Current Liblicense Archive - Re: Growing Impact of Non-Elite Journals

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LIBLICENSE-L  October 2014

LIBLICENSE-L October 2014

Subject:

Re: Growing Impact of Non-Elite Journals

From:

LIBLICENSE <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

LibLicense-L Discussion Forum <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 16 Oct 2014 19:44:13 -0400

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text/plain

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text/plain (144 lines)

From: Anthony Watkinson <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2014 10:36:28 +0100

I do completely agree with Bill. As I see it, researchers have a
complex hierarchy of journals. Almost all in science would place
Science or Nature at the top. However below that there is a hierarchy
in their own discipline, which is not just a matter of the impact
factor but is a more complex judgement passed down from mentor to
mentor. Sometimes work being reported on is perceived as of wider
interest - to the whole scientific community even - or to the whole
discipline.

Sometimes work being reported is more specialised and is of interest
(only) to a niche community with its own journal. The research is not
necessarily inferior (look at the work on transposons which led
eventually to a Nobel prize) but sometimes it is not actually very
good and one knows it. There are special complications with
interdisciplinary work. If two groups, one in physics and one in
clinical medicine, are writing a paper together the physics component
will be trusted by the clinicians with submitting to an appropriate
physics journal and vice versa. I know there is a lot of literature
about how groups work but I am not sure how much research there is on
how groups decide where to submit and why. I am sure there is some
literature but I have not time to look for it.

I am writing here as a researcher as well as a former publisher and am
familiar with behaviour Bill and I describe from both standpoints.

Anthony

-----Original Message-----
From: <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2014 08:37:31 +0100

As well as the slots in elite journals being constant, this story
seems to me not to be news because it just reflects longstanding
researcher behaviour:  as well as wanting to publish in elite
journals, a lot of researchers also want to engage with the (often
tiny) community that is specifically interested in their own topic, a
community which can offer advice, criticism, avenues for further
research, collaboration etc etc.  So they also publish in what they
regard as the most appropriate journal, elite or not. Of course anyone
working in acoustics, say, wants the prestige of being published in
the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America; but, if his
particular field is building acoustics, and if feedback is one of the
things he is looking for, s/he won't get much from that journal whose
content is mostly concerned with speech, hearing, pyschological
aspects, animal noise etc, presumably reflecting readership interest.

Bill Hughes
Director
Multi-Science Publishing Co Ltd


----- Original Message -----

> From: Joseph Esposito <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2014 21:18:06 -0400
>
> Not persuasive.  The number of articles continues to grow, the number
> of slots in the so-called elite journals is pretty much constant.  If
> all the seats are taken at Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, do we expect
> parents to tell their kids not to go to college at all?  Would we
> expect that someone who attends the U. of Michigan or Villanova has no
> economic contribution to make?  The question about this article is why
> anyone thinks it is newsworthy.  Where was it published again?
>
> Joe Esposito
>
> On Mon, Oct 13, 2014 at 8:17 PM, LIBLICENSE <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>>
>> From: John Sack <[log in to unmask]>
>> Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2014 05:49:53 -0700
>>
>> I am forwarding this response on behalf of Anurag Acharya at Google
>>
>> John Sack
>> Founding Director
>> HighWire Press
>>
>> -----
>>
>> I would like to clarify couple of things about our paper. My comments
>> are inline below,
>>
>> cheers,
>> anurag
>>
>> Corey Murata writes:
>>
>> The basic flaw in the research is centered around how they identify
>> 'elite journals.'
>>
>> First, they are using incredibly broad disciplinary groupings from
>> Google Scholar Metrics:
>>
>> http://scholar.google.com/citations?view_op=top_venues
>>
>> Economics, for example is lumped in with Business and Management, and
>> if you look at the top ten journals in that broad group the only
>> management journal is MIS Quarterly, all the rest are Economics and
>> Finance.
>>
>> [[ANURAG]] As described in the Methods section of the paper, elite
>> journals are identified  for each of the 261 specific subject
>> categories (eg Immunology or Accounting & Taxation or Gender Studies
>> or Finance) and NOT at the level of broad areas (eg Health & Medical
>> Sciences or Business, Economics & Management).
>>
>> To get an overview of changes within each broad area, we determined
>> the median, the 25th, and the 75th percentile subject categories
>> within each area. We then picked the median subject category in each
>> broad area as the representative for the area and plotted data for
>> all three of median/25th-percentile/75th-percentile categories in the
>> per-area graphs in Figure 2. The median/25th/75th percentile
>> categories were computed afresh for every year to ensure that they
>> remain representative of the area (details are in the Methods
>> section).
>>
>> Second, they ignore the increase in the number and specialization of
>> journals over the period of the study. This increasing availability
>> of journals that are 'core' to a sub-disciplinary group of scholars
>> would naturally lead to more high-quality articles being published
>> outside of the 'elite' journals as defined by the authors of this
>> paper. The increasing number of journals also means that the ten
>> 'elite' journals becomes a progressively smaller percentage of the
>> total scholarly output over time.
>>
>> [[ANURAG]] As mentioned above, the list of elite journals was
>> computed separately for each of the 261 specific subject categories.
>> Which means there are over 2500 journals that are considered elite
>> each year. As mentioned in the Methods section, the list of elite
>> (and
>> non-elite) journals for each subject category was recomputed for each
>> year. So shifts in the focus of a subject category or new journals
>> that become a part of the "core" set would be reflected.
>>
>> The Methods section of the paper also mentions that the number of
>> articles considered top-cited each year in a subject category was
>> fixed at 1000. Therefore, growth in the total number of articles
>> published isn't a significant factor.  The top ten journals in a
>> subject category, as a group, publish more than 1000 articles per
>> year.

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