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

11 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2007

See all articles by Andrew J. Oswald

Andrew J. Oswald

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

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Abstract

Scientific-funding bodies are increasingly under pressure to use journal rankings to measure research quality. Hiring and promotion committees routinely hear an equivalent argument: 'this is important work because it is to be published in prestigious journal X'. But how persuasive is such an argument? This paper examines data on citations to articles published 25 years ago. It finds that it is better to write the best article published in an issue of a medium-quality journal such as the OBES than all four of the worst four articles published in an issue of an elite journal like the AER. Decision-makers need to understand this.

Suggested Citation

Oswald, Andrew J., An Examination of the Reliability of Prestigious Scholarly Journals: Evidence and Implications for Decision-Makers. Economica, Vol. 74, No. 293, pp. 21-31, February 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=956975 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0335.2006.00575.x

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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