quality of Vietnamese scientific journals, in order to have more journals ranked in the regional standard such as in ACI and the international standard like in ISI and Scopus.
VAST has 12 scientific journals, three of which have reached Scopus standard and are striving to achieve the ISI standard. Six of the remaining 9 journals are working on improving the quality to meet Scopus standard.
Prof. Dr. Sc. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Editor-in-Chief of the Vietnam Journal of Science and Technology, said that over the past 5 years, Vietnam's scientific management agencies had been trying to give support for issuing scientific journals in Vietnamese and English as well as other foreign languages, with increasingly high quality to serve international integration and soon be listed by ISI or Scopus. Together with VAST, universities under the Ministry of Education and Training, the two National Universities and the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences are striving to achieve the target. However, it is a long and hard journey. Looking at the number of Vietnamese scientific journals in the list of ISI/Scopus or even ACI, it is a small number compared to other countries in the region.
“There are many pathways to success, and Vietnam Journal of Science and Technology and Journal of Earth Sciences from VAST being listed in ACI can be considered an initial success in bringing VAST journals to ASEAN and the world with the goal of achieving the Scopus standard,” Prof. Dr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc added.
Translated by Phuong Huyen
Link to Vietnamese version