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An Examination of the Reliability of Prestigious Scholarly Journals: Evidence and Implications for Decision-makers

Author

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  • Oswald, Andrew J.

    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

In universities all over the world, hiring and promotion committees regularly hear the argument: “this is important work because it is about to appear in prestigious journal X”. Moreover, those who allocate levels of research funding, such as in the multi-billion pound Research Assessment Exercise in UKuniversities, often come under pressure to assess research quality in a mechanical way by using journal prestige ratings. This paper’s results suggest that such tendencies are dangerous. It uses total citations over a quarter of a century as the criterion. The paper finds that it is far better to publish the best article in an issue of a medium-quality journal like the Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics than to publish the worst article (or often the worst 4 articles) in an issue of a top journal like the American Economic Review. Implications are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Oswald, Andrew J., 2006. "An Examination of the Reliability of Prestigious Scholarly Journals: Evidence and Implications for Decision-makers," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 744, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:744
    as

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    File URL: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2008/twerp_744.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jerry G. Thursby, 2000. "What Do We Say about Ourselves and What Does It Mean? Yet Another Look at Economics Department Research," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 383-404, June.
    2. David N. Laband, 1990. "Is There Value-Added from the Review Process in Economics?: Preliminary Evidence from Authors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 341-352.
    3. Moore, William J & Newman, Robert J & Turnbull, Geoffrey K, 1998. "Do Academic Salaries Decline with Seniority?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 352-366, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    research ; productivity ; economics journals ; Research Assessment Exercise;

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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