Skewness in Journal Rankings

10 September 2009 at 4:40 am 3 comments

| Lasse Lien |

Here is an interesting piece about journal rankings in economics (abstract below). See also Steve Phelan’s comment and link about similar issues in management (#3).

Nearly all journal rankings in economics use some weighted average of citations to calculate a journal’s impact. These rankings are often used, formally or informally, to help assess the publication success of individual economists or institutions. Although ranking methods and opinions are legion, scant attention has been paid to the usefulness of any ranking as representative of the many articles published in a journal. First, because the distributions of citations across articles within a journal are seriously skewed, and the skewness differs across journals, the appropriate measure of central tendency is the median rather than the mean. Second, large shares of articles in the highest-ranked journals are cited less frequently than typical articles in much-lower-ranked journals.

Source: Wall, Howard J. (2009), “Don’t Get Skewed Over by Journal Rankings,” The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy: Vol. 9 (1).

Entry filed under: - Lien -, Papers. Tags: .

Corporate Diversification Humor Professorial Role Models

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Steve Phelan  |  10 September 2009 at 11:21 am

    Precisely! This is where those with a large number of tier one hits become curiously silent :-)

  • 2. gabrielrossman  |  10 September 2009 at 11:58 am

    I posted some code a few months ago on how to build confidence intervals when using this kind of data (aggregates of counts). in this case the article is the “title,” the journal is the “trait,” and the cites are “sales.”

    http://codeandculture.wordpress.com/2009/03/19/bootstrapping-superstars/

  • 3. ajb  |  11 September 2009 at 8:51 am

    Actually, this points up the need for departments to trust their own judgment. Publication in quality journals is only one signal. A good department should be able to ignore that signal if they feel they have better information. Mechanical reliance on any index is what leads to conformity and adverse selection.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Authors

Nicolai J. Foss | home | posts
Peter G. Klein | home | posts
Richard Langlois | home | posts
Lasse B. Lien | home | posts

Guests

Former Guests | posts

Networking

Recent Posts

Categories

Feeds

Our Recent Books

Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein, Organizing Entrepreneurial Judgment: A New Approach to the Firm (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
Peter G. Klein and Micheal E. Sykuta, eds., The Elgar Companion to Transaction Cost Economics (Edward Elgar, 2010).
Peter G. Klein, The Capitalist and the Entrepreneur: Essays on Organizations and Markets (Mises Institute, 2010).
Richard N. Langlois, The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism: Schumpeter, Chandler, and the New Economy (Routledge, 2007).
Nicolai J. Foss, Strategy, Economic Organization, and the Knowledge Economy: The Coordination of Firms and Resources (Oxford University Press, 2005).
Raghu Garud, Arun Kumaraswamy, and Richard N. Langlois, eds., Managing in the Modular Age: Architectures, Networks and Organizations (Blackwell, 2003).
Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein, eds., Entrepreneurship and the Firm: Austrian Perspectives on Economic Organization (Elgar, 2002).
Nicolai J. Foss and Volker Mahnke, eds., Competence, Governance, and Entrepreneurship: Advances in Economic Strategy Research (Oxford, 2000).
Nicolai J. Foss and Paul L. Robertson, eds., Resources, Technology, and Strategy: Explorations in the Resource-based Perspective (Routledge, 2000).

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 245 other followers