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Robust Ranking of Journal Quality: An Application to Economics

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  • Chia-Lin Chang
  • Esfandiar Maasoumi
  • Michael McAleer

    ()
    (University of Canterbury)

Abstract

The paper focuses on the robustness of rankings of academic journal quality and research impact in general, and in Economics, in particular, based on the widely-used Thomson Reuters ISI Web of Science citations database (ISI). The paper analyses 299 leading international journals in Economics using quantifiable Research Assessment Measures (RAMs), and highlights the similarities and differences in various RAMs, which are based on alternative transformations of citations. All existing RAMs to date have been static, so two new dynamic RAMs are developed to capture changes in impact factor over time and escalating journal self citations. Alternative RAMs may be calculated annually or updated daily to determine When, Where and How (frequently) published papers are cited (see Chang et al. (2011a, b, c)). The RAMs are grouped in four distinct classes that include impact factor, mean citations and non-citations, journal policy, number of high quality papers, and journal influence and article influence. These classes include the most widely used RAMs, namely the classic 2-year impact factor including journal self citations (2YIF), 2-year impact factor excluding journal self citations (2YIF*), 5-year impact factor including journal self citations (5YIF), Eigenfactor (or Journal Influence), Article Influence, hindex, and PI-BETA (Papers Ignored - By Even The Authors). As all existing RAMs to date have been static, two new dynamic RAMs are developed to capture changes in impact factor over time (5YD2 = 5YIF/2YIF) and Escalating Self Citations. We highlight robust rankings based on the harmonic mean of the ranks of RAMs across the 4 classes. It is shown that emphasizing the 2-year impact factor of a journal, which partly answers the question as to When published papers are cited, to the exclusion of other informative RAMs, which answer Where and How (frequently) published papers are cited, can lead to a distorted evaluation of journal quality, impact and influence relative to the harmonic mean of the ranks.

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File URL: http://www.econ.canterbury.ac.nz/RePEc/cbt/econwp/1205.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 12/05.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cbt:econwp:12/05

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Keywords: Research assessment measures; Impact factor; IFI; C3PO; PI-BETA; STAR; Eigenfactor; Article Influence; h-index; 5YD2; ESC; harmonic mean of the ranks; economics; journal rankings;

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  1. Chia-Lin Chang & Michael McAleer & Les Oxley, 2011. "How are journal impact, prestige and article influence related? An application to neuroscience," Journal of Applied Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(11), pages 2563-2573, January.
  2. Chia-Lin Chang & Michael McAleer & Les Oxley, 2010. "What Makes a Great Journal Great in the Sciences? Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?," KIER Working Papers 746, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Chia-Lin Chang & Michael McAleer, 2012. "Ranking Journal Quality by Harmonic Mean of Ranks: An Application to ISI Statistics & Probability," Working Papers in Economics 12/11, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
  4. Chang, C-L. & McAleer, M.J. & Oxley, L., 2010. "What Makes a Great Journal Great in Economics? The Singer Not the Song," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2010-45, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  5. Kostas Axarloglou & Vasilis Theoharakis, 2003. "Diversity in Economics: An Analysis of Journal Quality Perceptions," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1402-1423, December.
  6. Chia-Lin Chang & Michael McAleer & Les Oxley, 2010. "Great Expectatrics: Great Papers, Great Journals, Great Econometrics," Working Papers in Economics 10/36, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
  7. Pantelis Kalaitzidakis & Theofanis P Mamuneas & Thanasis Stengos, 2001. "Rankings of Academic Journals and Institutions in Economics," Discussion Papers in Economics 01/8, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  8. J. Peter Neary & James A. Mirrlees & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Evaluating Economics Research in Europe: An Introduction," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1239-1249, December.
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