The Effect of Age and Size on Reputation of Business Ethics Journals

Business and Society 57 (7):1465-1480 (2018)
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Business ethics journals have appeared on a few ranked lists that are specific to this niche discipline. As with more traditional academic disciplines, these rankings are used for academic rewards such as faculty tenure and promotion, along with department and school ratings. Journal ranking has been subject to considerable criticism even as its administrative use persists. Among the criticisms are that journal quality is a poor proxy for article quality, citation rate is an imperfect reflection of article influence, and bias may be introduced into rankings by visibility characteristics such as journal age, size, circulation, and experience of the rater with a journal. This research note studies the effect of journal age and size on the rankings of business ethics journals compiled by Beets, Lewis, and Brower, by Albrecht, Thompson, Hoopes, and Rodrigo, and by Serenko and Bontis. Significant correlation was found for journal age with the administratively derived Beets et al. ranking. No significant correlation was found for size in any ranking study. Results were not significant for the Albrecht et al. and the Serenko and Bontis rankings representing the perspectives from surveys of active researchers or citation analysis. Perhaps sometimes a journal’s reputation precedes it, as perception of journal quality may be biased by journal visibility, either because it has been published and available for a number of years, or because it is well known and likely to be cited.
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