Journal Rankings in Sociology: Using the H Index with Google Scholar
- 603 Downloads
There is considerable interest in the ranking of journals, given the intense pressure to place articles in the “top” journals. In this article, a new index, h, and a new source of data—Google Scholar – are introduced, and a number of advantages of this methodology to assessing journals are noted. This approach is attractive because it provides a more robust account of the scholarly enterprise than do the standard Journal Citation Reports. Readily available software enables do-it-yourself assessments of journals, including those not otherwise covered, and enable the journal selection process to become a research endeavor that identifies particular articles of interest. While some critics are skeptical about the visibility and impact of sociological research, the evidence presented here indicates that most sociology journals produce a steady stream of papers that garner considerable attention. While the position of individual journals varies across measures, there is a high degree commonality across these measurement approaches. A clear hierarchy of journals remains no matter what assessment metric is used. Moreover, data over time indicate that the hierarchy of journals is highly stable and self-perpetuating. Yet highly visible articles do appear in journals outside the set of elite journals. In short, the h index provides a more comprehensive picture of the output and noteworthy consequences of sociology journals than do than standard impact scores, even though the overall ranking of journals does not markedly change.
KeywordsSociology journals Citations Journal rankings H index Google scholar
- Allen, M. P. (2003). “The ‘core influence’ of journals in sociology revisited.” Footnotes (American Sociological Association Newsletter). December. http://www.asanet.org/footnotes/dec03/fn11.html
- Borgman, C. L., & Furner, J. (2002). Scholarly communication and bibliometrics. Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, 36, 3–72.Google Scholar
- Duncan, O. D. (1961). A socioeconomic index for all occupations. In A. J. Reiss (Ed.), Occupations and social status (pp. 109–138). New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
- Espeland, W. & Sauder, M. (2016). By the numbers: how media rankings changed legal education in America (Russell Sage Foundation).Google Scholar
- Frodeman, R. (2010). Introduction. In R. Frodeman (Ed.), Oxford handbook of interdisciplinarity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Google Scholar. (2015). http://scholar.google.com/.
- Harzing, A. W. (2011). The publish or perish book. Your guide to effective and responsible citation analysis. Tamara Software Research (Publisher). Available online.Google Scholar
- Harzing, A. W. (2015). Publish or perish, Version 4, available at www.harzing.com/pop.htm.
- ISI Web of Science. (2015). www.isiknowledge.com/.
- Jacobs, J. A. (2007). Further reflections on ASR’s greatest hits. The American Sociologist, 38(1), 99–131. Also available on the American Sociological Review webpage, http://www.asanet.org/journals/asr/2005/043sup1.pdf.
- Jacobs, J. A. (2013). In defense of disciplines: Interdisciplinarity and specialization in the research university. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Jacobs, J. A., & Frickel, S. (2009). Interdisciplinarity: a critical assessment. Annual Review of Sociology, 35, 43–66. http://arjournals.annualreviews.org/eprint/yyThexc9vmVNN4DkFjKC/full/10.1146/annurev-soc-070308-115954.
- Lluch, J. O. (2005). “Some considerations on the use of the impact factor of scientific journals as a tool to valuate research in psychology.” Scientometrics 65(2):189–197Google Scholar
- Luzer, D. (2013). No one really reads academic papers.” Washington Monthly. February 19. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide/blog/academics_do_a_lot_of.php
- Merton, R. K. (1968). The Mathew effect in science.” Science 159, no. 3810, 5 January. In R. K. Merton (Ed.), The sociology of science: Theoretical and empirical investigations (pp. 56–63). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Moed, H. F. (2005). “Citation analysis of scientific journals and journal impact measures.” Current Science 89(12) 25 December 1990–1996.Google Scholar
- Seglen, P. O. (1997). Why the impact factor of journals should not be used for evaluating research. British Medical Journal, 314(February 15), 498–502.Google Scholar
- Shapiro, F. R. (2000). The most-cited law reviews. Journal of Legal Studies, 29, 1540–1554.Google Scholar