Anthropology Journals ranked by the ARC
The Australian Research Council has released its 2010 list of journals, ranked into four grades: A*, A, B, and C (with a few listed as ‘unranked’). The complete list can be accessed through the ARC website here, but it’s a large Excel file (5.27 mb). The list is part of an audit of university research initially proposed by the last government. As the ARC’s website explains:
The Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative assesses research quality within Australia’s higher education institutions using a combination of indicators and expert review by committees comprising experienced, internationally-recognised experts.
The effort to compare and evaluate departments throughout Australia follows on the UK audit model which has affected university funding and even the viability of departments, as I understand it. It’s unclear what the full effect of the ERA process in Australia will be — well, unclear to me, I guess, although presumably there are people behind the effort with a clearer sense of how this will unfold.
I took the liberty of generating an ‘anthropology only’ version of the list, colour-coding the rankings to make it easier to scan through. I just thought I’d share it with our readers to generate some reflection; it’s saved here as a .pdf file for download, but I can send it to you as an Excel or Numbers file if you contact me.
ERA 2010 Anthro Journals
The next step for me, when I get a chance to look, will be to compare the list to citation frequency-based rankings of anthropology journals to see if there are any real surprises. A preliminary list was circulated in 2009, and some minor anomalies appeared on the original list, especially some journals that seemed to have grades that exceeded their impact according to most quantitative measures. Obviously, the division of all journals into four grades necessarily leads to some distortions, but some of the outliers appear to have been down-graded.
Dropped from the list entirely was the journal, Journal des Anthropologues, with which I am not familiar, but there were no journals added after the list was initially proposed. I’ve noticed a few journals that seemed to have changed rank since the list was initially proposed, but I haven’t yet done a real careful analysis of winners and losers. I’d love to hear what others think about this list as I’m still sorting through it, thinking of it both in relation to our discipline but also in relation to publishing plans for the next couple of years. It’s probably too late for the list to affect professional behaviour in a way that will affect the 2010 ERA, but these lists tend to take on a life of their own, including the fact that those highly ranked will now likely receive more Australian submissions.