Publication Anxiety, Quality, and Journal Rankings: Researcher Views

Darryl Coulthard, Susan Keller


Journal ranking systems are increasingly used to measure research performance of academics and universities. A growing number of academic commentators have voiced concerns of possible undesirable outcomes such as increased publication anxiety and an increase in safe and conforming research, but there have been few empirical studies on the possible effects. To address this gap, we surveyed Information Systems (IS) academics who published in one of three key IS conferences in 2013, to gather their views of the effects of journal ranking systems. Overall, we found that the concerns in the literature were strongly reflected in the views of those surveyed. Academics believe the system has greatly increased their publication anxiety. While most believed that the quality of published research had improved, researchers believe the ranking systems inhibit innovative, risky research, and encourages safe, conforming, mainstream research.


journal rankings; quality; publication anxiety; survey

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ISSN: Online: 1326-2238 Hard copy: 1449-8618
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