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

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  • Michael McAleer

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam,Tinbergen Institute,Kyoto University,Complutense University of Madrid)

  • Chia-Lin Chang

    (Department of Applied Economics Department of Finance, National Chung Hsing University Taichung, Taiwan)

Abstract

As the preponderance of journal rankings becomes increasingly more frequent and prominent in academic decision making, such rankings in broad discipline categories is taking 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 (frequently) 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 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, h-index, PI-BETA (Papers Ignored - By Even The Authors), 5YD2 (= 5YIF/2YIF) as a measure of citations longevity, and Escalating Self Citations (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. It is shown 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 lead to a distorted evaluation of journal quality, impact and influence relative to the more robust harmonic mean of the ranks.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research in its series KIER Working Papers with number 819.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:kyo:wpaper:819

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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, 2011. "Great Expectatrics: Great Papers, Great Journals, Great Econometrics," Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE 2011-14, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico.
  2. Chang, C-L. & McAleer, M.J. & Oxley, L., 2011. "How are Journal Impact, Prestige and Article Influence Related? An Application to Neuroscience," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2011-03, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  3. Chia‐Lin Chang & Michael McAleer & Les Oxley, 2011. "What Makes A Great Journal Great In Economics? The Singer Not The Song," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(2), pages 326-361, 04.
  4. Chia-Lin Chang & Esfandiar Maasoumi & Michael McAleer, 2012. "Robust Ranking of Journal Quality: An Application to Economics," Emory Economics 1204, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  5. Chia-Lin Chang & Philip Hans Franses & Michael McAleer & Les Oxley, 2010. "What Makes a Great Journal Great in the Sciences? Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?," Working Papers in Economics 10/75, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
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