Difference between SCI, SCIE, and ESCI journals.

Journal indexing such as SCIE, ESCI, AHCI, and SSCI is the reputed indexing in the publishing industry. All these indexers come under the Web of Science as shown in the figure above. The research journals indexed in SCI/ ESCI/ AHCI/ ESCI are considered reputed journals of science and technology, because of a rigorous and fair selection process. In this post, we are going to know the difference between the SCI, SCIE, and ESCI journals.

difference SCI SCIE ESCI

What is the Science Citation Index (SCI)?

Web of Science(WoS) is an online subscription-based Scientific Citation Indexing(SCI) service originally produced by the Institute for Scientific Information(ISI) in 1964. 

Later, ISI was acquired by Thomson Scientific & Healthcare in 1992 and named Thomson Reuters Intellectual Property and Science Business, which became known as Thomson ISI. Later it was maintained by Clarivate Analytics to provide a comprehensive citation search of all indexing.

What is the Science Citation Index Expanded(SCIE)?

The Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE) is an expanded version of SCI. It covers more than 9200  journals, across 178 disciplines.

What is the Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI)?

The Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) was launched in 2015 by Thomson Reuters as a new database in the Web of Science. 

It includes over 3,000 journals from various areas of research. The journals indexed in ESCI do not have an impact factor(IF). However, each journal of ESCI is evaluated every year and those qualified will be transferred to SCIE.

Difference between SCI and SCIE

SCI (Science Citation Index)SCIE (Science Citation Index Expanded)
The SCI comprised the most highly cited journals with the highest impact factors within the SCIE.The SCIE contains around 9200 journals from 178 scientific disciplines.
Storage Media: CDs/DVDs are primarily stored in SCI.Storage Media: SCIE is stored online
This meant that the SCI had limited storage capacity and housed fewer journals than the SCIE.It contains the maximum number of journals.
SCI has nonzero impact factors.SCIE journals are just ranked for impact factor.
Difference between SCI and SCIE

Difference between (SCIE) and (ESCI)

SCIE (Science Citation Index Expanded)ESCI (Emerging Sources Citation Index)
All science citation index expanded journals are included in the Clarivate analytics master list which is one of the excellent resources about reputable and indexed journals. While emerging source citation index means those journals have been included in the web of science and they are monitoring their quality after some time if the journal meets certain criteria then that will be included in the master list.
This is the highest quality indicator for a journal.The ESCI was launched as a new database within the Web of Science (WoS) platform. All journals submitted to the WoS will be evaluated for the ESCI first, and if found suitable, indexed in the SCIE.
Journals indexed in SCIE, in due time based on their citations, will be considered for impact factors.Please note that journals indexed in the ESCI will not have Impact Factors.
Difference between (SCIE) and (ESCI)

Discussion: More information about SCI and SCIE

Just like many other researchers, I was also curious to know about SCI and SCIE. Thanks to researchers’ comments on various posts on ResearchGate, I came to know a lot.

Initially, there was an overlap between SCI and SCIE, as they were two separate databases. The SCIE contains a curated collection of over 9 200 journals that span 178 scientific disciplines. The SCI, on the other hand, contains the most highly cited journals with the highest impact factors within the SCIE.

I discovered that SCI recently merged with SCIE. The difference between the two indexing databases was their storage media. CDs/DVDs are primarily stored in SCI, whereas SCIE is stored online. This meant that the SCI had limited storage capacity and housed fewer journals than the SCIE. Although this implies that SCI journals are the “elite” of SCIE journals, the selection criteria for SCI and SCIE are the same.

SCI has subsequently merged into SCIE and SCI was removed from the Clarivate Analytics master journal list. This reduced overlap and simplified the collections of research.

Therefore, Web of Science’s collections of journals are now:

  1. Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE): clinical, natural, and applied sciences
  2. Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI): social sciences
  3. Arts & Humanities Citation Index (AHCI): arts and humanities
  4. Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI): all disciplines

Journals in the ESCI collection that improve in impact factor move to AHCI, SSCI, or SCIE. Alternatively, journals in the AHCI, SSCI, or SCIE collections that decrease in impact factor, move down to the ESCI collection.

More Information:

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4 thoughts on “Difference between SCI, SCIE, and ESCI journals.”

  1. Dear Dr. Sunny,

    Good evening. I hoe you doing well. I am a PhD student, I am now doing PhD in UiTM.

    I would like to publish my article in Scopus journal, can I get your advice?

  2. Dear Dr Sunny,

    Thank you for your post, I would like to ask for your opinion then. Does the ESCI journals include in the Web of Science/ ISI? I still confuse about the classification.

    Thank you very much

    • Yes, ESCI is a part of Web of Science. WOS was originally produced by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) and is currently maintained by Clarivate Analytics.
      I hope it is clear to you now.


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