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Journal Articles Research Policy Year : 2020

The journal quality perception gap

Michael Dowling
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We explore the drivers of researchers’ perceptions around journal quality, and how these perceptions converge or diverge with national journal ranking systems. Prior to the release of the Academic Journal Guide (AJG) 2018 rankings list, we surveyed UK business school researchers, resulting in 19,597 individual journal rankings. We find a notable journal quality perception gap, with 39% of subjective rankings from the business and management community differing from the AJG 2018 rankings. We show that measures of personal connection to the AJG system have strong explanatory power. These factors include the usage of, and sentiment towards, the AJG list, as well as individual research success as measured by AJG rankings. Consistently, we find that high values for these factors narrow the quality perception gap, whereas low values widen it. We also find an increase in the quality perception gap for journals that a respondent has submitted to or reviewed for. Our research, thus, provides new insights into how researchers interact with journal ranking systems. We propose how researchers, business schools, and ranking bodies can incorporate these findings to improve stakeholders’ consensus on research quality assessment.

Dates and versions

hal-02567479 , version 1 (07-05-2020)



Cormac Bryce, Michael Dowling, Brian Lucey. The journal quality perception gap. Research Policy, 2020, 49 (5), pp.103957. ⟨10.1016/j.respol.2020.103957⟩. ⟨hal-02567479⟩
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