Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Journal Rankings

I am giving some thought to trying to publish this summer, although research is not so easy outside of Oxford. It's surprising how much time I'm spending looking for suitable venues. That's why I was happy to come across two discussion on CT - Harry on publishing for grad students and Ingrid on journal rankings for political theory (not philosophy).

I'm in reasonably close agreement with Jacob Levy:

A. Ethics, Political Theory, Journal of Political Philosophy, History of Political Thought, APSR

Review of Politics might be a close call between A and B. Ditto Political Studies, for Americans. (In the UK it would be A.)

B. Polity, Politics Philosophy and Economics, European Journal of Political Theory, CRISPP, Contemporary Political Theory, JOP, AJPS, Journal of Applied Philosophy [though AJPS just will be counted higher in American poli sci deparments, as it’s the 2nd-ranked overall journal in the discipline]

C. Nomos, Social Philosophy and Policy, Constellations, Social Research, Social Theory and Practice

And Chris Bertram:

1st tier: Ethics and PPA

then JPP
then PPE
then PT (prestige-wise, though IMHO it tends to be half-full with BS of various kinds)

(History of Pol Thought in there somewhere too for the specialists).

then STP, Utilitas, EJPT etc with Res Publica, Imprints etc not far behind.

Of course, both still leave a lot uncovered, and there must be distinctions to be made between lower ranks (D, E, etc) even if no one's really familiar enough to judge.

One thing I do find surprising is that impact factors apparently often focus only on the last two years. I agree with Tom Hurka that this isn't really long enough given the time it takes to read something in print (less of a problem to those well-connected, of course), write a response and publish it. More to the point though, I wonder why there should be any limits?

I suppose that if one wants to know what a journal's up to now a shorter time-span is useful, but I'd say that it's relevant to the overall assessment of a journal if it's published classics still being cited now. Of course, this raises a practical problem given that some journals have been running a long time - which gives them more potential to be cited but, because rankigns are divided by number of articles, it might skew the figures somewhat. (Though presumably we'd have to count the old citations to old articles - which may be problematic if older material isn't online).

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