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Journal ranking is widely used in academic circles in the evaluation of an
academic journal An academic or scholarly journal is a periodical publication Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial Serial may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media The presentation of w ...
's impact and quality. Journal rankings are intended to reflect the place of a journal within its field, the relative difficulty of being published in that journal, and the prestige associated with it. They have been introduced as official research evaluation tools in several countries.


Measures

Traditionally, journal ranking "measures" or evaluations have been provided simply through institutional lists established by academic leaders or through a committee vote. These approaches have been notoriously politicized and inaccurate reflections of actual prestige and quality, as they would often reflect the biases and personal career objectives of those involved in ranking the journals; also causing the problem of highly disparate evaluations across institutions. Also, see YouTube video narrative of this paper at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZQIDkA-ke0. Consequently, many institutions have required external sources of evaluation of journal quality. The traditional approach here has been through surveys of leading academics in a given field, but this approach too has potential for bias, though not as profound as that seen with institution-generated lists. Consequently, governments, institutions, and leaders in scientometric research have turned to a litany of observed bibliometric measures on the journal level that can be used as surrogates for quality and thus eliminate the need for subjective assessment. Consequently, several journal-level metrics have been proposed, most citation-based: *
Impact factor #REDIRECT Impact factor#REDIRECT Impact factor The impact factor (IF) or journal impact factor (JIF) of an academic journal is a scientometric index calculated by Clarivate that reflects the yearly average number of citations of articles publish ...
and
CiteScoreCiteScore (CS) of an academic journal An academic or scholarly journal is a periodical publication Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial publications that appear in a new edi ...
– reflecting the average number of citations to articles published in science and social science journals. *
SCImago Journal Rank The SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) indicator is a measure of the scientific influence of scholarly journal An academic or scholarly journal is a periodical publication Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a peri ...
– a measure of scientific influence of scholarly journals that accounts for both the number of citations received by a journal and the importance or prestige of the journals where such citations come from. * – usually used as a measure of scientific productivity and the scientific impact of an individual scientist, but can also be used to rank journals. ** h5-index – this metric, calculated and released by
Google Scholar Google Scholar is a freely accessible web search engine that indexes the full text or metadata Metadata is " data" that provides information about other data". In other words, it is "data about data". Many distinct types of metadata exist, inc ...
, is based on the
h-index The ''h''-index is an author-level metricAuthor-level metrics are citation metrics that measure the bibliometrics, bibliometric impact of individual authors, researchers, academics, and scholars. Many metrics have been developed that take into ac ...

h-index
of all articles published in a given journal in the last five years. * Expert survey – a score reflecting the overall quality or contribution of a journal is based on the results of the survey of active field researchers, practitioners and students (i.e., actual journal contributors or readers), who rank each journal based on specific criteria. * Publication power approach (PPA) – the ranking position of each journal is based on the actual publishing behavior of leading tenured academics over an extended time period. As such, the journal's ranking position reflects the frequency at which these scholars published their articles in this journal. *
Altmetrics In scholarly and scientific publishing, altmetrics are non-traditional bibliometrics Bibliometrics is the use of statistical methods to analyse books, articles and other publications. Bibliometric methods are frequently used in the field of libr ...

Altmetrics
– rate journals based on scholarly references added to academic social media sites. * diamScore – a measure of scientific influence of academic journals based on recursive citation weighting and the pairwise comparisons between journals. * Source normalized impact per paper (SNIP) – a factor released in 2012 by
Elsevier Elsevier () is a Netherlands-based publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refers to the creation and ...

Elsevier
based on
Scopus Scopus is Elsevier Elsevier () is a Netherlands-based publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refe ...
to estimate impact. The measure is calculated as SNIP=RIP/(R/M), where RIP=raw impact per paper, R = citation potential and M = median database citation potential. * PageRank – in 1976 a recursive impact factor that gives citations from journals with high impact greater weight than citations from low-impact journals was proposed. Such a recursive impact factor resembles
Google Google LLC is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational stat ...

Google
's
PageRank PageRank (PR) is an algorithm In and , an algorithm () is a finite sequence of , computer-implementable instructions, typically to solve a class of problems or to perform a computation. Algorithms are always and are used as specifications ...

PageRank
algorithm, though the original paper uses a "trade balance" approach in which journals score highest when they are often cited but rarely cite other journals; several scholars have proposed related approaches. **
Eigenfactor The Eigenfactor score, developed by Jevin West and Carl Bergstrom Carl Theodore Bergstrom is a Mathematical and theoretical biology, theoretical and evolutionary biology, evolutionary biologist and a professor at the University of Washington in S ...
is another PageRank-type measure of journal influence, with rankings freely available online.


Discussion

A study published in 2021 compared the Impact Factor, Eigenfactor Score, SCImago Journal & Country Rank and the Source Normalized Impact per Paper, in journals related to Pharmacy, Toxicology and Biochemistry. It discovered there was "a moderate to high and significant correlation" between them. Negative consequences of rankings are generally well-documented and relate to the
performativity Performativity is the concept that language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system comp ...
of using journal rankings for performance measurement purposes. For example, McKinnon (2017) has analyzed how the ABS-AJG ranking, which in spite of its methodological shortcomings is widely accepted in British business schools, has had negative consequences for the transportation and logistics management disciplines. Universities now increasingly drop the idea that research quality can be measured based on the uni-dimensional scale of a journal ranking. This has, for example, led to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which has now been signed by thousands of researchers worldwide, asking "not use journal-based metrics ... as a surrogate measure of the quality of individual research articles, to assess an individual scientist's contributions, or in hiring, promotion, or funding decisions". The Community for Responsible Research in Business Management (cRRBM) asks whether "even the academy is being served when faculty members are valued for the quantity and placement of their articles, not for the benefit their research can have for the world".


National rankings

Several national and international rankings of journals exist, e.g.: *
ERA Australia journal lists Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) is Australia’s national research evaluation framework, developed and administered by the Australian Research Council (ARC). The first full round of ERA occurred in 2010, and subsequent rounds followed i ...
* Brazil's Qualis * Colombia's Publindex * Denmark * Finland's Julkaisufoorumi (JUFO) *
Norwegian Scientific Index CRIStin (Current Research Information System in Norway) is the national research information system of Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book ...
* Germany VHB Index (business) * France CNRS ranking (economics) * Italian ANVUR ranking * The Chartered Association of Business Schools' Academic Journal Guide * List of HEC-Pakistan Recognized Journals * Indian National Academy of Agricultural Sciences * Polish ranking of journals *
DHET List of Approved South African Journals The Department of Higher Education and Training is one of the ministry (government department), departments of the Government of South Africa, South African government. It oversees universities and other post-secondary education in South Africa. It ...
They have been introduced as official research evaluation tools in several countries.


See also

* *
Journalology Journalology (also known as publication science) is the scholarly study of all aspects of the academic publishing Academic publishing is the subfield of publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software ...


References

{{Academic publishing Journal ranking Academic publishing Citation metrics