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Starry-eyed II: the logistics journal ranking debate revisited
In a previous paper published in 2013 I questioned the principle and practice of journal ranking and discussed its effects on logistics research. In the next four years several important developments occurred prompting me to revisit the subject. In this ‘sequel’, I review new literature on the journal ranking debate. I also test the validity of the journal ranking as a proxy measure of paper quality using data from the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment. This data set casts doubt on the reliability of the journal ranking as an indicator of a paper’s merit. Between 2012 and 2016 four journal ranking schemes were updated. I examine how this affected the rating of ten logistics / supply chain management (SCM) journals. Logistics/SCM journals continued to occupy mid-to-lower tier positions in most listings, though there was some improvement in their standing. The paper aims to alert those managing and undertaking logistics research to the dangers of over-reliance on journal rankings in the measurement of research quality and productivity. It may also help logistics/SCM scholars to defend the position of their discipline and resist journal-ranking-induced pressures to marginalise it and devalue its outputs.
Keynote address on this subject delivered to the annual conference of the Logistics Research Network in September 2015.
Blogs I’ve written on the subject:
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