The Impact of Journal Weighting Scheme Characteristics on Research Output Measurement in Economics: The New Zealand Case

David L. Anderson, John Tressler


Abstract: In this study we test for the power or aggressiveness of various journal weighting schemes, especially those based on the recursive adjustment methodology first developed by Liebowitz and Palmer. Using data generated by New Zealands academic economists, we provide quantitative measures of the differences between recursive adjustment-based schemes and selected alternatives. We then compare the performance of economics departments under each of our journal weighting schemes and, for comparison purposes, one based on direct citation counts. We find departmental rankings based on selected recursive adjustment schemes to be relatively stable, but these rankings differed substantially from those generated by our alternative schemes. This suggests that departmental hiring practices and research strategies must be sensitive to the type of funding scheme employed. In particular, research on domestic and regional issues is likely to be unattractive to researchers if a high-powered journal weighting scheme is adopted as the official standard since regional journals, the natural outlet for such work, are frequently zero-weighted by such schemes.


Economics Departments, Research Output, Research Assessment Measures, Citations, Impact factors

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