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Uncertainty Measures for Economics Journal Impact Factors

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  • David I. Stern

Abstract

Academic economists appear to be intensely interested in rankings of journals, institutions, and individuals. Yet there is little discussion of the uncertainty associated with these rankings. To illustrate the uncertainty associated with citations-based rankings, I compute the standard error of the impact factor for all economics journals with a five-year impact factor in the 2011 Journal Citations Report . I use these to derive confidence intervals for the impact factors as well as ranges of possible rank for a subset of thirty journals. I find that the impact factors of the top two journals are well defined and set these journals apart in a clearly defined group. An elite group of 9-11 mainstream journals can also be fairly reliably distinguished. The four bottom ranked journals are also fairly clearly set apart. For the remainder of the distribution, confidence intervals overlap and rankings are quite uncertain. (JEL A14)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Literature.

Volume (Year): 51 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 173-89

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:51:y:2013:i:1:p:173-89

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.51.1.173
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References

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  1. George Emm. Halkos & Nickolaos G. Tzeremes, 2011. "Measuring Economic Journals' Citation Efficiency: A Data Envelopment Analysis Approach," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2011_13, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  2. Tom Coupé, 2003. "Revealed Performances: Worldwide Rankings of Economists and Economics Departments, 1990-2000," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1309-1345, December.
  3. Christian Zimmermann, 2007. "Academic Rankings with RePEc," Working papers 2007-36, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2009.
  4. Burton, M P & Phimister, Euan, 1995. "Core Journals: A Reappraisal of the Diamond List," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 361-73, March.
  5. Liebowitz, S J & Palmer, J P, 1984. "Assessing the Relative Impacts of Economic Journals," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 77-88, March.
  6. Oswald, Andrew J., 2006. "An Examination of the Reliability of Prestigious Scholarly Journals: Evidence and Implications for Decision-makers," IZA Discussion Papers 2070, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Laband, David N & Piette, Michael J, 1994. "The Relative Impacts of Economics Journals: 1970-1990," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 640-66, June.
  8. Chunbo Ma & David I. Stern, 2004. "Environmental and Ecological Economics: A Citation Analysis," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0418, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
  9. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  10. S. Redner, 1998. "How popular is your paper? An empirical study of the citation distribution," The European Physical Journal B - Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 131-134, July.
  11. David N. Laband & Robert D. Tollison, 2003. "Dry Holes in Economic Research," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 161-173, 05.
  12. Richard Dusansky & Clayton J. Vernon, 1998. "Rankings of U.S. Economics Departments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 157-170, Winter.
  13. Kalaitzidakis, P. & Mamuneas, T.P. & Stengos, T., 2003. "Rankings of Academic Journals and Institutions," Working Papers 2003-8, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. My Year in Review 2013
    by David Stern in Stochastic Trend on 2013-12-24 04:20:00
  2. Citations Variance and Journal Ranking Uncertainty
    by David Stern in Stochastic Trend on 2013-09-28 12:45:00
  3. Uncertainty Measures for Economics Journal Impact Factors
    by David Stern in Stochastic Trend on 2013-01-11 08:37:00

RePEc Biblio mentions

As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
  1. > Economics Profession > Ranking in Economics > Ranking Journals
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Cited by:
  1. Graziella Bertocchi & Alfonso Gambardella & Tullio Jappelli & Carmela A. Nappi & Franco Peracchi, 2013. "Bibliometric Evaluation vs. Informed Peer Review: Evidence from Italy," CSEF Working Papers 344, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.

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