The Downside of SCM Journal Rankings

When analyzing the statistics of this blog, I find that SCM researchers appear to be very interested in posts concerning journal rankings, namely the quantitative journal ranking based on impact factors and qualitative rankings such as VHB-JOURQUAL or the ABS Academic Journal Guide 2015. I would not have published them if I wasn’t sure journal rankings can be beneficial for our research community. However, after an inspiring discussion with Alan McKinnon last week about his new article, Starry-eyed: Journal Rankings and the Future of Logistics Research (published in IJPDLM), I am more than ever convinced that our community should both acknowledge advantages and regard disadvantages of such rankings. Indeed, the ranking of journals “can skew the choice of research methodology, lengthen publication lead times, cause academics to be disloyal to the specialist journals in their field, favour theory over practical relevance and unfairly discriminate against relatively young disciplines such as logistics”, as Alan finds in his paper. So, what is your opinion?

McKinnon, Alan C. (2013). Starry-eyed: Journal Rankings and the Future of Logistics Research. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 43 (1), 6-17 DOI: 10.1108/09600031311293228

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About Andreas Wieland

Dr. Andreas Wieland is an Associate Professor of Supply Chain Risk Management at the Department of Operations Management, Copenhagen Business School. His current research interests include resilient and socially responsible supply chains.

11 responses to “The Downside of SCM Journal Rankings”

  1. Alexander says :

    An interesting publication, targeting right at the current discussions here in Germany around the “Handelsblatt” ranking. The pressure on researchers will hopefully not lead to an increase in un-academic behaviour in publication which could also be observed recently (not only with German politicians).
    Having worked several years in consulting/industry, in my opinion the applicability of an article to the “real world” should not be neglected in this discussion, as finally researchers and practitioners should benefit from this work – how strong is the correlation between academic excellence and practical usefulness (not saying that everything has to be with a practical implication)?

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