Uncertainty Measures for Economics Journal Impact Factors; distiguishing the top two journals

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

Academic economists appear to be intensely interested in rankings of journals, institutions, and individuals. Yet there is little discussion of the uncertainty associated with these rankings. To illustrate the uncertainty associated with citations-based rankings, I compute the standard error of the impact factor for all economics journals with a five-year impact factor in the 2011 Journal Citations Report. I use these to derive confidence intervals for the impact factors as well as ranges of possible rank for a subset of thirty journals. I find that the impact factors of the top two journals are well defined and set these journals apart in a clearly defined group. An elite group of 9-11 mainstream journals can also be fairly reliably distinguished. The four bottom ranked journals are also fairly clearly set apart. For the remainder of the distribution, confidence intervals overlap and rankings are quite uncertain.

The author:

“In this paper, I presented standard errors for the 5 year IFs for 230 economics journals. They show that the top two journals are clearly set apart from the others and that beyond this there is a group of seven mainstream long-established economics journals, which can be clearly distinguished from the vast majority of other journals……..though they are prominently reported by journals themselves, simple IFs may not be the most appropriate measure of journal quality and recursive indicators are more popular in economics journal ranking studies. However, there is no simple way to construct uncertainty measures for these iterative indicators……..My analysis does show, however, that IFs themselves are quite uncertain and a broad range of journals can have statistically indistinguishable IFs. It does not seem to be justified to give a researcher more credit for publishing in the Journal of Applied Econometrics than in the Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics for example, if what we care about is potential citation impact.”



Uncertainty Measures for Economics Journal Impact Factors

Stern, David I. Australian National U, Journal of Economic Literature, March 2013, v. 51, iss. 1, pp. 173-89

See on papers.ssrn.com


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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