nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2012‒06‒05
four papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. Ranking Journal Quality by Harmonic Mean of Ranks:An Application to ISI Statistics & Probability By Michael McAleer; Chia-Lin Chang
  2. H-Index: The key to research output assessment By Hasan, Dr. Syed Akif; Subhani, Dr. Muhammad Imtiaz; Osman, Ms. Amber
  3. The Intellectual Influence of Economic Journals: Quality versus Quantity By László Á. Kóczy; Alexandru Nichifor
  4. Life-Cycle, Effort and Academic Inactivity By Chen, Yu-Fu; Zoeg, Gylfi

  1. By: Michael McAleer (Erasmus University Rotterdam,Tinbergen Institute,Kyoto University,Complutense University of Madrid); Chia-Lin Chang (Department of Applied Economics Department of Finance, National Chung Hsing University Taichung, Taiwan)
    Abstract: As the preponderance of journal rankings becomes increasingly more frequent and prominent in academic decision making, such rankings in broad discipline categories is taking on an increasingly important role. The paper focuses on the robustness of rankings of academic journal quality and research impact using on the widely-used Thomson Reuters ISI Web of Science citations database (ISI) for the Statistics & Probability category. The paper analyses 110 ISI international journals in Statistics & Probability using quantifiable Research Assessment Measures (RAMs), and highlights the similarities and differences in various RAMs, which are based on alternative transformations of citations and influence. Alternative RAMs may be calculated annually or updated daily to determine When, Where and How (frequently) published papers are cited (see Chang et al. (2011a, b, c), Chang et al. (2012)). The RAMs are grouped in four distinct classes that include impact factor, mean citations and non-citations, journal policy, number of high quality papers, and journal influence and article influence. These classes include the most widely used RAMs, namely the classic 2-year impact factor including journal self citations (2YIF), 2-year impact factor excluding journal self citations (2YIF*), 5-year impact factor including journal self citations (5YIF), Eigenfactor (or Journal Influence), Article Influence, h-index, PI-BETA (Papers Ignored - By Even The Authors), 5YD2 (= 5YIF/2YIF) as a measure of citations longevity, and Escalating Self Citations (ESC) as a measure of increasing journal self citations. The paper highlights robust rankings based on the harmonic mean of the ranks of RAMs across the 4 classes. It is shown that focusing solely on the 2-year impact factor (2YIF) of a journal, which partly answers the question as to When published papers are cited, to the exclusion of other informative RAMs, which answer Where and How (frequently) published papers are cited, can lead to a distorted evaluation of journal quality, impact and influence relative to the more robust harmonic mean of the ranks.
    Keywords: Research assessment measures, impact factor, IFI, C3PO, PI-BETA, STAR, Eigenfactor, Article Influence, h-index, 5YD2, ESC, harmonic mean of the ranks, Statistics & Probability, robust journal rankings.
    JEL: C18 C43 C81 Y10
    Date: 2012–05
  2. By: Hasan, Dr. Syed Akif; Subhani, Dr. Muhammad Imtiaz; Osman, Ms. Amber
    Abstract: The capacity of research has increased enormously with number of working and published research papers, research journals, research repositories, indexing and abstracting agencies and research scholars/authors proffering varied knowledge. Every field has its own way of monitoring and evaluation and similarly so does the research field. There are multiple ways of assessing the research journals, published papers and authors in order to classify research output time to time and also to acknowledge and recognize the new knowledge and information creation by the authors. Narrowing our research domain to research ranking then just few years ago, H-Index has developed its importance and use to justify the authors profile, research papers and journals in evaluating the research quality of an author or may it be a Research Journal or even universities. This paper describes the H-Index default purpose, accuracy, assessment of how it assesses the research work of author/ journals/ Universities and for which of them it matters much. The findings revealed very frankly that h-index is comparatively a better method to rank researchers only, while, interesting to foretell if any other competing ranking method is more better or a new invention it’s on it way. Let’s dig in more to have a brighter enlightenment than H-Index.
    Keywords: H-index; research rankings; authors; journals; universities
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2012
  3. By: László Á. Kóczy (Óbuda University); Alexandru Nichifor (University of St Andrews)
    Abstract: The evaluation of scientific output has a key role in the allocation of research funds and academic positions. Decisions are often based on quality indicators for academic journals and over the years a handful of scoring methods have been proposed for this purpose. Discussing the most prominent methods (de facto standards) we show that they do not distinguish quality from quantity at article level. The systematic bias we find is analytically tractable and implies that the methods are manipulable. We introduce modified methods that correct for this bias, and use them to provide rankings of economic journals. Our methodology is transparent; our results are replicable.
    Keywords: Modified invariant method, Invariance to article-splitting, Influence of economic journals, Impact factor, LP method, Invariant method
    Date: 2012–05
  4. By: Chen, Yu-Fu; Zoeg, Gylfi
    Abstract: It has been observed that university professors sometimes become less research active in their later years. This paper models the decision to become inactive as a utility maximising problem under conditions of uncertainty and derives an age-dependent activity condition for the level of research productivity. The model implies that professors who are close to retirement age are more likely to become inactive when faced with setbacks in their research while those who continue research do not lower their activity levels. Using data from the University of Iceland, we find support for the model’s predictions. The model suggests that universities should induce their older faculty to remain research active by striving to make their research more productive and enjoyable, maintaining peer pressure, reducing job security and offering higher performance related pay.
    Keywords: Inactivity, aging, optimal stopping,
    Date: 2011

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