Academic Indexes and the Evolution of Integral Theory

By: Lyn Lord

Integral Theory claims to be many things: a map, framework, practice, catalyst, and matrix. Such a bold assertion naturally invites skepticism: “Show me the peer-reviewed articles examining its reliability and validity," “Great ideas, but show me the scientifically validated evidence,” or “Will JITP be listed in academic indexes?” 

Until recently the answer to that final question was, “I don’t know, but I hope so.” Now, after five years of work, we’re happy to report JITP is included in a sizable—and growing—number of major academic indexes.

First, what is an academic index? In its most basic form, an index is a vetted collection of publications. Indexes are crucial to the success of scholarly publications because they are the primary avenue for researchers to learn about new content. Perhaps even more importantly, indexes allow cash-poor students to access content for free via their university libraries. This will be an important avenue for the expansion of integral ideas, especially at the graduate level.    

Indexers base their coverage strategy on several criteria, but their final decision is heavily swayed by a journal’s citation rate (i.e., how often authors cite work that has appeared in JITP). Other factors taken into account include international representation (i.e., a geographically diverse authorship and editorial board), timeliness, subscriber base, and overall quality of the publication.

Below is a list of the major indexers that have accepted JITP:

  • PsycINFO. The American Psychological Association publishes PsycINFO, the premier database devoted to the behavioral sciences and mental health. We’re honored and excited that selected JITP content will start to appear in their databases later in 2012.
  • Scopus. Published by Elsevier, Scopus is one of the largest abstract and citation databases of peer-reviewed literature and web resources.
  • ProQuest. JITP can be found in three databases (General Reference, Psychology, and Religion), giving ProQuest perhaps the most complete coverage of our content.
  • EBSCO is a large subscription service and indexing organization. JITP appears in their Humanities International Complete product.    

JITP can be found in smaller indexes, too, such as Ulrichsweb and Google Scholar. We have targeted the largest and most widely used index, ISI’s Web of Knowledge, in 2014. In order to have a better chance with ISI, integral practitioners must start citing JITP content in articles that are submitted to refereed publications. As a lineage of JITP work begins to appear in established publications, more and more people will give serious consideration to integrally informed applications and research practices.

Not having an answer to integral skeptics has been the downfall, or has led to the academic “ghettoization,” of other integral models, and it is a barrier that we have worked for years to overcome. In short, indexes are crucial for the growth of JITP, and for the expansion of Integral Theory in general. We’ll continue to pursue additional indexers in the interest of expanding JITP’s reach.