A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post on comparing journals by using the full distribution of their articles’ citations. I’m working on putting together a concise summary of these distributions, but in the meantime I thought I’d show two more interesting comparisons.
The first compares the 2016-2021 distribution of top-5 econ journals’ annual citations to those of the top-3 finance journals. Many finance departments view a top-3 finance publication as similar to a top-5 econ publication, even though one would think the latter is harder to achieve. But how much worse-cited are the top 3 finance journals?
The distribution is below. Turns out, the Journal of Finance looks better than the top-5 index for most of the distribution! The Journal of Financial Economics and the Review of Financial Studies are noticeably worse, but RFS packs a strong punch at the top of the distribution. Overall, publishing in JF looks like a great goal to aim for.
Next up, let’s check out some other good journals (American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Public Economics, and the Journal of the European Economic Associations) and see how they compare to each other. (For a comparison of AEJs to each other, see previous blog post.)
Each of these journals is clearly dominated by the top 5 index (and I had to shorten the x-axis to make the lines easier to see). And within the set of journals, there are some clear winners. AEJ: Policy leads the pack. ReStat looks a bit better than JEEA but overall the two distributions are similar. JPubE comes in last.
Even though these graphs show clear stochastic dominance in some cases, it’s worth noting that if your article is being cited more than 10 times per year, it’s doing better than about 50% of top-5 articles! About 35% of AEJ: Policy articles, 25% of ReStat and JEEA articles, and 20% of JPubE articles are cited more than 10 times per year. Of course, parsing that many journals’ tables of contents can be overwhelming. Making it much easier to learn about relevant articles published in less prestigious journals is one reason I created Academic Sequitur. Check it out to make sure you’re not missing great articles you should know about!