Nine Facts about Top Journals in Economics

See on Scoop.itDual impact of research; towards the impactelligent university

How has publishing in top economics journals changed since 1970? Using a data set that combines information on all articles published in the top-5 journals from 1970 to 2012 with their Google Scholar citations, we identify nine key trends.

First, annual submissions to the top-5 journals nearly doubled from 1990 to 2012.

Second, the total number of articles published in these journals actually declined from 400 per year in the late 1970s to 300 per year most recently. As a result, the acceptance rate has fallen from 15% to 6%, with potential implications for the career progression of young scholars.

Third, one journal, the American Economic Review, now accounts for 40% of top-5 publications, up from 25% in the 1970s.

Fourth, recently published papers are on average 3 times longer than they were in the 1970s, contributing to the relative shortage of journal space.

Fifth, the number of authors per paper has increased from 1.3 in 1970 to 2.3 in 2012, partly offsetting the fall in the number of articles per year.

Sixth, citations for top-5 publications are high: among papers published in the late 1990s, the median number of Google Scholar citations is 200.

Seventh, the ranking of journals by citations has remained relatively stable, with the notable exception of the Quarterly Journal of Economics, which climbed from fourth place to first place over the past three decades.

Eighth, citation counts are significantly higher for longer papers and those written by more co-authors.

Ninth, although the fraction of articles from different fields published in the top-5 has remained relatively stable, there are important cohort trends in the citations received by papers from different fields, with rising citations to more recent papers in Development and International, and declining citations to recent papers in Econometrics and Theory.

The authors:

“On the one hand, much has changed over the past forty years. There are many more submissions, but fewer papers are published per year. Perhaps because of this intensifying competition, each paper has more co‐authors. Papers today are also substantially longer, even in the most technical fields…

We believe that these findings have potentially significant implications for academic economists, particularly with regard to the career paths of younger scholars. Most importantly, the competition for space in the top journals has grown fiercer over time. The overall acceptance rate for submissions at the top‐5 journals is about one‐third as high today as in the early 1970s.”

Source:

Nine Facts about Top Journals in EconomicsDavid Card, Stefano DellaVigna

NBER Working Paper No. 18665

http://www.nber.org/papers/w18665.pdf

See on www.nber.org

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About Wilfred Mijnhardt
RMIMR is my virtual playground, a place to reflect on issues from my professional context, my job as Policy Director at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). RSM is the international university based business school at Erasmus University Rotterdam. More info here: www.rsm.nl Here is my list of relevant publications on the topic of my RMIMR weblog: http://www.mendeley.com/collections/694621/RMIMR-Repository/ The rss feed for my RMIMR collection is here: http://www.mendeley.com/collections/rss/694621/ Here is my other weblog on impact of research: http://www.scoop.it/t/dualimpact

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