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Journal rankings and the ABS Journal Quality Guide

Morris, Huw and Harvey, Charles and Kelly, Aiden (2009) Journal rankings and the ABS Journal Quality Guide. Management decision, 47 (9). pp. 1441-1451. ISSN 0025-1747

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide an outline of the arguments for and against different types of journal ranking lists, and, against this background, an account of the development of the Association of Business Schools' (ABS) Journal Quality Guide. Design/methodology/approach – The paper identifies recent trends in academic journal publication that have increased the need for mechanisms to assess the overall quality of academic journals. Six approaches to ranking are outlined and evaluated including the hybrid approach adopted in producing the ABS Journal Quality Guide. Findings – The ABS Journal Quality Guide provides wide journal coverage; has high levels of internal and external reliability; is sensitive to small variations in the ratings of journals, and is generally accepted as a fair means of ranking journals within its user community. Research limitations/implications – This paper focuses on developments in the UK, and while the findings of this study may be of interest to researchers in other countries, the implications for policy and practice will be felt most keenly in British business schools. Originality/value – This paper describes a hybrid, iterative and consensual approach to developing and validating a journal quality guide that is likely to be of value to researchers, academic managers, subject librarians and research auditors.

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