New peer review guide published by the Research Information Network

Peer review: good for all purposes? | Research Information Network.

Peer review is both a principle and a set of mechanisms at the heart of the arrangements for evaluating and assuring the quality of research. A new guide from the Research Information Network provides for researchers and others an outline of how the peer review system works, and highlights some of the challenges as well as the opportunities it faces in the internet age.

Peer review: A guide for researchers sets out the processes involved in peer review for both grant applications and publications. It also looks at the issues that have been raised in a series of recent reports on the costs of the system, and how effective and fair it is.

The growth in the size of the research community and of the volumes of research being undertaken across the world means that the amount of time and effort put into the peer review system is growing too, and that it is coming under increasing scrutiny. The guide looks at how effective peer review is in selecting the best research proposals, as well as in detecting misconduct and malpractice.

The guide also looks at how fair the system is, and at the different levels of transparency involved in the process: from completely closed systems, where the identities of reviewers and those whose work is being reviewed are kept hidden from each other, and reports are not revealed, to completely transparent systems where identities and reports are openly revealed.

The burdens on researchers as submitters and reviewers are by far the biggest costs in the peer review system, and the guide outlines some of the measures that are being taken to reduce those burdens, or at least to keep them in check. A growing number of researchers are taking the view that they should be paid for the time they spend in reviewing grant applications and draft publications. But there are also concerns that such payment would significantly increase the costs of the system, and also of scholarly publications.

The internet has speeded up the process of peer review, and widened the pool of reviewers who can be drawn on. It has also provided new channels through which researchers can communicate their findings, and through which other researchers can comment on, annotate and evaluate them. These new opportunities bring new challenges as well. The take-up of the opportunities for open comments, ratings and recommender systems has been patchy to date; and we currently lack clear protocols for the review of findings circulated in multiple formats, including blogs and wikis. The mechanisms for peer review will undoubtedly change in coming years, but the principle will remain central to all those involved in the research community.

Peer review: A guide for researchers is available at www.rin.ac.uk/peer-review-guide.

How are the stocks (top journals) performing over a period of 28 years?

Sciencewatch has published the latest Journal Performance Indicators (JPI’s) for the field of business.  This chart shows which journals perform in the top over decades.  It shows that the very top of the field is very stable over a longer period.  Publishing in these top journals can be seen as a stable investment for researchers; it increases the possibility of a good citation yield.

The table below compares the citation impact of journals in the field of business as measured over three different time spans. The left-hand column ranks journals based on their 2008 “impact factor,” as enumerated in the current edition of Journal Citations Report. The 2008 impact factor is calculated by taking the number of all current citations to source items published in a journal over the previous two years and dividing by the number of articles published in the journal during the same period–in other words, a ratio between citations and recent citable items published. The rankings in the next two columns show impact over longer time spans, based on figures from Journal Performance Indicators. In these columns, total citations to a journal’s published papers are divided by the total number of papers that the journal published, producing a citations-per-paper impact score over a five-year period (middle column) and a 28-year period (right-hand column).

Journals Ranked by Impact: Business
Rank 2008 Impact Factor Impact 2004-08 Impact 1981-2008
1 Academy of Management Review
(6.13)
Administrative Science Quarterly
(9.83)
Administrative Science Quarterly
(89.77)
2 Academy of Management Journal
(6.08)
Academy of Management Journal
(9.79)
Academy of Management Review
(66.56)
3 Journal of Retailing
(4.10)
Academy of Management Review
(8.91)
Journal of Marketing
(53.84)
4 Journal of Marketing
(3.60)
Journal of Marketing
(8.72)
Academy of Management Journal
(50.48)
5 Strategic Management Journal
(3.34)
Strategic Management Journal
(7.07)
Strategic Management Journal
(46.01)
6 Marketing Science
(3.31)
Journal of Management
(6.35)
Journal of Consumer Research
(39.30)
7 Journal of Management
(3.08)
Marketing Science
(6.10 )
Journal of Marketing Research
(36.34)
8 Journal of International Business Studies
(2.99)
Journal of Consumer Psychology
(5.30)
Journal of Management
(28.14)
9 Administrative Science Quarterly
(2.85)
Journal of International Business Studies
(5.05)
Sloan Management Review
(20.38)
10 Journal of Consumer Psychology
(2.84)
Journal of Organizational Behavior
(4.85)
Marketing Science
(20.36)

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