Normed Results for Journal Rankings

Having posted some data on journals here, several noticed that journals with appeal outside the discipline get a boost by the attention received there. Others noticed that history journals have consistently low citation numbers, resulting, I expect, because topic-oriented philosophers tend to use history only for, as Lehrer used to say, plunder.

So I thought it would be interesting to norm the data. I divided journals into three groups: history journals, journals of disciplinary interest, and extra-disciplinary interest journals. I then selected journals higher than the mean and median by both h- and g-index factors (for more on these measures, both their natures and limitations, see here). The resulting list is not terribly surprising, by my lights, but interesting to note:

History Journals:
Journal of the History of Philosophy
Journal of the History of Ideas
British Journal for the History of Philosophy
Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy
History of Philosophy Quarterly

Extra-disciplinary journals:
Linguistics and Philosophy
Journal of Logic, Language and Information
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Mind and Language
Philosophy of Science
Minds and Machines
The Hastings Center Report
Biology and Philosophy
Theory and Decision

Disciplinary Journals:
Journal of Philosophy
Philosophical Studies
Studia Logica
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
Philosophical Review
The Monist
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society
Australasian Journal of Philosophy
Journal of Philosophical Logic


Normed Results for Journal Rankings — 5 Comments

  1. Interesting, although as you say, the results are to be expected.

    Not to be the feminist-hawk, but I take it you’re counting Hypatia as “Extra-Disciplinary”? Yes, you must be, because its H- and G- values exceed that of J.Phil.Logic. I must say, Hypatia doesn’t seem extra-disciplinary to me, but maybe I’m misunderstanding what you mean by the distinction.

    Were I you, I’d groan inwardly at this juncture, expecting yet more quibbles with your method o’ division. But clarification’s always welcome, anyway.

    (Come to think of it, the feminist hawk sounds kind of nifty anyway, like something in DC Comics.)

  2. Kate, you’re right to question the classification scheme. It’s not even close to being careful and precise. I didn’t count Synthese as extra-disciplinary, but did count Hypatia as extra-disciplinary. If it is better classified as being primarily of interest only to philosophers, then the h= and g=numbers are high enough for it, as you note, to be included in the list. Synthese would still make the list if it were classified as extra-disciplinary.

    There’s another issue here which I haven’t controlled for. Higher h-values are correlated with more published articles, and some journals publish lots more articles than other journals (e.g., Phil Studies and Synthese versus Phil Review). It would be nice to control for this difference, as well as to have a more precise way of determining which category to put a journal in.

  3. Do either Synthese or Phil. Studies publish more articles per year than Analysis? Would Jon’s proposal to control for the number of articles published in a given journal’s volume negatively impact a short-format journal like Analysis? If so, should it?

  4. If one is interested in getting a rough assessment of the “impact per article” journals have, then there’s no reason why one shouldn’t control for the number of articles. We just need to keep in mind that this is one metric among many, no one of which has an absolute claim to being the obviously right way of evaluating journals, and all of which have their drawbacks. And Jon has been honest about the limitations of these metrics.

  5. I don’t know the numbers for these journals, but I suspect longer articles have an advantage over shorter articles. But that’s a level of control on the data that I don’t think it would make sense to impose.

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