The Impact of Journal Re-grading on Perception of Ranking Systems: Exploring the Case of the Academic Journal Guide and Business and Management Scholars in the UK

James Walker, Ammon Salter, Rita Fontinha, Rossella Salandra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The marked increase in the use of metrics, such as journal lists, to assess research has had a profound effect on academics’ working lives. While some view the diffusion of rankings as beneficial, others consider their diffusion as a malicious development, which further acerbates a tendency towards managerialism in academia, and undermine the integrity and diversity of academic research. Using data from a large-scale survey and a re-grading of journals in a ranking used by Business and Management UK scholars—the Academic Journal Guide—as a pseudo-experiment, we examine what determines negative and positive perceptions of rankings. We find that the individuals who published in outlets that were upgraded were less hostile to the ranking than those who did not benefit from these changes, and that individuals were also less hostile to the ranking if outlets in their field had benefited from re-grading in the new list. We also find that the individuals who published in outlets that were upgraded were more positive to the ranking than those who did not benefit from these changes, and that individuals were also more positive to the ranking if outlets in their field had benefited from re-grading in the new list.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-231
JournalResearch Evaluation
Volume28
Issue number3
Early online date27 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2019

Cite this

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abstract = "The marked increase in the use of metrics, such as journal lists, to assess research has had a profound effect on academics’ working lives. While some view the diffusion of rankings as beneficial, others consider their diffusion as a malicious development, which further acerbates a tendency towards managerialism in academia, and undermine the integrity and diversity of academic research. Using data from a large-scale survey and a re-grading of journals in a ranking used by Business and Management UK scholars—the Academic Journal Guide—as a pseudo-experiment, we examine what determines negative and positive perceptions of rankings. We find that the individuals who published in outlets that were upgraded were less hostile to the ranking than those who did not benefit from these changes, and that individuals were also less hostile to the ranking if outlets in their field had benefited from re-grading in the new list. We also find that the individuals who published in outlets that were upgraded were more positive to the ranking than those who did not benefit from these changes, and that individuals were also more positive to the ranking if outlets in their field had benefited from re-grading in the new list.",
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