Rankings and Journal Competition

4 September 2009 at 7:18 am 5 comments

| Lasse Lien |

Like many other B-schools, mine has a bonus system for publications in top journals. Every so often this list gets revised, which generates heated debate as each academic discipline tries to get more of “its” journals on the bonus list. One recent suggestion was to drop all the in-fighting and just use the journal list the Financial Times uses in constructing its B-school rankings. This seems like a good way to get rid of a lot of influence costs, and at the same time link the bonus to something that is important for the school: the FT rankings. The potential problem is that if all B-schools start thinking like this, what will happen to the competition between journals? Won’t the FT-list incumbents be a little too safe?

Entry filed under: - Lien -.

Not Even the Slightest Soupçon of Correlation What’s Wrong Here?

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. russcoff  |  4 September 2009 at 8:41 am

    More important is the question of whether the Financial Times is qualified to judge the quality of research in order to select the journals…

  • 2. brayden  |  4 September 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Agreed, there is no way we should let the Financial Times decide what counts as good research.

  • 3. Steve Phelan  |  4 September 2009 at 3:05 pm

    The Adler Harzing article in AMLE is also causing a bit of a stir:


    “Based on an analysis of seven years of citations to every article in 34 top management journals published in 1993 and 1996, Singh et al. (2007: 327) drew the same inescapable conclusion: “using journal ranking …can lead to substantial misclassification of individual articles and, by extension, the performance of the faculty members who authored them.” Type I and Type II errors are rampant. Based on Singh at al.’s (2007) use of the median number of citations in the top 34 management journals as a threshold, nearly half of the articles published in the top 34 management journals failed to meet the standards for being classified as top articles (48% in 1993 and 45% in 1996). If the mean, rather than the median, number of citations had been used, the proportion of non-top articles published in the top 34 management journals would have risen to over two thirds (68% in 1993 and 69% in 1996). The consequences of using journal quality as a proxy for article quality are a matter of concern for both the field and individual scholars.”

  • 4. Joshua Gans  |  4 September 2009 at 6:59 pm

    We use a subset of that list (that is without the professional journals) to decide what is an unambiguous tier 1 journal. The point is that in a multi-disciplinary environment, you don’t want to have to argue over some things. Other journals can be added to the list at appointment or promotion time but you have to bring the case to the meeting.

    That system has worked well.

    The FT didn’t just pull the list out of the air. It has been our of suggestions from B Schools and then updated for glaring errors.

  • 5. Lasse  |  6 September 2009 at 11:42 am

    Joshua. I have to side with Russ and Brayden here. The biggest problem in my opinion is not the quality of the FT-list at a given point in time, but wether a strong financial incentive to publish in those that already are will create dynamic inefficiencies. I.e make exit and entry to the top tier more difficult.

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