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

15 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2006  

Andrew J. Oswald

University of Warwick - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2006

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 UK universities, often come under pressure to assess research quality in a mechanical way by using journal prestige ratings. The results in this paper 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.

Keywords: citations, research productivity, economics journals, Research Assessment

JEL Classification: A11, O3

Suggested Citation

Oswald, Andrew J., An Examination of the Reliability of Prestigious Scholarly Journals: Evidence and Implications for Decision-Makers (April 2006). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2070. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=898564

Andrew J. Oswald (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
523510 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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