In October 2017, an agreement was signed between Sultan Qaboos University and Informatics India Limited concerning the digital archiving and hosting of SQU’s journals on J-Gate. J-Gate is an electronic portal for open access e-journal literature from around the world, which currently hosts around 48,000 journals and around 54 million articles which link to full-text versions on the publishers’ sites. This extensive database is free for users, thereby helping ensure immediate access to researchers’ work from around the world.
SQU and Informatics have agreed to include SQU’s six academic journals – the Journal of Educational and Psychological Studies, the Journal of Engineering Research, SQU Medical Journal, SQU Journal of Arts and Social Sciences, SQU Journal for Sciences, and the Journal of Agricultural and Marine Sciences – in J-Gate. This will dramatically increase the exposure of these journals to an international audience of academics and other concerned stakeholders and will also help raise SQU’s international profile as one the Arab region’s leading research institutions. Research visibility is vital to the local and international reputation of universities in addition to their rankings. The J-Gate agreement will help increase awareness about the number of research papers produced by SQU-affiliated authors that have been published in the university’s journals, in addition to increasing the impact and number of citations of the journals themselves.
This agreement is just one of the many recent steps that have been made to increase SQU’s research visibility. SQU’s Academic Publication Board, chaired by Dr. Rahma Al-Mahrooqi, the Deputy Vice-chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research, has placed a great deal of importance on increasing local and international awareness about the university’s academic journals. As a result, in addition to the J-Gate agreement, all six of SQU’s journals have now been indexed in EBSCO, while agreements have been signed with Dar Al Mandhuma and Shamaa that will ensure SQU’s journals are accessible to researchers from every corner of the globe. In addition to these achievement, all of SQU’s journals have now been migrated to the Open Journal System, while editors and members of editorial boards of these journals have already benefited from extensive training sessions arranged by the Academic Publication Board with more sessions planned in the coming weeks.