International Journal of Design: Reaching the First Milestone

Lin-Lin Chen


Citation: Chen, L. -L. (2011). International journal of design: Reaching the first milestone. International Journal of Design, 5(1), 1-2.

Lin-Lin Chen is a professor in the Department of Industrial and Commercial Design at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and taught briefly at Iowa State University before returning to Taiwan. Her research focuses on attractiveness of product appearance, computer-aided concept exploration and evaluation, interface design, and geometric algorithms. She was dean of the College of Design at NTUST from 2004 to 2010, and president of the Chinese Institute of Design from 2007 to 2008. She is currently the convener for the arts (and design) area committee of Taiwan’s National Science Council, editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Design, and a fellow of the Design Research Society.

In 2007, the International Journal of Design (IJDesign) was launched as an open-access journal dedicated to publishing high-quality, peer-reviewed research in all areas of design (Chen, 2007). Since the beginning, we have set high standards for this journal. We emphasize quality and impact of the research chosen for publication, encourage cross-cultural perspectives, stress relevance to design practice, and attempt to reach out to the widest possible audience via online open access. After four years of continuous efforts, I am very happy to report that the journal has reached its first major milestone—being accepted for coverage by the following Thomson Reuters citation indices: the Arts & Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI), the Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-E), and the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI). All contents of the journal, beginning with Volume 1, Issue 1, from 2007, will be included in the Web of Science database.

This is, indeed, an important milestone for the International Journal of Design. Although many researchers have already recognized the quality and significance of research published in the journal, acceptance into the Thomson Reuters citation indices offers further proof of our determination, and shows that we are on the right path. The coverage of the journal by all three indices—A&HCI, SCI-E, and SSCI—reflects the interdisciplinary nature of design research, and will further widen the dissemination of its contents among researchers in design academia and across other disciplines.

The inclusion of IJDesign in the Thomson Reuters indices should be helpful to design researchers at universities around the world. At many academic institutions, the pressure to publish in SCI, SSCI, or A&HCI journals can be high. As a result, design researchers sometimes face the difficult dilemma of choosing between conducting research on topics that are important to the field of design and adjusting the direction of their research to fit other disciplines in order to publish in journals deemed acceptable by their institutions. I am therefore particularly happy that IJDesign can now offer one possible solution to this dilemma. Through the efforts of many researchers, the field of design now has several journals listed in the Thomson Reuters indices, including: Design Studies (SCI-E), Design Issues (A&HCI), The Design Journal (A&HCI) and the International Journal of Design (SCI-E, SSCI, A&HCI). There are also a number of journals that publish interdisciplinary design-related research, such as the Journal of Engineering Design (SCI-E), Research in Engineering Design (SCI-E), and the Journal of Product Innovation Management (SCI, SSCI).

Looking back, the International Journal of Design has made significant progress in the last four years. We have received more than 500 submissions from over 40 countries, of which 79 articles have been accepted and published, an acceptance rate of less than 20 percent. These published articles have been accessed more than 800,000 times from the journal’s website, averaging about 10,000 times per article. We began using Google Analytics to track usage of the IJDesign website in January 2008, and up to March 2011, there were more than 300,000 visits to the site from 200 countries spanning all six continents. Using Google Scholar to gain a rough estimate of how extensively our published articles have been cited in a broad range of scholarly literature, we found that they were cited 404 times, averaging 5.11 times per article. With the inclusion of the journal in the Thomson Reuters Web of Science database, we will be able to obtain more accurate and detailed citation information.

The journal’s progress and achievements are the result of joint efforts by the outstanding researchers on the Editorial Board, who have established a high standard for the journal, by the authors who have submitted the results of their hard work to this journal, by the reviewers who have donated their valuable time, and by the dedicated editorial team led by Dr. Yaliang Chuang. We are extremely grateful to all of those design researchers who have put their trust in this young but promising journal since its early days. We would also like to acknowledge the continuous funding we have received from the National Science Council of Taiwan, allowing us to run IJDesign as a top-quality, open-access journal.

Looking forward, we will work hard to further increase the impact of the journal, and to continue to develop it into a leading publication in design. To this end, we again sincerely invite you to submit your best work to the International Journal of Design, and to encourage your colleagues to do the same.

Finally, we hope that IJDesign can help to accelerate the growth of design as an academic discipline by trying to realize the full potential of open access. We invite you to take full advantage of the excellent research published in IJDesign, all of which is freely available for anyone, anywhere to download, read, distribute, and use, with proper attribution of authorship, for any non-commercial purpose. We know that the best way to learn to do good design research is to read good design research in full texts. So, we sincerely invite professors everywhere to use the contents published in IJDesign in their lectures, to assign these papers as reading assignments in their classes, to include them in their course packs, and, indeed, to encourage students and young scholars to use the journal as a starting point for their own research. We believe that knowledge is power. By removing the access barriers, we hope that IJDesign can contribute to the development of design research in every corner of the world. Judging from the more than 300,000 visits from 200 countries to the journal’s website over the last three years, IJDesign may already have begun to make an impact.


  1. Chen, L. -L. (2007). International Journal of Design: A step forward. International Journal of Design, 1(1), 1-2.