A Research Portfolio Approach to Evaluating Finance Journal Quality

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Abstract: Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to update and extend Danielson and Heck (2014) to provide additional evidence about the relative quality of a set of 23 high-impact finance journals. In particular, the paper summarizes the research records of all scholars contributing articles to each of the 23 journals from 1970 to 2014, and uses this information to identify journals that publish articles by similar sets of authors, and rank the 23 journals based upon publication activity> from 2010 to 2014. Design/methodology/approach - The names of all authors appearing in each of the 23 journals during the 1970 to 2014 period - and the number of appearances by each author - were summarized directly from the journals' table of contents. From this data, the lifetime (1970-2014) research portfolio of each journal's average author was quantified for two sub-periods: 1970-2009 and 2010-2014. Using the assumption that a journal's quality is positively related to its ability to attract submissions from accomplished researchers, this data provides information about the authors' subjective ranking of finance journals and about how these rankings have changed during the past five years. Findings - The finance literature experienced rapid growth during 2010-2014, with almost 25 percent of all appearances from 1970 to 2014 occurring in the last five years of the period. Based upon publication activity during 2010-2014, the Journal of Finance, the Review of Financial Studies, the Journal of Financial Economics, and the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis remain the most prestigious finance outlets, followed by the Financial Analysts Journal, the Journal of Financial Markets, Review of Finance, the Journal of Financial Intermediation, Financial Management, and the Journal of Applied Corporate Finance. Research limitations/implications - The identification of a unique set of the 23 "best" journals in any academic field is an inherently subjective task. Adding journals to (or removing journals from) this population could cause the ranking of some individual journals to shift. Originality/value - Evidence about the average quality of articles appearing in the leading finance journals is useful when evaluating faculty research records for purposes of tenure, promotion, and merit awards.

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