Thursday, January 15, 2009

Journal rankings

What do you think of the following ranking of journals? I'm trying to rank them by quality of articles published, not prestige. (Though in an ideal world these things would go hand in hand.) I'm restricting my focus to non-invitation journals that publish a sizable proportion of articles that would be described as analytic, and not including journals that specialize in ethics, philosophy of science, logic/math, aesthetics, history of philosophy, or philosophy of religion.

Best ever: Phil Review
Excellent: Mind, JP, Nous, Philosophers' Imprint
Very good: PPR, Phil Quarterly, Australasian, Analysis, Linguistics and Philosophy
Good: Phil Studies, Mind and Language, European Journal of Philosophy, Metaphilosophy
Decent: Synthese, PPQ, APQ, Ratio, Philosophy, Erkenntnis, CJP
Whatever: Facta Philosophica, Journal of Philosophical Research, Philosophia, Philosophical Psychology, International Journal of Philosophical Studies, Acta Analytica, Dialogue, Southern Journal of Philosophy

Any obvious mistakes here? Does the 'whatever' category need to be more fine-grained? Which journals should be added, and where should they be ranked?

19 comments:

bari said...

This looks pretty good to me. My instinct is to upgrade Mind & Language and downgrade Metaphilosophy.

Interesting to see Philosophers' Imprint so high. I don't disagree, but that's probably the one case where prestige and quality are likely to come pretty far apart. Or maybe it's a bigger name now than I think?

Anonymous said...

I guess you don't do ethics or political philosophy.

Anonymous said...

I would definetly downgrade Phil Quarterly to 'decent'. I think furthermore that Phil Studies should rank at least as Analysis or even better: I could see Phil Studies as 'very good' and Analysis as 'good'...

(I should perhaps add that insofar as these juornals are concerned, I think your ranking was correct 3-4 years ago...)

Anonymous said...

I would demote Metaphilosophy and European Journal of Philosophy, and bump Synthese, which is no worse and probably better than Phil Studies.

daup said...

Group 1. Philosophical Review, Journal of Philosophy, Nous.

Group 2. Mind, PPR, PQ, AJP, Analysis, PS, Synthese.

Group 3. PPQ, APQ, Ratio, Erkenntnis, CJP, SJP.

Group 4. Everything else.
Comments: research articles in Group 1 tend to be long, influential, of wide interest, trend-setting, and career-making. Get a few published in this group, and you're on your way to tenure at nearly any university. Mind used to belong to this group but in recent years has fallen behind (I suspect many important papers don't get published in Mind anymore because people don't submit them on account of poor editorial practices).

Analysis has a unique place in the profession--a forum for short (though occasionally *quite important*) notes. I will be curious to see how this changes (if at all) given the new format.

Anonymous said...

You need to bump Phil Studies and Mind & Lang. up to Very Good, then just combine the rest of the good and decent to form a new "Good" pile.

Anonymous said...

I'd say Daup has it right, though I'd move Nous to group 2.

Anonymous said...

Concerning the Kluwer journals, I thought it went like this:

Phil Studies > Synthese > Erkenntnis.

I wouldn't put Nous on par with J Phil or Mind. It's better than PPR, but not quite as good as these.

It seems that Mind & Language is in its own niche. Hard to place. I wouldn't put it ahead of some put in decent.

Metaphilosophy is ranked too high. It's certainly behind those listed in decent.

From what I gather, my department will accept everything towards tenure in the best ever, excellent, very good, good, and decent except for Ratio, Philosophy, and Metaphilosophy. It will also accept Ethics and maybe JESP.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Phil Studies has to be in the very good pile. One thing worth noting is how much more often some journals publish than others. Phil Studies published something like 15 issues last year (several of which were devoted to particular themes or conferences), with each issue containing 6-8 pieces. J. Phil, on the other hand, might publish 11 or 12 issues a year, but with each issue containing only 1-3 pieces. This makes the general quality (even if not overall scope or ambition) of the pieces in Phil Studies all the more impressive. (Though of course it also makes placement of an article in J. Phil that much more impressive...)

Also, there is no way to justify including journals like Mind & Language and Linguistics and Philosophy and not including journals like Ethics and (possibly) Phil and Public Affairs. All four journals cover many distinct subfields, with the last two publishing articles in Metaethics, Ethics (construed very broadly, to include theories of rationality, decision theory, epistemic normativity, etc.), Political Philosophy, Legal Philosophy, etc.

Anonymous said...

Can the original poster maybe update the list with the applicable changes? That would be really useful!

Anonymous said...

Phil Studies and Synthese strike me as being roughly on a par, with Synthese being better on the more technical areas (Science, Formal Epistemology etc.) and Phil Studies being better in Metaphysics, traditional Epistemology and Language.

Both journals come out very often and have relatively higher acceptance rates (at least compared to the first group).

Anonymous said...

Why must we rank everything constantly? Who cares? Why don't you just read the articles that you think are worth reading and leave it at that? All of this ranking is a cancer to our profession. Sapere aude! Make your own judgments about things, and don't rely on rankings and perceived prestige. Most of all: don't force this idiocy on everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:42,

I care. Search Committee members are making decisions often based on rankings, so I have to decide whether even to apply to certain jobs based on the relative position in the hierarchy of my PhD program and this school. And this is true even if the members of the SC have never heard of Leiter Report. There's still a rough ranking system that most every one has been employing. And this is true even when applying to SLACs that hire only graduates of top 5 or 10 or 20 programs. So, I care about the rankings. It saves on postage.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the point of the post to grade journals by the quality of the papers published therein, and NOT by their reputation. If so, it's really no surprise that journals such as Metaphilosophy and Philosopher's Imprint rank higher than people's instinct mandates...

Anonymous said...

phil review is fine, but they have a crap referee system that takes forever. years and years.

Anonymous said...

I would add Philosophy and Public Affairs, the Journal of Political Philosophy, Ethics to G1. Journal of Social Philosophy, Political Theory (more political theory than philosophy, but very influential in political philosophy) to G2. And Hypatia, and Philosophy and Social Criticism to G3.

Anonymous said...

I would add Philosophy and Public Affairs, the Journal of Political Philosophy, Ethics to G1. Journal of Social Philosophy, Political Theory (more political theory than philosophy, but very influential in political philosophy) to G2. And Hypatia, and Philosophy and Social Criticism to G3.

Anonymous said...

Social Theory and Practice should be in Group 2 as well.

Anonymous said...

Some of these comparisons seem pretty difficult to make. Mind and Language doesn't really fit, because it is not a generalist journal and papers that don't make it there don't have a lot of other places to go. What's more, like most English journals, it's very clubby and tends to promote articles from within. (Note, for example, the "optional" blind referring process at M&L.)

Also missing from this list are journals like Phil of Science and the British Journal for Phil of Science, both of which should occupy the second tier.

I really don't think the Southern Journal makes it above the lower tier in the ranks of respectable journals, nor really APQ and Ratio.

All that aside, however, outside of the very top tier, quality of paper probably matters more than location (within reason) when it comes to job apps and tenure (people really do read these things).