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Ranking Journal Quality by Harmonic Mean of Ranks: An Application to ISI Statistics & Probability

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As the preponderance of journal rankings becomes increasingly more frequent and prominent in academic decision making, such rankings in broad discipline categories is tak-ing on an increasingly important role. The paper focuses on the robustness of rankings of academic journal quality and research impact using on the widely-used Thomson Reuters ISI Web of Science citations database (ISI) for the Statistics & Probability category. The paper analyses 110 ISI international journals in Statistics & Probability using quantifiable Research Assessment Measures (RAMs), and highlights the similarities and differences in various RAMs, which are based on alternative transformations of citations and influence. Alternative RAMs may be calculated annually or updated daily to determine When, Where and How (fre-quently) published papers are cited (see Chang et al. (2011a, b, c), Chang et al. (2012)). 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 in-fluence. 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, h-index, PI-BETA (Papers Ignored - By Even The Authors), 5YD2 (= 5YIF/2YIF) as a measure of citations longevity, and Escalating Self Cita-tions (ESC) as a measure of increasing journal self-citations. The paper highlights robust rankings based on the harmonic mean of the ranks of RAMs across the 4 classes. We show that focusing solely on the 2-year impact factor (2YIF) 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 distort the evalua-tion of journal quality, impact and influence, relative to the more robust harmonic mean of the ranks.

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File URL: http://www.econ.canterbury.ac.nz/RePEc/cbt/econwp/1211.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 12/11.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 25 May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cbt:econwp:12/11

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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; Statistics & Probability; robust journal rankings;

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  1. Chia-Lin Chang & Michael McAleer & Les Oxley, 2010. "What Makes a Great Journal Great in Economics? The Singer Not the Song," Working Papers in Economics 10/43, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
  2. Erjen van Nierop, 2010. "The introduction of the 5-year impact factor: does it benefit statistics journals?," Statistica Neerlandica, Netherlands Society for Statistics and Operations Research, vol. 64(1), pages 71-76.
  3. Chia-Lin Chang & Michael McAleer & Les Oxley, 2011. "How are Journal Impact, Prestige and Article Influence Related? An Application to Neuroscience," KIER Working Papers 756, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Erjen van Nierop, 2009. "Why do statistics journals have low impact factors?," Statistica Neerlandica, Netherlands Society for Statistics and Operations Research, vol. 63(1), pages 52-62.
  5. Chang, C-L. & McAleer, M.J. & Oxley, L., 2010. "What Makes a Great Journal Great in the Sciences? Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2010-75, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  6. Chia-Lin Chang & Michael McAleer & Les Oxley, 2010. "Great Expectatrics: Great Papers, Great Journals, Great Econometrics," KIER Working Papers 714, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
  7. Chia-Lin Chang & Esfandiar Maasoumi & Michael McAleer, 2013. "Robust Ranking of Journal Quality: An Application to Economics," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-081/III, Tinbergen Institute.
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