Thursday, September 29, 2011

Journal Rankings for Philosophy

I've received many requests for some kind of journal rankings list from readers.

Readers will be aware of several different rankings of philosophy journals. These include the Australian Research Council's (ARC) now disused ERA rankings and European Science Foundation's (ESF) European Research Index for the Humanities (ERIH).  Plus, there have been different polls by Brian Leiter and the Brooks Blog (and this more comprehensive poll of 140+ journals). Other blogs discussing journal rankings include Certain DoubtsLemmings, Thoughts, Arguments, and Rants, and this.

Each metric has its limitations and such a discussion would merit a long blogpost of its own. Let me be clear from the beginning that I believe that journal rankings are the crudest of indicators. If you want to assess the quality of something, then read it.

What I propose here is a ranking of rankings. Journals will be grouped in tiers based upon various metrics. There is broad agreement between different lists and I don't believe this list will prove controversial. The journals that score best are those journals that have consistently ranked highly across the major studies both European (ERIH), International (ARC ERA), and major opinion polls of thousands of philosophers (Brooks Blog, Leiter Reports). We find wide consistency across most indicators, but taken together we can find a strong "core" that come out top again and again. Those that perform less well is often a result of inclusion on some indicators, but not others. Comments are most welcome and the list (with information on how data was collected) is below. Enjoy!

Some proposed journal rankings for philosophy *

Rated 'A*' (maximum 25 points):
Journal of Philosophy
Philosophical Review
Philosophical Quarterly
Philosophical Studies
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

Rated 'A' (20-24 points):

Analysis (24)
Australasian Journal of Philosophy (24)
Philosophy and Public Affairs (24)
Canadian Journal of Philosophy (23)
American Philosophical Quarterly (22)
Monist (22)

Rated 'B' (15-19):

European Journal of Philosophy (19)
Synthese (19)
Journal of the History of Philosophy (18)
Philosophers' Imprint (18)
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society (18)
Ratio (18)
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (17)
Journal of Political Philosophy (17)
Midwest Studies in Philosophy (17)
Philosophy of Science (17)
Journal of Ethics (16)
Journal of Moral Philosophy (16)
Pacific Philosophical Quarterly (16)
Philosophical Topics (16)
Utilitas (16)
Journal of Philosophical Logic (15)

Rated 'C' (10-14 points):

British Journal for the History of Philosophy (14)
Erkenntnis (14)
Mind and Language (14)

Kant-Studien (13)
Philosophy (13)
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice (12)
Philosophical Papers (12)
Phronesis (12)
Southern Journal of Philosophy (12)
Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy (11)
Review of Metaphysics (11)
Hume Studies (10)
Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (10)
Journal of Philosophical Research (10)

N/a ranked (9 or less points):

Metaphilosophy (9)
Philosophical Investigations (9)
History of Philosophy Quarterly (8)
International Journal of Philosophical Studies (8)
Philosophy Compass (7)
Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (5)
Philosophia (4)

* Note on rankings:

I have weighted the journals in the following way:

ARC ERA list:
Journals are ranked A*, A, B, C. Points awarded: A* = 5, A = 4, B = 3, C = 2.

Brooks Blog list (1):
Journals ranked 1-50. Points awarded: #1-10 = 5, #11-20 = 4, #21-30 = 3, #31-40 = 2, #41-50 = 1.

List (2) ranks journals 1-50. Points awarded: #1-10 = 5, #11-20 = 4, #21-30 = 3, #31-40 = 2, #41-50 = 1, #51-143 = 0.

ERIH list:
Journals are (now) ranked Int1, Int2, Nat. Points awarded: Int1 = 5, Int2 = 4, Nat = 3.

Leiter Reports list:
General philosophy journals ranked only in top 20. Points awarded: #1-10 = 5, #11-20 = 4. Leiter has an additional list in ethics which raises complications. Journals are not double-counted and keep score if on general list. Points awarded: #1-10 = 5, #11-20 = 4, #21-30 = 3 where journals not on list 1. While this will cover general journals and journals that publish in ethics, there is need for a list in other areas especially mind/language and philosophy of science.

Notes: There are two lists for the Brooks Blog. List 2 is original list and surveys top 143 journals from a broad range. The top 50 in this poll were polled a second time in List 1.

QUERY FOR READERS: Do the weightings seem appropriate? What would you change? What journal rankings would you add?

UPDATE: Do readers believe the rankings are an accurate reflection of the field? Any surprises? 

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