Saturday, April 10, 2010

New RePEc journal rankings

RePEc has recently expanded its rankings of economists, institutions and publications. The portion of rankings that is now public has now expanded, which is good. Among the new rankings, two have caught my eye.

First, there is now a separate ranking for US Economics departments. The usual suspects are on top, with the exception of Yale (some faculty prefer to affiliate with Cowles) and the University of North Carolina (75!). It also shows how low Rochester has fallen (67) and how low my fellow bloggers at George Mason rank (95). Among the pleasant surprises, I notice Williams College (63), Chapman University (69), and Appalachian State University (93). Liberal arts colleges can produce better research than R1 universities.

Second, there is also an aggregate ranking for journals. Previously, only separate rankings were provided for each criterion, which made comparisons difficult. The new ranking yields rather few surprises, and thus should be really useful. Indeed, it is continuously updated, contrarily to other rankings that quickly depreciate.

There is no surprise in the sense that the four big journals are on top, although not in the order I would have expected. I have not read an article in the QJE or Econometrica for a long time, whereas AER and JPE continuously have interesting material. I confess that I rather read working papers than journal articles, and thus those that get published are sometimes already known to me, but I am still puzzled by the high impact factors that QJE and Econometrica get. In some sense, the JPE may be penalized here because all its volumes are on RePEc, and given that generally the material on RePEc is newer, older articles do not gather citations. And the AER is penalized by its Papers and Proceedings issue, which drags the impact factor down. But this should be compensated by the inclusion of download statistics in the aggregate ranking.

Further down the ranking, the Journal of Economic Growth is surprisingly well placed at 6. It publishes very few papers and must be following a very strict acceptance policy. The ratio of citations to articles is thus high, but I would not call it an impact factor, as the journal is small. Another surprise is Economic Policy at 15. I cannot even remember having this journal in my hands.

Another interesting result: some young journals are already doing well. I mentioned the Journal of Economic Growth, and the Review of Economic Dynamics and the Journal of the European Economic Association are also in the top 30. The latter are already better than the Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control and the European Economic Review, two journals the respective societies left after a row with Elsevier.


Agent Continuum said...

This is timed suspiciously, given the April 15th deadline for the sorting of applicants to grad schools. Of course, these rankings are imperfect proxies for placements, which is what applicants should care about the most, presumably.

I'm also not sure how these rankings deal with department size and degree of turnover and, obviously, the degree to which people actually register with RePEc (some big names with many citations are not).

(Yes, transparently, I'm not happy with some of these numbers and I do have a horse in this race ;-)

Kansan said...

Well, if your colleagues have not registered and drag your department's ranking down, you know what to do, right?

jean suhas said...
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