What do Experts Know About Ranking Journal Quality? A Comparison with ISI Research Impact in Finance
Experts possess knowledge and information that are not publicly available. The paper is concerned with the ranking of academic journal quality and research impact using a survey of experts from a national project on ranking academic finance journals. A comparison is made with publicly available bibliometric data, namely the Thomson Reuters ISI Web of Science citations database (hereafter ISI) for the Business - Finance category. The paper analyses the leading international journals in Finance using expert scores and quantifiable Research Assessment Measures (RAMs), and highlights the similarities and differences in the expert scores and alternative RAMs, where the RAMs are based on alternative transformations of citations taken from the ISI database. Alternative RAMs may be calculated annually or updated daily to answer the perennial questions as to When, Where and How (frequently) published papers are cited (see Chang et al. (2011a, b, c)). The RAMs include the most widely used RAM, 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), Immediacy (or zero-year impact factor (0YIF)), Eigenfactor, Article Influence, C3PO (Citation Performance Per Paper Online), h-index, PIBETA (Papers Ignored - By Even The Authors), 2-year Self-citation Threshold Approval Ratings (2Y-STAR), Historical Self-citation Threshold Approval Ratings (H-STAR), Impact Factor Inflation (IFI), and Cited Article Influence (CAI). As data are not available for 5YIF, Article Influence and CAI for 13 of the leading 34 journals considered, 10 RAMs are analysed for 21 highly-cited journals in Finance. Harmonic mean rankings of the 10 RAMs for the 34 highly-cited journals are also presented. It is shown that emphasizing the 2-year impact factor 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 impact and influence relative to the Harmonic Mean rankings. A simple regression model is used to predict expert scores on the basis of RAMs that capture journal impact, journal policy, the number of high quality papers, and quantitative information about a journal.