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What makes a great journal great in the sciences? Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Author

Listed:
  • Chia-Lin Chang

    (National Chung Hsing University
    National Chung Hsing University)

  • Michael McAleer

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam
    Tinbergen Institute
    Kyoto University)

  • Les Oxley

    () (University of Canterbury)

Abstract

Abstract The paper is concerned with analysing what makes a great journal great in the sciences, based on quantifiable Research Assessment Measures (RAM). Alternative RAM are discussed, with an emphasis on the Thomson Reuters ISI Web of Science database (hereafter ISI). Various ISI RAM that are calculated annually or updated daily are defined and analysed, including the classic 2-year impact factor (2YIF), 5-year impact factor (5YIF), Immediacy (or 0-year impact factor (0YIF)), Eigenfactor, Article Influence, C3PO (Citation Performance Per Paper Online), h-index, Zinfluence, PI-BETA (Papers Ignored—By Even The Authors), Impact Factor Inflation (IFI), and three new RAM, namely Historical Self-citation Threshold Approval Rating (H-STAR), 2 Year Self-citation Threshold Approval Rating (2Y-STAR), and Cited Article Influence (CAI). The RAM data are analysed for the 6 most highly cited journals in 20 highly-varied and well-known ISI categories in the sciences, where the journals are chosen on the basis of 2YIF. The application to these 20 ISI categories could be used as a template for other ISI categories in the sciences and social sciences, and as a benchmark for newer journals in a range of ISI disciplines. In addition to evaluating the 6 most highly cited journals in each of 20 ISI categories, the paper also highlights the similarities and differences in alternative RAM, finds that several RAM capture similar performance characteristics for the most highly cited scientific journals, determines that PI-BETA is not highly correlated with the other RAM, and hence conveys additional information regarding research performance. In order to provide a meta analysis summary of the RAM, which are predominantly ratios, harmonic mean rankings are presented of the 13 RAM for the 6 most highly cited journals in each of the 20 ISI categories. It is shown that emphasizing THE impact factor, specifically the 2-year impact factor, of a journal to the exclusion of other informative RAM can lead to a distorted evaluation of journal performance and influence on different disciplines, especially in view of inflated journal self citations.

Suggested Citation

  • Chia-Lin Chang & Michael McAleer & Les Oxley, 2011. "What makes a great journal great in the sciences? Which came first, the chicken or the egg?," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 87(1), pages 17-40, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:87:y:2011:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-010-0335-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-010-0335-0
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Chia-Lin Chang & Michael McAleer & Les Oxley, 2011. "Great Expectatrics: Great Papers, Great Journals, Great Econometrics," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(6), pages 583-619.
    2. Bornmann, Lutz & Daniel, Hans-Dieter, 2009. "Extent of type I and type II errors in editorial decisions: A case study on Angewandte Chemie International Edition," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 348-352.
    3. repec:spr:scient:v:85:y:2010:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-010-0262-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Schubert, András & Glänzel, Wolfgang, 2007. "A systematic analysis of Hirsch-type indices for journals," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 179-184.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Chia-Lin Chang & Michael Mcaleer, 2014. "Just How Good Are The Top Three Journals In Finance? An Assessment Based On Quantity And Quality Citations," Annals of Financial Economics (AFE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 9(01), pages 1-31.
    2. Chang, Chia-Lin & Chen, Li-Hsueh & Hammoudeh, Shawkat & McAleer, Michael, 2012. "Asymmetric adjustments in the ethanol and grains markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1990-2002.
    3. Chang, Chia-Lin & McAleer, Michael & Oxley, Les, 2013. "Coercive journal self citations, impact factor, Journal Influence and Article Influence," Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (MATCOM), Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 190-197.
    4. Chia-Lin Chang & Esfandiar Maasoumi & Michael McAleer, 2016. "Robust Ranking of Journal Quality: An Application to Economics," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1), pages 50-97, January.
    5. Chia-Lin Chang & Michael Mcaleer, 2013. "What Do Experts Know About Forecasting Journal Quality? A Comparison With Isi Research Impact In Finance," Annals of Financial Economics (AFE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 8(01), pages 1-30.
    6. Chia-Lin Chang & Michael McAleer & Les Oxley, 2012. "Journal Impact Factor, Eigenfactor, Journal Influence and Article Influence," Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE 2012-15, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico.
    7. Chia-Lin Chang & Michael McAleer, 2016. "Quality weighted citations versus total citations in the sciences and social sciences, with an application to finance and accounting," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 42(4), pages 324-337, April.
    8. Chia-Lin Chang & Michael McAleer, 2013. "Ranking journal quality by harmonic mean of ranks: an application to ISI statistics & probability," Statistica Neerlandica, Netherlands Society for Statistics and Operations Research, vol. 67(1), pages 27-53, February.
    9. Chang, C-L. & McAleer, M.J., 2012. "What do Experts Know About Ranking Journal Quality? A Comparison with ISI Research Impact in Finance," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI2012-01, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
    10. repec:taf:applec:v:49:y:2017:i:45:p:4542-4553 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Chia-Lin Chang & Michael McAleer, 2014. "How Should Journal Quality be Ranked? An Application to Agricultural, Energy, Environmental and Resource Economics," Journal of Reviews on Global Economics, Lifescience Global, vol. 3, pages 33-47.
    12. Chia-Lin Chang & Michael McAleer, 2014. "Quality Weighted Citations Versus Total Citations in the Sciences and Social Sciences," Working Papers in Economics 14/08, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
    13. Chia-Lin Chang & Michael McAleer, 2013. "Ranking Leading Econometrics Journals Using Citations Data from ISI and RePEc," Econometrics, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 1(3), pages 1-19, November.
    14. Michael McAleer & Chia-Lin Chang, 2011. "Citations and Impact of ISI Tourism and Hospitality Journals," KIER Working Papers 781, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
    15. Michael McAleer, 2015. "Research Ideas for the Journal of Informatics and Data Mining: Opinion," Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE 2015-13, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico.
    16. Justus Haucap & Johannes Muck, 2015. "What drives the relevance and reputation of economics journals? An update from a survey among economists," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 103(3), pages 849-877, June.
    17. Chang Chia-Lin & McAleer Michael, 2014. "Ranking Economics and Econometrics ISI Journals by Quality Weighted Citations," Review of Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 65(1), pages 35-52, April.
    18. Chia-Lin Chang & Michael McAleer, 2015. "Bibliometric Rankings of Journals Based on the Thomson Reuters Citations Database," Journal of Reviews on Global Economics, Lifescience Global, vol. 4, pages 120-125.
    19. repec:spr:scient:v:115:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-018-2660-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Walters, William H., 2014. "Do Article Influence scores overestimate the citation impact of social science journals in subfields that are related to higher-impact natural science disciplines?," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 421-430.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Research Assessment Measures (RAM); Impact factors; Immediacy; Eigenfactor; Article Influence; Cited Article Influence; h-index; C3PO; Zinfluence; PI-BETA; IFI; H-STAR; 2Y-STAR;

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • C10 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - General
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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