November 14, 2019

SPI-Hub resource delivers intel on biomedical journals

SPI-Hub, is a new online knowledge resource that gives biomedical scientists an efficient means to identify journals in which to publish their work.


by Paul Govern

The Scholarly Publishing Information Hub, or SPI-Hub, is a new online knowledge resource that gives biomedical scientists an efficient means to identify journals in which to publish their work and gives users everywhere a way to quickly and easily compare the quality, scholarly importance and editorial policies of some 24,000 journals from across biomedicine.

SPI-Hub was developed by the Center for Knowledge Management at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. VUMC faculty have over the years consulted with experts at the center about where to consider publishing their research, and with SPI-Hub the center is scaling up this service in a comprehensive way and providing it to the world free of charge.

Currently available to the Vanderbilt and MeHarry Medical College communities, SPI-Hub will be released to the public early next year.

“We saw a need for this service, especially as new biomedical journals continue to proliferate. For scholarly journals there are a number of so-called journal-selectors out there on the web, but none are remotely comparable to SPI-Hub for comparing and delivering useful details on journals from all across biomedicine. And as time goes on, we’ll continue to improve it and add new options,” said Nunzia Giuse, MD, MLS, professor of Biomedical Informatics and vice president for knowledge management at VUMC.

Susan Meyn, director for research resources and strategy with the Office of Research, is an SPI-Hub backer.

“VUMC researchers are increasingly looking for tools and resources that can support scholarly rigor, reproducibility and transparency. The SPI-Hub resource from the Center for Knowledge Management is perfectly aligned with Office of Research efforts to advance best practices that address these needs across VUMC through our recently charged Core Rigor, Reproducibility and Transparency (RR&T) working group. We look forward to highlighting and endorsing SPI-Hub as a featured resource in the VUMC RR&T toolkit now under development,” Meyn said.

When a user searches by topic of interest, SPI-Hub uses quality criteria and journal publishing histories to return a list of relevant journals and lets the user select up to five journals to compare more closely with regard to: publishing policies, whether they provide readers free online access, whether they’re subject to biomedical literature indexing and citation counts (so-called impact metrics), and general information such as publishing frequency.

Information on editorial aims and author instructions is provided via web links. Searches by journal name also retrieve these details, and searches by author return links to information on journals in which the author has published.

Led by Giuse, staff from across the Center for Knowledge Management collaborated in the development of SPI-Hub. Taneya Koonce, MSLS, MPH, associate director for research at the center, served as project manager. Dario Giuse, PhD, MS, associate professor of Biomedical Informatics, advises the team on an as needed basis.

For more information visit SPI-Hub (Vanderbilt login currently required).