Journal section "Theoretical and methodological issues"

Journal Rankings: Theory, Methodology, Bibliometry

Rubinstein A.Y., Burakov N.A.

Volume 16, Issue 6, 2023

Rubinstein A.Y., Burakov N.A. (2023). Journal rankings: Theory, methodology, bibliometry. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 16(6), 174–190. DOI: 10.15838/esc.2023.6.90.10

DOI: 10.15838/esc.2023.6.90.10

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
The article presents the findings of a scientometric study of publication activity and ranking of journals registered with the RSCI on the subject “Economics. Economic sciences”. The analysis of a new methodology proposed by the RSCI for determining journal rankings has revealed its serious shortcomings. The article formulates three main critical postulates to prove that the journal ranking results derived according to this methodology are incorrect. One of its most vulnerable aspects is the unsubstantiated choice of journals carried out by an anonymous group of experts for the purpose of determining the composition of the RSCI core. The situation is complicated by the fact that this subjective choice leads to the discrimination of other journals, whose citation rate is recorded in the RSCI only if the article is cited in a journal that is part of the core. The choice of bibliometric indicators determining the aggregate rating of journals is unsatisfactory, and first of all this applies to the indicator “length of the article text”, which, strictly speaking, has no relation to scientometric indicators whatsoever. The formula for determining the aggregate rating itself, in which the weights of bibliometric indicators are “adjusted” to comply with a certain expert rating from five years ago, cannot be called justified. The constructive criticism provided in the article is accompanied by a description of an alternative approach with the elimination of the identified shortcomings of the new RSCI methodology. We are talking about a fundamentally different way of allocating the journals core: it does not use subjective assessments of any expert groups; instead, it uses certain formal criteria related to the production of knowledge and its dissemination in the form of publication activity of academic institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences and leading universities that are founders of economic journals. The article presents a new approach to the methodology for determining a journal rating based on the application of MW analysis (Multiway data analysis), which is a generalization of factor analysis applied to a multidimensional matrix. As a result, we put forward another set of journals included in the core; this ranking is called Yadro.RU; we also propose a more reasonable version for the ranking of journals registered with the RSCI on the subject “Economics. Economic sciences”


impact factor, citation, journals, Hirsch index, Herfindahl index, aggregate rating, ranking, RSCI core, Yadro.RU, MW analysis

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