How Journal Rankings Can Suppress Interdisciplinary Research: A Comparison between Innovation Studies and Business & Management. Rafols, I., Leydesdorff, L., O'Hare, A., Nightingale, P., & Stirling, A. 41(7):1262–1282.
How Journal Rankings Can Suppress Interdisciplinary Research: A Comparison between Innovation Studies and Business & Management [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
This study provides quantitative evidence on how the use of journal rankings can disadvantage interdisciplinary research in research evaluations. Using publication and citation data, it compares the degree of interdisciplinarity and the research performance of a number of Innovation Studies units with that of leading Business & Management Schools (BMS) in the UK. On the basis of various mappings and metrics, this study shows that: (i) Innovation Studies units are consistently more interdisciplinary in their research than Business & Management Schools; (ii) the top journals in the Association of Business Schools' rankings span a less diverse set of disciplines than lower-ranked journals; (iii) this results in a more favourable assessment of the performance of Business & Management Schools, which are more disciplinary-focused. This citation-based analysis challenges the journal ranking-based assessment. In short, the investigation illustrates how ostensibly 'excellence-based' journal rankings exhibit a systematic bias in favour of mono-disciplinary research. The paper concludes with a discussion of implications of these phenomena, in particular how the bias is likely to affect negatively the evaluation and associated financial resourcing of interdisciplinary research organisations, and may result in researchers becoming more compliant with disciplinary authority over time. ⺠We compare Innovation Studies (IS) units with Business and Management Schools (BMS). ⺠IS are found to be more interdisciplinary than BMS according to various metrics. ⺠BMS have higher performance according to indicators based on journal rankings. ⺠This higher performance of BMS is not supported by citation-based indicators. ⺠The analysis suggests that journal rankings are biased against interdisciplinarity.
@article{rafolsHowJournalRankings2012,
  title = {How Journal Rankings Can Suppress Interdisciplinary Research: {{A}} Comparison between {{Innovation Studies}} and {{Business}} \& {{Management}}},
  author = {Rafols, Ismael and Leydesdorff, Loet and O'Hare, Alice and Nightingale, Paul and Stirling, Andy},
  date = {2012-09},
  journaltitle = {Research Policy},
  volume = {41},
  pages = {1262--1282},
  issn = {0048-7333},
  doi = {10.1016/j.respol.2012.03.015},
  url = {https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2012.03.015},
  abstract = {This study provides quantitative evidence on how the use of journal rankings can disadvantage interdisciplinary research in research evaluations. Using publication and citation data, it compares the degree of interdisciplinarity and the research performance of a number of Innovation Studies units with that of leading Business \& Management Schools (BMS) in the UK. On the basis of various mappings and metrics, this study shows that: (i) Innovation Studies units are consistently more interdisciplinary in their research than Business \& Management Schools; (ii) the top journals in the Association of Business Schools' rankings span a less diverse set of disciplines than lower-ranked journals; (iii) this results in a more favourable assessment of the performance of Business \& Management Schools, which are more disciplinary-focused. This citation-based analysis challenges the journal ranking-based assessment. In short, the investigation illustrates how ostensibly 'excellence-based' journal rankings exhibit a systematic bias in favour of mono-disciplinary research. The paper concludes with a discussion of implications of these phenomena, in particular how the bias is likely to affect negatively the evaluation and associated financial resourcing of interdisciplinary research organisations, and may result in researchers becoming more compliant with disciplinary authority over time. ⺠We compare Innovation Studies (IS) units with Business and Management Schools (BMS). ⺠IS are found to be more interdisciplinary than BMS according to various metrics. ⺠BMS have higher performance according to indicators based on journal rankings. ⺠This higher performance of BMS is not supported by citation-based indicators. ⺠The analysis suggests that journal rankings are biased against interdisciplinarity.},
  keywords = {*imported-from-citeulike-INRMM,~INRMM-MiD:c-10595099,bibliometrics,citation-metrics,cognitive-biases,publication-bias,research-funding,research-metrics,science-ethics,transdisciplinary-research},
  number = {7}
}
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