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Journals in the Discipline: A Report on a New Survey of American Political Scientists
Author(s): James C. Garand and Micheal W. Giles
Source: PS: Political Science and Politics, Vol. 36, No. 2 (Apr., 2003), pp. 293-308
Published by: American Political Science Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3649325
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Tl
IE
in
Journals
Survey
PROFESS1019
of
the
American
Discipline:
Political
9
A
Report
on
a
New
Scientists
StateUniversily
James C. Garond, Louisiana
Micheol W. Giles, EmoryUniversily
likely to be exposed to the findingsreportedin articlespublishedin those
journals.Following the work of Garand
(1990) and Crewe and Norris (1991),
we also create a journalimpact rating
that combines informationabout subjective evaluationsof journalquality with
informationabout respondents'familiarity with those journals.
While some researchon journalquality in political science has focused on
the citationrates of scholarlyjournals
(Christensonand Sigelman 1985), perhaps the most widely cited approachfor
evaluatingjournalquality and impactis
one based on subjectiveevaluationsof
journals,as measuredin surveys of political scientists (Giles and Wright 1975;
Giles, Mizell, and Patterson1989;
Garand1990; Crewe and Norris 1991).
Giles and Wright(1975) pioneeredthis
approachwith their initial study,which
examinedpolitical scientists'subjective
evaluationsof 63 political science journals; Giles, Mizell, and Patterson(1989)
followed up with a reassessmentof the
evaluationsof 78 journals,including56
journalsincludedin the first survey.
Garand(1990) notes that the rankings
of journalsreportedby Giles et al.
(1989) include some interestinganomalies. In particular,some journalswith
very narrowaudiencesand foci are
rankedhighly by Giles et al. based on
the high evaluationsreceived from their
relativelynarrowreaderships.The result
is that some journalsare rankedhighly,
even thougha large majorityof political
scientistsare not familiarwith them and
"not
necessarilybecausethey are highly
Pliner
is
Emogine
James C. Garand
visible and broadlyrecognizedfor the
of
Distinguished
Professorin the department
StateUniversity. qualityof the scholarshipcontained
politicalscienceat Louisiana
He is formereditorof the American Politics within their pages"(Garand1990, 448).l
arti- Garand'ssolutionis to measurejournal
Quarterly,and has publishednumerous
cles on a widearrayof topicsin the fieldof
impactin a way that takes into account
Americanpolitics.
both the subjectiveevaluationsgiven to
particularjournalsand the numberof
Micheal W. Giles is GoodrichC. White
political
scientistswho are familiarwith
Professor
of politicalscienceat EmoryUniverthese journals.This approachis adopted
sity.He is a formereditorof the Journal of
by Crewe and Norris (1991) in their
Politicsand haspublishedwidelyin theareas
of judicialpolitics,racialpolitics,and public study of the impactof British,European,
and Americanpolitical science journals.
po icy.
long with books, scholarlyjournals
constitutethe primarymedia
throughwhich political scientistscommunicatethe results of their researchto
their discipline.However,not all journals are createdequal. There is a hierarchy of scholarlyjournalsin political
science, with some journalsbeing
highly respectedand others less so. Articles publishedin the most highly regardedjournalspresumablygo through
a rigorousprocess of peer review and a
competitionfor scarce space that results
in high rejectionrates and a high likelihood of quality.Articles publishedin
these journalspass a difficulttest on the
road to publicationand are likely to be
seen by broadaudiencesof interested
readers.Otherjournalspublishresearch
findingsthat are of interestto political
scientists,to be sure, but articlespublished in these journalseither pass a
less-rigoroustest or are targetedto narrower audiences.
The purposeof this paperis to report
on new findingsrelatingto how political scientistsin the United States evaluate the qualityand impact of scholarly
journalsin their discipline. Based on a
survey of 565 political scientists who
are on the faculties of both Ph.D.- and
departments,we
non-Ph.D.-granting
considersubjectiveevaluationsof the
scholarlyqualityof 115 journalsof interest to political scientists, as well as
the degree to which political scientists
are familiarwith journalsand are hence
A
PSOnlinewww.apsanet.org
In this paperwe follow the approach
adoptedby Giles and colleaguesin collecting data on journal evaluations,as
well as the approachadoptedby Garand
in creatinga measureof journalimpact.
Our rationaleis simple: we suggest that
a journal'simpact is a functionof both
the qualityof researchpublishedin its
pages and the degree to which its findings are disseminatedbroadlyto the political science profession.Two journals
with equally strong evaluationswill
have differentimpacts on the profession, dependingon how many political
scientists are familiarwith and exposed
to their articles.
We realize that an effort to rate the
quality and impact of scholarlyjournals
is controversial,particularlygiven recent debates about what constitutesa
valued contributionin political science
and the role of journals in reflectingthe
values of the discipline. Admittedly,the
notion of combiningevaluationsand familiarityinto an impact ratingreflects a
subjectivevalue aboutjournalpublications, but we suggest that these underlying values are not unreasonableones.
Our intentionis not to denigratethe
contributionspublishedin journalswith
relatively narrowfoci and/orreaderships. Rather,we merely point out that
articles publishedin such journals,even
if they are of high quality,will be seen
by a smallernumberof political science colleagues and are less likely to
have as strong an impact on the political science discipline. We also suggest
that there is some value in having research read by numerousscholars,especially when the broad readership
crosses subfieldboundaries.The potential for cross-fertilizationthat occurs
when researchfindings are subjectedto
the scrutinyof numerousscholarsand
from differentsubfieldsis likely to enhance the quality of research.Arguably,
the researchof scholarsin a given subfield is improvedwhen it is read and
evaluatedby scholarsfrom American
politics, comparativepolitics, political
theory, and internationalrelations.This
293
o
is more likely to occur in journals with
wide readership.
Data and Methodology
In orderto measuresubjectiveevaluations of journalqualityand familiarity
with political science journals,we developed a questionnairethat was mailed to
a sample of 1,400 Americanpolitical
scientistsduringthe spring and summer
of 2001. The sample was drawnfrom
the membershipof the AmericanPolitical Science Association(APSA). Excluded from the sample were members
with a non-U.S. mailing address,members indicatingemploymentin a nonacademicposition, and memberswho
indicatedthat they did not have a Ph.D.
In previousresearch,Giles and colleagues sampledonly political scientists
in Ph.D.-grantingdepartments,but in
this study we also include in our sample
political scientistswho teach at nonPh.D. grantingdepartments.In an effort
to include scholarsat both Ph.D. and
non-Ph.D.grantinginstitutions,we
cross-checkeduniversityaffiliations
againstthe Guide to GraduateStudies,
and the membershiplist was divided
into those indicatingan affiliationwith a
Ph.D. grantinginstitutionand those either indicatingan affiliationwith a nonPh.D. grantinginstitutionsor for whom
the affiliationwas unclear.Randomsampling was used to identify 800 potential
respondentswithin the Ph.D. group and
600 respondentswithin the non-Ph.D.
group. Responseswere received from
559 respondents.The responserate was
47% among the Ph.D. sample and 23%
among the non-Ph.D.sample.The overall responserate was 40%.2
The questionnaireincludes a wide
range of items, includingdescriptiveinformationaboutrespondentsand information about their views toward 115
political science journals.We made an
effort to be inclusive in the list of journals that we asked respondentsto evaluate. We includedmany of the journals
found in earliersurveys, and after compiling a preliminarylist we asked colleagues in our home departments(and
from all subfields)to suggest names of
other importantjournalsthat should be
includedon our list. Armed with our
list of journals,we asked our political
scientist respondentsto "assess each
journalin terms of the general quality
of the articlesit publishes,"using a
scale from 0 (poor) to 10 (outstanding).
We also asked respondentsto indicate
whetheror not they were familiarwith
each journal.These items on journal
evaluationand journalfamiliarityprovide the basis for our analysis.
294
secondjournalto whichyou would
submitthe manuscript
We also included some additional
items of interest to this study. First,
we asked respondentsa series of descriptive items, including currentinstitutional affiliation, highest degree attained, doctoral institution,age, sex,
race, academic rank, and whether or
not they are currentlychair of their
home department.Second, we asked
respondentsto indicate their substantive subfields, chosen from American
politics, comparativepolitics, international relations,judicial politics, political theory and philosophy, methodology, public administration,and public
policy; respondentswere permittedto
indicate up to three subfields. Third,
we are interestedin the degree to
which journal evaluations range across
differentmethodologicalapproachesto
the discipline, so we asked respondents
to indicate up to two approachesfrom
a list that included quantitative,qualitative, mixed (quantitativeand qualitative), normativetheory, and formal
theory.
We are also interestedin alternative
ways of thinkingaboutjournalevaluations, so we includedtwo additional
sets of relevantitems in the survey.
First, we asked respondentsthe follow-
Respondentswere permittedto list up
to threejournalsto which they would
send a high qualitypaper that they had
written.While hypothetical,we believe
that this exercise presentsthe respondents with a more realistic context for
assessingjournalsthan does the 0-10
journalevaluationitem and may yield a
more valid rankorderingof journals.
Second, we are also interestedin
which journalspolitical scientistsread
regularlyfor the best researchin their
fields of study.We asked respondents
the following question:"Whichjournals
do you read regularlyor otherwiserely
on for the best researchin your area of
expertise?"Respondentswere permitted
to list up to five journals
MeasuringJournalImpact
A key concept in this paperis journal
impact, which we conceptualizeas a
function of both the strengthof evaluations that political scientists give to a
particularjournaland the degree to
which political scientists are familiar
with a journal,and hence likely to be
exposed to the findingsreportedin that
journal.This suggests the need to
weight journalevaluationsby the proportionof respondentswho are familiar
with a given journal.This can be done
by multiplyingthe journal evaluation
and journal familiaritymeasures,but
like Garand(1990), we find that this
measureis more stronglyrelatedto
.
.
ng questlon:
Assumethatyou havejust completed
whatyou considerto be a very strong
paperon a topic in your areaof expertise. Indicatethe firstjournalto which
you wouldsubmitsuch a manuscript.
Assumingthatthe paperis rejectedat
yourfirstchoice, pleaseindicatethe
Figure1
Relotionshipbetween journolevaluations,
2001 and 1989
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o
o
o
o
o
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7
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Journal Evaluation1989
PS April 2003
Figure2
Relotionshipbetween journalfomiliarity,2001 and 194B9
1 -
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o
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o
o
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oo
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Journal Familiarity 1989
o
journalfamiliarity(r = 0.987) than journal evaluation(r= 0.553). Given this,
we utilize the approachadoptedby
Garand(1990):
0.00) would draw a score of 0. This
impact measureis almost equally correlated with familiarity(r = 0.877) and
evaluation(r= 0.821), so it appearsto
do well in giving journalsrelatively
equal creditfor having strongevaluations and strongfamiliarityamongpolit-
JournalImpact= JournalEvaluation+
(JournalEvaluation* JournalFamiliarity)
.
.
.
ca. sclentlsts.
This measurehas a theoreticalrange
from 0 to 20. A journalthat achieves a
perfect evaluationof 10.0 and that is familiar to all political scientists (i.e., familiarity= 1.00) would have a score of
20, while a journalthat earns a 0 on its
evaluationand/orhas no political scientists familiarwith it (i.e., familiarity=
We should note that there is considerable stabilityin journalimpact,journal
evaluation,and journal familiarityfrom
the 1989 Giles et al. survey to the present survey.There are 66 journalsrepresented in both the 1989 and 2001 surveys, and this permitsus to assess the
stabilityin evaluationsfrom one survey
Figure3
Relationshipbetween journolimpoct,2001 and 1989
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5
10
Joumal Impact1989
PSOnlinewww.apsanet.org
15
to the next. In Figures 1-3 we present
the scatterplotsfor the relationshipbetween journal impact,journalevaluation,
and journalfamiliarityin 2001 and the
same variablesmeasuredin 1989. As
one can readily see, there is considerable stabilityin these threejournalcharacteristicsover time. We have also estimated a simple regressionmodel that
depicts 2001 measuresof journalimpact, journalevaluation,and journalfamiliarity,respectively,as a functionof
1989 measuresof the same variables.
Our results verify the strongrelationship
between 2001 and 1989 measures;the
R2 values are 0.886, 0.767, and 0.836,
respectively,for the impact,evaluation,
and familiaritymodels. Clearly,journals
with a strong impactin 1989 also are
likely to have a strongimpact in 2001,
and the same can also be said for journal evaluationand journalfamiliarity
measures.These results suggest a high
level of reliabilityin our impact, evaluation, and familiaritymeasures.
Empiricul Results
In Table 1 we reportthe impact
scores, mean evaluationratings,and
proportionfamiliarfor each of the 115
journalsof interestto Americanpolitical
scientists,rankedaccordingto journal
impact. In terms of journalimpact,
there are few surpriseshere. The top 10
journalsrepresentwhat most political
scientists would say are the most visible, rigorousjournalsin political science or related disciplines.The American Political Science Review,American
Journalof Politicul Science, and Journal of Politics stake out the top three
rankings;these journalsare the most
prominent"general"journalsin the profession. These journalsare followed by
WorldPolitics, InternationalOrganization, and the British Journal of Political
Science, threejournalsthat focus on internationaland comparativepolitics or
that have an internationalaudience.The
bottom group in the top 10 journalsincludes threejournalsrepresentingrelated disciplines, the AmericanSociological Review,the AmericanEconomic
Review,and the AmericanJournalof
Sociology, as well as a leading comparative politics journal, ComparativePolitics. All in all, the top 10 journalsreflect the flagshipjournalsof political
science and relateddisciplines, as well
as the leading journalsin the fields of
comparativepolitics and international
relations.
The second tier of journalsincludes
both broad-basedregionaljournals(such
as Political ResearchQuarterly,Polity,
and Social Science Quarterly),as well
295
Table 1
Political Scientists' Impact, Evaluation, and Familiarity Ratings of 115 Selected Journals, 2002
Journal Name
American Political Science Review
American Journal of Political Science
Journal of Politics
World Politics
International Organization
British Journal of Political Science
Amencan Sociological Review
American Economic Review
Comparative Politics
Amencan Journal of Sociology
Comparative Political Studies
PS: Political Science and Politics
Political Research Quarterly
International Studies Quarterly
Political Science Quarterly
Public Opinion Quarterly
Journal of Conflict Resolution
International Security
Legislative Studies Quarterly
PoliticaJ Theow
Public Administration Review
Journal of Political Economy
Polity
American Politics Quarterly
Social Science Quarterly
Journal of Democracy
Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization
Comparative Studies in Society and History
Political Analysis
Latin American Research Review
Law and Society Review
Studies in American Political Oevelopment
Politics and Society
Poiitical Behavior
Journal of Theoretical Politics
Annals of American Academy
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management
World Developmcnt
History of Political Thought
Electoral Studies
Publius
Amencan Journal of International Law
PoliticaJ Psychology
Canadian Journal of Political Science
Urban Affairs Quarterly
Social Forces
Journal of Law and Economics
Review of Politics
Administration and Society
Journal of Latin American Studies
European Journal of Political Research
Journal of Peace Research
Public Choice
Political Geography
Theory and Society
Political Studies
China Quarterly
Mean
Rating
13.799
13.260
13.011
12X060
11.235
11.132
1 0.990
10,710
10.608
10,288
9.840
9.772
9.764
9.638
9.452
9.400
9.311
9.156
9.096
8.965
8,856
8.832
8.756
8.728
8.645
8.524
8.203
8.199
8.152
8.126
8.125
8.115
8.071
8,007
7,910
7,900
7.896
7.863
7.656
7.600
7.593
7.461
7,453
7,452
7,442
7,415
7,396
7.382
7,371
7,356
7.324
7.282
7.274
7.105
7.102
7.097
7.091
Famitiarity
Evaluation
Impact
Ranking
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
3
54
55
56
57
Mean
Rating
7.074
7.566
7.576
7.792
7.774
7.225
8.163
8.350
7.269
7.912
7.068
5.737
6.556
7.048
6.309
6.955
6.765
7.158
6.686
7.228
6.801
7.655
6.187
6.054
6.155
6.332
7.188
7.010
7.033
7*098
6.579
7.143
6.507
6.492
6.633
5.726
6.802
7.098
6.889
6.364
5.879
6.703
6.343
6.104
6.500
6.447
6.603
5.935
6.162
6.6t 9
6.290
6.034
6.081
6.658
6.473
6.417
6.38t
Ranking
Prop.
Ranking
17
8
7
4
0.9505
0.7527
0.7173
0.5477
0.4452
0.5406
0.3463
0.2827
0.4594
0.3004
0.3922
0.7032
0.4894
0.3675
0.4982
0.3516
0.3763
0.2792
0.3604
0.2403
0.3021
0.1 537
0.4152
0.4417
0.4046
0.3463
0.1413
0.1696
0.1590
0.1449
0.2350
0.1 360
0.2403
0.2332
0.1926
0.3799
0.1 608
0.1078
0.1113
0.1943
0.2915
0.1131
0.1749
0.2208
0.1449
0.1 502
0.1201
0.2438
0.1 961
0.1113
0.1643
0.2067
0.1961
0.0671
0.0972
0.1060
0.1113
1
2
3
5
10
6
22
26
9
24
14
4
8
17
7
19
16
27
18
31
23
55
12
11
13
21
61
47
51
58
32
62
30
33
41
15
49
75
74
46
25
71
44
35
59
56
67
29
38
72
48
36
39
99
82
76
73
s
11
2
1
9
3
18
84
35
19
51
22
26
14
28
10
25
6
56
66
59
50
12
21
20
16
34
14
36
38
30
86
24
15
23
48
77
27
49
63
37
42
32
74
57
31
52
67
64
29
39
45
46
Numberof
Respondents
538
426
406
310
252
306
196
160
260
170
222
398
277
208
282
199
213
158
204
136
171
87
235
250
229
196
80
96
90
82
133
77
136
132
109
215
91
61
63
110
165
64
99
125
82
85
68
138
111
63
93
117
111
38
55
60
63
(Continued ..)
296
PS April 2003
Table 1-continued
Political Scientists' Impact, Evaluation, and Familiarity Ratings of 115 Selected Journals, 2002
Impact
Joumal Name
Mean
Rating
PaNy Politics
Women and Politics
Europe-Asia Studies
Studies in Comparative and International Development
Joumal of Asan Studies
Joumal of Jnterdisciplinary History
Signs
Public Interest
International Political Science Review
Security Studies
Public Policy
Govemment and Opposition
Journal of Policy History
Journal of Urban Affairs
International Affairs
Slavic Review
Business and Politics
European Journal of International Relations
Review of international Political Economy
Presidential Studies Quarterly
Asian SuNey
Policy Studies Journal
International Studies Review
American Behavioral Scientist
Judicature
Economics and Politics
Journal of Developing Areas
Social Science Flistory
Journal of Modem African Studies
Political Quarterly
American Review of Public Administration
International Interactions
Journal of Inter-American Studies and Wodd Affairs
Middle East Journal
European Union Politics
Urban Studies
Third World Quarterly
Journal of Strategic Studies
Behavioral Science
Post Soviet Affairs
Journal of International Affairs
Journal of Common Market Studies
Middle Eastern Studies
Policy Sciences
Journal of Legislative Studies
Rationality and Society
Political Science
American Review of Politics
Conflict IVanagement and Peace Science
Jurimetrics
Australean Journal of Political Science
International Social Science Journal
Justce System Journal
Journal of Black Studies
Social Science Joumal
Simulation and Games
China Studies
Politics and Policy
7.084
7.064
7.044
6.987
6.957
6.919
6.916
6.907
6.886
6.887
6.856
6.797
6.791
6.778
6.775
6.757
6.732
6.704
6.672
6.631
6.617
6.607
6.606
6.564
6.552
6.515
6.443
6 381
6.375
6w359
6.342
6.336
6.299
6.235
6.211
6.107
6.084
6.080
6.080
5.998
5.997
5.969
5.959
5.952
5.922
5.915
5 908
5.826
5.793
5.618
5.504
5.491
5.452
5.430
5.379
5.005
4.741
4607
PSOnlinewww.apsanet.org
Evaluation
Ranking
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
01
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
109
110
111
112
113
114
115
IVean
Rating
6.446
6.031
6.590
6.258
6^444
6.367
6.107
5.977
5.600
6.080
6.457
5.658
6.240
6.158
5.784
6*229
6.458
5a985
6.130
4.919
5.762
5.179
5.788
5.553
5.670
6X105
5.761
5.911
5.974
5.949
54489
5.467
5.732
5w931
5.958
5.800
5.414
5.651
5.735
5.639
5.556
5*575
5.679
5.390
5.415
5.525
5.500
4.914
5.263
5.444
5.159
5.171
5.152
5.047
4.958
4.842
4571
4.11 9
Ranking
43
68
33
53
44
47
61
70
92
65
41
89
54
58
79
55
40
69
60
111
81
105
80
95
88
62
82
76
71
73
98
99
85
75
72
78
102
90
84
91
94
93
87
103
101
96
97
112
104
100
107
106
108
109
110
113
114
115
Familiarity
Prop.
0.0989
0.1714
0.0689
0.1166
0.0795
0 0866
0.1 325
0.1 555
0.2297
0.1 325
0.0618
0.2014
0.0883
O.tO07
0.1714
0.0848
0.0424
0.1201
0.0883
0.3481
0.1484
0.2756
0.1413
0.1 820
0.1 555
0.0671
0.1184
0.0795
0.0671
0.0689
0.1 555
0.1590
0.0989
0.0512
0.0424
0.0530
0.1237
0.0760
0.0601
0.0636
0.0795
0.0707
0.0495
0.1042
0.0936
0.0707
0.0742
0.1855
0.1007
0.0318
0.0671
0.0618
0.0583
0.0760
0.0848
0.0336
0.0371
0.1184
Ranking
81
45
98
70
89
86
63
52
34
64
105
37
84
79
46
87
111
66
85
20
57
28
60
43
54
100
69
91
102
97
53
Numberof
Respondents
56
97
39
66
45
49
75
88
130
75
35
114
50
57
97
48
24
68
50
197
84
156
80
103
88
38
67
45
38
39
88
50
90
80
109
112
108
65
92
106
103
56
29
24
30
70
43
34
36
45
40
28
59
53
40
42
105
57
18
38
35
33
43
48
19
21
67
90
95
110
77
83
96
94
42
78
115
101
104
107
93
88
114
113
68
297
proportionof respondents;these journals
would include WorldDevelopment,History of Political Thought,American
Journal of InternationalLaw, Journalof
Law and Economics,Journalof Lcltin
AmericanStudies,and Political Geography, among others.
Finally, in the bottom quartileare
journalsthat are below averagein both
their evaluationsand familiarity.This
tendency is best reflectedin the bottom
five journals,which include the Journal
of Black Studies,Social ScaenceJournal, Simulatiorland Games, ChinaStadies, and Politics and Policy.
Table 2
Political Scientists' Subjective Evaluations,Top 30 Highest-ranked
JournalsS 2002
American
Economic Review
1.
8.350
8.163
7.912
7.792
7.774
7.655
7.576
7 566
7.269
7.228
American Sociological Review
2.
American Journal of Sociology
3.
WorldPolitics
4.
InternationalOrganization
5.
Journal of Political Economy
6.
Journal of Politics
7.
AmericanJoumal of PoliticalScience
8.
9.Comparative Politics
PoliticalTheory
10.
BritishJournal of PoliticalScience
7.225
7.188
7.158
7.143
7.098
7.098
7.074
7.068
7.048
7.033
11.
Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization
12.
InternationalSecurity
13.
Studies in American Political Development
14.
WorldDevelopment
15.
LatinAmerican Research Review
16.
American PoliticalScience Review
17.
Comparative PoliticalStudies
18.
InternationalStudies Quarterly
19.
PoliticalAnalysis
20.
Studies in Society and History
2tComparative
.
Public OpinionQuarterly
22.
Historyof PoliticalThought
23.
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management
24.
PublicAdministrationReview
25.
26.Journalof ConflictResolution
27. American)ournal of InternationalLaw
28. Legislative Studies Quarterly
29. PoliticalGeography
30. Journal of Theoretical Politics
JournalEvaluations
While the impactmeasureshave a
great deal of face validity, the evaluations of political science journalscontain quite a few interestingsurprises.In
Table 1 we reportthe mean evaluations
for all 115 journals,but in Table2 we
presentrank-orderedmean evaluations
for the top 30 journals.These figures
representthe means for the 10-point
evaluationscale for each journal.
Based on mean evaluationsthe three
leading journalsrankedby political scientists are not political science journals
at all! The AmericanEconomicReview
(mean = 8.350) is rankedfirst, followed
by the AmericanSociologiculReview
(8.163) and the AmericanJournalof
Sociology (7.912). It is astoundingto
think that the most positively evaluated
journalsin political science are actually
in the fields of economics and sociology. We suspectthat for most political
scientists this does not reflect a broad
exposureto articlespublishedin these
journals.While sizeable proportionsof
7.010
6.955
6.889
6.802
6.801
6.765
6.703
6.686
6.658
6.633
Note: Figures represent the mean evaluation score on a scale from 0 (poor) to
10 (outstanding).
as more specializedsubfieldjournals,
such as ComparativePolitical Studies,
InternationalStudies Quarterly,Public
OpinionQuarterly,LegislativeStudies
Quarterly,Political Theory,Public AdministrationReview,AmericanPolitics
Quarterly,and PoliticalAnalysis. These
journalsare generallywell regardedby
those able to offer evaluations,and they
are familiarto relativelyhigh proportions of respondents.
The thirdtier of journalsis comprised of those that are either reasonably well regardedor reasonablywell
known, but not both. For instance,the
Annals of the AmericanAcademyfor
Political and Social Science is familiar
to about 38% of respondents,but it's
mean ratingof 5.726 on a 10-point
scale falls somewhatbelow the mean
evaluationfor all journals.Publius, Review of Politics, PresidentialStudies
Quarterly,and Policy StudiesJournal
similarlyscore above averagein terms
of familiaritybut somewhatbelow average in terms of their subjectiveevaluations. On the otherhand, severaljour-
nals are very well regardedby the political scientistswho offered an evaluation, but are familiarto only a small
Flgure 4
Histogram of APSR Evaluatio
.
s
.2 -
.15
o
2
.1
--
ll
.05 -
O|
0
l
5
APSR Evaluations
PS April 2003
298
i
10
political scientists are generallyfamiliar
with these journals,most political scientists are unlikely to have regularcontact
with their articles.Rather,we suspect,
political scientists recognize these journals as the flagshipsof their respective
disciplines, and hence rate them so
highly in recognitionof their statusin
those disciplines.
The next group of journals includes
a combinationof more specialized subfield journals and some of the general
journals that cover broadersubject matter. Subfieldjournals WorldPolitics, International Organization,Journal of
Political Economy,ComparativePolitics, and Political Theory all earn spots
in the top 10 evaluatedjournals, along
with broad-basedjournals like the
Journal of Politics and the American
Journcllof Political Science. It appears
that scholars give strong evaluationsto
the quality of articles published in the
leading specialty journals in their respected subfields, as well as to the articles published in the leading general
journals.
Perhapsthe biggest surpriseis the
relativelylow mean evaluationgiven to
the AmericanPolitical Science Review,
the joumal that scores the highest in
terms of its disciplinaryimpact.The
APSR achieves a mean evaluationof
only 7.074, which gives it an evaluation
rankingof 17th out of 115 journals.
This is a very low score, given that the
APSR is generallyregardedas the flagship journal of the profession.The relatively low mean partlyrepresentsthe
relativelywide variancein the distribution of evaluationsof the APSR, which
is depictedin Figure 4. The standard
deviationof this distributionis 2.62,
which is among the highest for the
journalsin our study, and this suggests
that there is substantialdisagreement
among political scientists on how the
APSE should be evaluated.Over 50%
of respondentsgive the APSR a rating
of 8 or above, while fully 26% of respondentsgive the APSR a ratingof 5
or below. We will explore why there is
such substantialvariationin the assessments of the APSR in the analysis describedbelow.
JournalFamiliarily
Besides respondents'evaluationof the
quality of articles,journalimpactis also
a function of the degree to which political scientists are familiarwith and exposed to the researchpublishedwithin a
journal'spages. In Table 3 we display
the proportionof respondentswho report being familiarwith each of the 115
journalsin our survey.
Table 3
Journal Familiarity,Top 30 Highest-ranked Journals, 2002
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
American PoliticalScience Review
American Journal of Political Scionce
Journal of Politics
PS: Political Science and Politics
WorldPolitics
BritishJournal of PoliticalScience
PoliticaiScience Quarterly
Political Research Quarterly
Comparative Politics
InternationalOrganization
0.951
0.753
0.717
0.703
0.548
0^541
0w498
0.489
0.459
0.445
American Politics Quarterly
Polity
Social Science Quarterly
Comparative PoliticalStudies
Annals of AmericanAcademy
Journal of ConflictResolution
InternationalStudies Quarterly
Legislative Studies Quarterly
Public Opinion Quarterly
Presidential Studies Quarterly
0.442
0.415
0.405
0.392
0.380
0.376
0.367
0.360
0.352
0.348
Journal of Democracy
American Sociological Revie
PublicAdministrationReview
American Journal of Sociology
Publilus
American Economic Review
InternationalSecurity
Policy Studies Journa}
Review of Politics
Politics and Society
0.346
0.346
0w302
0.300
0.292
0.283
0.279
0.276
0.244
0.240
Note: Figures represent the proportionof respondents who reportbeing familiarwith a
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.
28.
29.
30.
glven JournalX
There are only six journalsfor which
a majorityof respondentsindicatefamiliarity.The AmericanPolitical Science
Reviewleads the field, with almost all
respondents(95.1%) indicatingthat they
are sufficientlyfamiliarwith the journal
to offer a rating.
This suggests
that, even with
a slightly lower
mean evaluation
than expected,
the APSR is a
maJorplayer ln
the distribution
of researchfindings in the political science discipline.
In fact, the lofty impactratingof the
APSR is due primarilyto the fact that
the APSR combines a good evaluation
with a familiaritylevel among political
scientiststhat is so far ahead of other
journals.
Three other journals the American
Journal of Political Science (75.3%),
the Journal of Politics (71.7%), and
PS: Political Science and Politics
(70.3%) are familiar to over 70% of
.
.
PSOnlinewww.apsanet.org
political scientist respondents.There is
then a furtherdrop-off, with slightly
over 50% of respondentsfamiliarwith
World Politics (54.8%) and the British
Journal of Political Science
(54.1%).
Several journals are familiar to more
than 40%of re-
The America,n Politica/
spondents;these
Science Review
well-known
specialty journals,
most frequently
tioned journal.
is
the
men-
such as Compar-
ative
Politics
(45.9%),International Organization (44.5%),and
American Politics Quarterly (44.2%),
or broad-based(mostly regional)journals such as Political Science Quarterly
(49.8Wo),
Political Research Qaarterly
(48.9%),Polity (41.5%),and Social
Science Quarterly (40.5%).After these
top 13 journals, there are a series of
mostly specialtyjournals that are familiar to between one-quarterand
two-fifths of political scientist respondents. Beyond these top 30 journals,
most journals are familiar to relatively
299
Table 4
Respondent
Manuscript
Preterences
for Journal Submissions
American PoliticalScience Review
Journal of Politics
American Journal of Political Science
WorldPolitics
Comparative Politics
InternationalOrganization
InternationalStudies Quarterly
PoliticalTheory
InternationalSecurity
Comparative PoliticalStudies
PublicAdministrationReview
Political Research Quarterly
Polity
What is not reportedin Table4 is the
diversity of first preferencesofferedby
respondents.Respondentslisted a total
of 112 differentjournalsas the preferredjournalsto which they would
submit their best work. Of these, 33 are
cited by more than one respondent,so
there are a numberof journalsthat are
of interestto multiple scholars.Of
course, this also means that there are 79
journalslisted by single respondentsas
the journal to which they would submit
their best manuscripts.Overall,it would
appearthat political scientists would
preferto submittheir best work to a
variety of political science journals,
though there are a small numberof
journalsthat draw the interestof a sizeable numberof respondents.
of High-quality
1st
2nd
3rd
Total
161
22
42
39
20
29
7
18
18
4
19
6
6
23
67
93
40
25
14
12
12
8
14
6
7
6
17
73
25
21
19
9
25
5
5
12
4
14
14
201
162
160
100
64
52
44
35
31
30
29
27
26
Note: The entries represent the number of respondents who reportthe journalas their
1st, 2nd, or 3rd preference for submission of a high-qualitymanuscript.
small proportionsof Americanpolitical
scientists.
Preferred
Journal
Submissions
As mentionedabove, we asked respondentsto indicatethe journalsto
which they would submit a "very strong
paper"that they had writtenin their
area of expertise.This questionis
designed to give respondentsan alternative way of thinkingabout the comparative status of political science journals.
In Table 4 we list the first, second, and
thirdpreferences,as well as the total
numberof mentionsacross all three
preferences.We list here only those
journalsthat have at least 25 total mentions and 10 mentionsin at least one of
the three preferenceslots.
The AmericanPolitical Science Review is the most frequentlymentioned
journal.A total of 161 respondentsmention the APSR as their first choice and a
total of 201 respondentsas their first,
second, or thirdchoice. The first mentions far outpacethose of any other
journalin the list and are almost four
times the 42 first-preferencementions
for the AmericanJournal of Political
Science. This means that the APSR is
the strongestchoice as the journalto
which scholarswould want to submit
their best work.
Three otherjournalshave 100 or
more mentions the Journal of Politics,
AmericanJournal of Political Science,
and WorldPolitics. Although the JOP
finishes second in total mentions, it is
clear from the patternof mentions that
the AJPS is the more preferredoutlet
for political scientists' best work, insofar that the AJPS has many more first
300
ReadingSources
Preferred
and second mentions than the JOP,
which has the most third-placementions. This would suggest a rankorderedpreferenceof APSR,AJPS, and
JOP as the top journals to which scholars would prefer to send their best
work.
The second group is dominatedby
highly regardedspecialtyjournalswith
strong subfieldfollowings, including
WorldPolitics (100 total mentions),
ComparativePolitics (64), International
Organization(52), InternationalStudies
Quarterly(44), Political Theory(35),
and ComparativePolitical Standfies
(30).
The specialtyjournalPublic Administration Review (29) and two regionaljournals, Political ResearchQuarterly(27)
and Polity (26), finish the list.
We also asked respondentsto identify
which journalsthey "readregularlyor
otherwiserely on for the best research"
in their areas of interest.These results
are presentedin Table 5. We list here
only those journalsthat have at least 25
total mentionsacross the three preference slots.
Carefulreaderswill see thatthereis
substantialsimilarityin journalreading
andjournalsubmissionpreferences.Here
again, the AmericanPolitical ScienceReview,AmericanJoumal of PoliticalScience, Joumal of Politics, and WorldPolitics are in the top four positions,
indicatingthat politicalscientistsboth
submittheirbest work to these journals
and go to thesejournalsfor the best researchin theirfields of study.The second tier of journalsis very similar,with
Table 5
Respondent Preferences for Journal Reading
AnnericanPolitica Science Review
AmericanJournal of PoliticalScience
Journal of Politics
WorldPolitics
InternationalOrganization
Comparative Politics
tnternationalStudies Quarterly
PoliticalResearch Quarterly
InternationalSecurity
Comparative PoliticalStudies
PoliticalTheory
PublicAdministrationReview
Legislative Studies Quarterly
Polity
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
Total
142
45
12
31
25
18
9
2
17
7
20
15
2
1
39
78
49
23
20
22
12
7
11
1t
10
t2
1
5
43
34
69
20
18
17
22
17
19
25
12
9
15
26
4
12
7
6
13
6
32
12
9
12
9
6
10
13
4
5
1
1
10
8
278
186
158
111
84
72
61
57
48
43
43
39
33
26
15
9
12
8
5
5
7
6
Note: The entries represent the number of respondents who reportthe journalas one
that they 'ireadregularor otherwise rely on for the best research"in their area.
PS April2003
Table 6
Respondent Preferences for Journal Submissions of High-quality
Manuscript, by Subfield
1st
2nd
3rd
Total
American Politics
American PoliticalScience Review
American Journal of PoliticalScience
Joumal of Politics
79
25
15
6
57
45
4
15
49
89
97
108
Comparative Politics
WorldPolitics
Comparative Politics
American PoliticalScience Review
InternationalOrganization
LatinAmericanResearch Review
Comparative PoliticalStudies
American Journal of PoliticaiScience
32
19
19
7
5
4
3
16
21
5
6
4
13
5
12
17
3
1
3
10
3
60
57
27
14
12
27
11
InternationalRelations
American PoliticalScience Review
InternationalOrganization
InternationalSecurity
InternationalStudies Quarterly
Journal of CorlflictResolution
WorldPolitics
AmericanJournal of PoliticalScience
23
21
15
5
4
4
4
3
8
7
11
6
22
9
2
2
3
21
7
8
1
28
31
25
37
17
34
14
PoliticaiTheory
American Political Science Review
PoliticalTheory
Journal of Politics
Polity
17
13
3
1
3
9
5
3
3
5
6
7
23
27
14
11
Note: The entries represent the number of respondents who reportthe journalas their
1st, 2nd, or 3rd preference for submission of a high-qualitymanuscript.
International Organization, Comparative
Politics, International Studies Quarterly,
Political Research Quarterly, International Security, Comparative Political
Studies, Political Theory, Public Administration Review, and Polity appearingon
both lists. The only exceptionis the Legislative Studies Quarterly, which is fairly
well read but is not amongthe leading
journalsto which individualssend their
best work.
A Discipline Divided?
Thus far we have focused our attention on general patternsof journal impact, evaluation,and familiarityfor our
complete sample of Americanpolitical
scientists. However,the observationof
casual conversationsamong political
scientists reveals considerabledisagreement about the leadingjournalsin the
discipline. In particular,there appearsto
be disagreementabout which journals
are the leading outlets for scholarsin
differentsubfieldsof political science.
Many scholarssee generaljournals such
as the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Sci-
ence, and Journalof Politics as the
leadingjournalsin political science, regardless of subfield specialty or
methodologicalapproach.Otherscholars
see these journalsas being dominated
by the field of Americanpolitics and/or
by quantitativemethodologies,and they
identify broad subfieldjournals(such as
WorldPolitics, ComparativePolitics,
ComparativePolitical Studies, or Political Theory)as the primaryoutlets for
their research.Still, other scholarssee
very specializedjournals as the leading
journalsin their fields; for such scholars
a publicationin Latin AmericanResearch Review,Studies in AmericanPolitical Development,Publius, EuropeAsia Studies,Journal of Asian Studies,
or Middle East Journal is more likely
to reach the scholarlyaudiencesof interest and more importantthan publications in either the generaljournalsor
broad subfieldjournals.
Subfield
Differences
Are subfield cleavages reflectedin
our journal evaluations?Do scholars
differ in their evaluationsof journals,
dependingon whetherthey are in
Americanpolitics, comparativepolitics,
internationalrelations, and political
theory?There are several different
ways of looking at this question. First,
in Table 4 we reportresults on the preferredjournals to which respondents
would submit a high-qualitymanuscript. In Table 6 we break these results down by subfield,reportingsubmission preferencesfor respondentsin
the fields of Americanpolitics, comparative politics, internationalrelations,
and political theory.3
These results suggest a fair amount
of variationin preferredjournaloutlets
across fields. In Americanpolitics, the
preferenceorderingfor journalsis pretty
clear; scholarsreporta clear preference
for the AmericanPolitical Science Review and a slight preferencefor the
AmericanJournal of Political Science
over the JournaZof Politics. Relatively
few Americanpolitics scholarsindicate
a preferencefor otherjournalsas one of
their first three choices, suggestingthat
these journalsare the premierjournals
for Americanists.
The APSR is the first choice of scholars in the fields of internationalrelations
and political theory,but this preference
is not dominantin these fields. In internationalrelations,the APSRis followed
closely by InternationalOrganizationas
a first preference,and WorldPolitics
and the InternationalStudies Quarterly
have strongfollowings as the second
and thirdchoice journals,respectively.
InternationalSecurityhas some support
as a first preference,but it drops off
quickly as a second and thirdpreference. In political theory,the APSR is
also a first preferencefor scholarsseeking to submittheir best work, with Political Theorya close second as a first
preference.The Journalof Politics and
Polity also have some supportas second
and thirdpreferences.Clearly,in internationalrelationsand political theory,
the APSR has some prominenceas a
publicationoutlet for scholars'best research,though once scholarsin these
fields get past their first choice they
quickly move to otherjournals,particularly those in their subfields.
The field of comparativepolitics is
somewhatof an outlier.WorldPolitics
is the top choice for comparativepolitics scholars,followed by Comparative
Politics and the AmericanPolitical Science Review,which are tied for second.
WorldPolitics and ComparativePolitics
are also strong second and thirdchoices
as outlets for comparativepolitics scholars, as is ComparativePolitical Studies,
with the APSR droppingout as a second and third submissionchoice. These
results suggest that some comparativists
PSOnlinewww.apsanet.org
301
Table 7
Respondent Preferences for Journal Reading, by Subfield
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
Total
American Politics
American Political Science Review
American Journal of PoliticalScience
Journal of Politics
Political Research Quarterly
Legislative Studies QuarterZy
PublicOpinion Quarterly
75
28
12
2
2
2
11
56
34
7
1
3
18
19
49
5
6
3
8
3
11
18
12
13
11
4
3
9
8
6
123
110
109
41
29
27
Comparative Politics
WorldPolitics
Comparative Politics
American PoliticalScience Review
Comparative PoliticalStudies
InternationalOrganization
25
18
17
6
6
9
20
7
8
8
13
13
8
7
7
10
7
2
11
3
5
5
8
4
1
62
63
42
36
25
InternationalRelations
ZnternationalOrganization
American PoliticalScience Review
InternationalSecurity
InternationalStudies Quarterly
Journal of ConflictResolution
WorldPolitics
18
18
15
7
5
4
12
8
9
12
12
10
4
8
14
3
6
7
6
3
9
4
11
8
1
2
10
2
6
55
33
36
49
26
39
PoliticalTheory
PoliticalTheory
American PoliticalScience Review
15
11
7
4
5
4
5
3
1
6
33
28
4
Note: The entries represent the number of respondents who reportthe joumal as one
that they "readregularor othenNiderely on for the best research"in their area.
see the APSR as a viable outlet for their
best work, but most focus on general
subfieldjournalsas a first choice and
then move almost completelyto subfield
journalsas second and thirdchoices.
A second way of looking at subfield
differencesis to focus on journalreading
preferencesof respondents.In Table7
we reportthe preferencesfor journal
reading,againbrokendown by subfield.
In Americanpolitics, the patternis much
the same as for submissionpreferences,
with the APSR,AJPS, and JOP finishing
in the first threepositions,followed distantlyby the PoliticalResearchQuarterly,LegislativeStudiesQuarterly,and
Public OpinionQuarterly.
The orderingin the otherthree subfields gives the APSRand the general
regionaljournalsa much smallerrole. In
the field of internationalrelationsInternational Organizationstakesout a strong
position.Along with the APSR,International Organizationis the firstreading
preferenceof internationalrelations
scholars,but it is also well positionedas
a second choice and beyond.The APSR
drops off very quickly afterits strong
showing as a first preference.Otherjournals are well read by internationalrelations scholars,includingInternational
StudiesQuarterly,WorldPolitics, and
302
InternationalSecurity.In the field of political theory, scholars cite only two journals regularly Political Theoryand the
APSR.Finally,
tional relations,and political theory,respectively.We also reportresultsfrom
an analysis of variancethat tests the
null hypothesisthat the mean evaluations are equal across subfields.
As one can see, for severaljournals
there is a considerabledifferencein
mean evaluationsacross subfields.For
the AmericanPolitical Science Review,
AmericanJournal of Political Science,
and Journalof Politics, there is a consistent patternof differencein mean
evaluations.Americanpolitics scholars
rate these journalshighly, with scholars
from comparativepolitics, international
relations,and political theoryrating
these journalsbelow the level of the
overall mean. WorldPolitics also generates some differencesacross subfield,
with Americanpolitics and comparative
politics respondentsratingthis journal
higher than others. Finally,there is a
weak relationshipbetween subfieldand
journalratingsfor ComparativePolitics,
ComparativePolitical Studies,and International Security,though the differences
are not particularlystark.
Differences
Methodological
It is possible that the observeddifferences amongAmericanpolitical scientists from differentsubfieldsare actually
a result of differencesin methodological
approach.Some journals,such as the
AmericanPolitical Science Review,
AmericanJournalof Political Science,
Journalof Poli-
many of th e j o u rna l s
pnOlcitOicmspwoatilvde
zre
is
Pclltparaatnide for which tlhf
greater suplIp o rt a m o n
Politics play a
,
,
I
somewhat domq uaIItative< :holars
inant role as a
are
,
.
.
source of read| n the fXe Id!s OT comparing by scholars
interative politic:s and
APSR close
natio naI re14
preferences but
attions.
iS
falls off after
that. ComparativePolitical Studiesand
InternationalOrganizationare also regularly cited as journals to which comparative politics scholars regularly go for
reading in their field.
Third, in Table 8 we consider the
possibility that the subjective evaluations of journals vary across subfields.
Here we report the mean evaluation of
selected journals that rank among the
top 20 in terms of journal impact
(see Table 1), both in total and for
respondents in the fields of American
politics, comparative politics, interna-
tics, Journalof
lution,
and
Comparative
g
Political Studies are thought
°fasfavoring
researchthat
takesamore
proach,while
such as Comparative Politics, Political Science Quarterly,and Political Theory,are thoughtof as being
less quantitativein nature.Insofaras the
distributionof methodologicalapproachesdiffers across subfield,it is
possible that subfielddifferencesin
journalevaluationsare really a function
of those methodologicaldifferences.
In Table 9 we reportthe mean evaluations for a group of journalsselected
from among those in the top 20 journals in terms of journalimpact,broken
down by respondents'methodological
approach.4As one can readilyobserve,
PS April 2003
Table 8
Mean Evaluations of SeXected Political Science Journals, by Respondent Subfield
American Political Science Review
American Journal of Political Science
Journal of Politics
WorldPoRitics
InternationalOrganization
BritishJournal of PoliticalScionce
Comparative Politics
Comparative PoliticalStudies
Political Research Quarterly
InternationalStudies Quarterly
Political Science Quarterly
Public OpinionQuarterly
Journal of Conflict Resolution
InternationalSecurity
Legislative Studies Quarterly
PoliticalTheory
Total
American
Politics
Comparative
Politics
7.074
(538)
7.566
(426)
7.576
(406)
7.792
(310)
7.774
(252)
7.225
(306)
7.269
(260)
7.068
(222)
6.556
(277)
7*048
(208)
6.309
(282)
6.955
(199)
6.765
(213)
7.158
(158)
6.686
(204)
7.228
(136)
7.589
(180)
7.958
(168)
7.815
(168)
7.887
(62)
7.474
(38)
7 368
(114)
7.161
(56)
7.096
(52)
6.688
( 125)
7^152
(33)
6.270
(111)
6.963
(108)
7.047
(43)
6.109
(21 )
6.721
(111)
7.158
(38)
6.345
(119)
7.049
(81)
7.067
(75)
8.425
(106)
7.943
(87)
7.269
(78)
7.649
(114)
7.489
(92)
6.225
(40)
7.000
(62)
6.69t
(55)
6.840
(25)
6.588
(51)
7.705
(44)
6.690
(29)
7.722
(18)
International
Relations
6.570
(93)
7.154
(65)
7.080
(50)
7.203
(86)
8.000
(90)
6.837
(49)
7.000
(46)
6.605
(43)
6.207
(29)
7.128
(86)
6.120
(50)
6.688
(16)
6.766
(77)
7.149
(87)
6.692
(13)
7.000
(13)
Political
Theory
6.900
(50)
6.091
(33)
7.421
(38)
7.347
(14)
7.273
(11)
7.450
(20)
6.818
(11)
6.778
(9)
6 609
(23)
6.875
(8)
6.211
(19)
6.818
(11)
6.273
(11)
6.500
(4)
6.600
(5)
7.478
(46)
F
6.50
10.17
5.35
7.65
1.54
1.76
2.62*
3.62
1.32
0.13
1.17
1.32
0 96
2.36*
0.01
0.61
***prob(t) c 0.01
**prob(t) < 0.05
*prob(t) c 0.10
the differencesamong scholarscharacterized by differentmethodological
approachesare substantiallystronger
than the differencesamong scholarsin
differentsubfields.First, note the differences in evaluationsof the American
Political Science Review among quantitative, mixed (quantitativeand qualitative), and qualitativescholars.On average, quantitativescholarsgive the APSR
a very favorableevaluation(8.381),
qualitativescholarsgive the APSR only
a lukewarmevaluation(5.994), and
scholarswho use both quantitativeand
qualitativeapproachesare aroundthe
overall mean (7.172). The F-statisticindicates the one can readily reject the
null hypothesisof no differencein
means among the groups (F = 23.67,
prob < 0.001). Second, the American
Journalof Political Science, a journal
known for its emphasison quantitative
methodologies,is ratedvery highly by
quantitativescholars(8.725), aroundthe
overall mean by mixed scholars(7.527),
and well below the mean by qualitative
scholars;here again, the differencesare
stronglysignificant(F = 42.64, prob <
0.001). A similarpatternis observedfor
the Journalof Politics (F = 8.79, prob
< 0.001), as well as for the Political
ResearchQuarterly(F = 4.27, prob <
0.001) and Journalof ConJqict
Resolution (F = 4.45, prob < 0.001). Third,
there are also some journalsstronglyfavored by qualitativescholars.For instance, WorldPolitics receives much
strongersupportfrom qualitativerespondents (8.202) than quantitativerespondents (7.321), and the differenceis significant(F = 4.02, prob < 0.001). The
same pro-qualitativeevaluationbias can
be observedfor InternationalOrganization (F = 3.35, prob < 0.01), Compara-
PSOnlinewww.apsanet.org
tive Politics (F = 3.31, prob < 0.01),
Political Science Quarterly(F = 2.68,
prob < 0.01), and InternationalSecurity
(F = 9.36, prob < 0.001).
It is noteworthythat many (but not
all) of the journalsfor which there is
greatersupportamong qualitativescholars are in the fields of comparativepolitics and internationalrelations.This
suggests that there may be differences
among the subfieldsin the distribution
of methodologicalapproaches,and that
these differencesmight accountfor the
effects of subfieldon journalevaluations. In orderto accountfor this possibility, we estimatea series of regression
models in which the evaluationsof selected journalsare depictedas a function of a set of subfieldvariablesand a
set of methodologicalapproachvariables. The results are presentedin
Table 10. We have estimatedour model
303
Table 9
Mean Evaluations of Selected Political Science Journals, by Respondent Methodological Approach
American PoliticalScience Review
American Journal of PoliticalScience
Journal of Politics
WorldPolitics
InternationalOrganization
BritishJournal of PoliticalScience
Comparative Politics
Comparative PoliticalStudies
Political Research Quarterly
InternationalStudies Quarterly
PoliticalScienceQuarterly
Public Opinion Quarterly
Journal of ConflictResolution
InternationalSecurity
Legislative Studies Quarterly
PoliticalTheory
Totat
Quantitative
Mixed
Oualitative
F
7.074
(538)
7.566
(426)
7.576
(406)
7.792
(310)
7.774
(252)
7.225
(306)
7.269
(260)
7.068
(222)
6.556
(277)
7.048
(208)
6.309
(282)
6.955
(199)
6.765
(213)
7.158
(158)
6.686
(204)
7.228
(136)
8.381
(181)
8.725
(171 )
8.104
(163)
7.321
(92)
7.338
(68)
7.394
(132)
7.056
(72)
7.145
(83)
6.938
(129)
7.268
(71 )
6.023
(88)
7.086
(105)
7.316
(79)
5.833
(42)
6.832
(113)
6.867
(30)
7.172
(128)
7.527
(110)
7.434
(99)
8.063
(64)
7.733
(60)
7.216
(74)
7.000
(69)
7.196
(51)
6.338
(68)
7.024
(42)
6.274
(73)
6.649
(57)
6.673
(49)
7.059
(34)
6.490
(49)
6.680
(25)
5.994
(162)
6.408
(103)
7.112
(98)
8.202
(129)
8.168
(107)
6.947
(76)
7.716
(102)
6.947
(76)
6.232
(56)
6.890
(82)
6.750
(92)
7.107
(28)
6.333
(72)
8.055
(73)
6.647
(34)
7.563
(32)
23.67***
42.64***
8.79***
4.02***
3.35**
1.32
3.31**
0.56
4.27***
0.82
2.68**
2.03*
4.45***
9.36***
1.60
1.95
***prob(t) < 0.01
**prob(t) < 0.05
*prob(t) c 0.10
for all of the top 20 journalsin terms
of journalimpact,but because of space
limitationswe presentthe results only
for a representativegroupof journals.
The results in Table 10 suggest that
the evaluationsof some journalsare
driven more by methodologicalconsiderationsthan by subfield.For three of
the journals AmericanPolitical Science
Review,AmericanJournalof Political
Science, and the Journalof Politics the
patternsof evaluationsare determined
by methodologicalapproach.Simply,
quantitativepolitical scientistsevaluate
these journalssignificantlymore favorably than those who adopt a non-quantitative approach,even controllingfor
variablesrepresentingrespondentsubfield. For example, looking at the estimates for the APSR evaluationmodel,
we find that quantitativepolitical scientists rate the APSR almost three points
higher on the 11-pointevaluationscale
(b = 2.895, t = 6.069) than those who
304
adopt a normativeapproach,which representsthe excludedgroup. Respondents
who reportthat they mix quantitative
and qualitativeapproachesare also substantiallymore supportiveof the APSR
(b = 1.629, t= 3.365). Qualitative
political scientistsare slightly more positive towardthe APSR than normative
theorists,thoughthe differenceis not
statisticallysignificant(b = 0.642, t=
1.342). What we see here is that the
more quantitativeone's approachto political science, the more likely one is to
evaluatethe APSR favorably.Coefficients for two subfieldvariablesachieve
statisticalsignificance;both political theorists and public administrationscholars
are significantlymore positive in their
evaluationsof the APSR than are comparativepolitics scholars,who represent
the excluded subfieldgroup. But it is
clear that methodologicalapproachvariables are the importantdeterminantsof
evaluationstowardthe APSR.
The same can be said about the AJPS
and, to a lesser extent, the JOP. In both
cases quantitativerespondentsare much
more favorablydisposed towardthe
journals,with respondentswho mix
quantitativeand qualitativemodes of
analysis also evaluatingthese journals
positively.There are some subfieldeffects for both journals,but for both the
AJPS and JOP these effects are smaller
in magnitudethan the methodological
approacheffects.
On the other hand, in Table 10 we
reportresults for journalsthat are rated
more favorablyby qualitativescholars.
For WorldPolitics, ComparativePolitics, Political Science Quarterly,and (to
some extent) InternationalOrganization,
the coefficientsfor the qualitative
approachvariableare positive and significant,indicatingthat qualitativeresearchershave substantiallymore favorable views towardthese journalsthan
respondentswho adopt a normative
PS April2003
Table 10
OLS Regression Results for Models of Journal Evaluations, Selected Journals
APSR
AJPS
JOP
WP
b
t
b
t
b
t
b
t
5.186
10.929***
6.033
13.801 ***
6.463
16.272***
7.056
16.272***
Subfield
American politics
Internationalrelations
Judicial politics
Politicaltheory
Politicalmethodology
Public administration
Public Policy
0.370
-0.051
0 467
1 283
0.009
1.064
0.523
1.224
-0.154
0.969
2.612***
0.012
1.979**
0.950
0.287
-0.073
0 794
0.183
0.458
0.790
1.052
1.203
-0.259
2 092**
0.411
0.876
1.810**
2.307**
0.466
-0.1 34
0.970
0 867
0.1 12
0.584
0.933
2. 167**
-0.497
2.892***
2.404***
0.238
1.532*
2.288**
-0.203
-1 .149
-0.546
-0.513
-1 .990
-0.268
-0.506
Methodological Approach
Quantitative
Mixed
Quafitative
Formal
2.895
1.629
0 642
-0.004
6.069***
3.365***
1.342
4.007
2.402
1.205
0.180
4.804
5.612***
2 765***
0.410
-1.405
1.254
0.565
0.397
-0.193
3.592***
1.579*
1.107
4.430
0.852
1.440
1 597
0.320
Intercept
N
Adjlusted R2
Prob (F)
538
426
406
0.293
0.107
310
5.43
0.119
10.25
17.00
O.001
0.001
0.001
CP
CPS
b
7.432
1.871**
3.076***
3.607***
0.368
0.159
10
Intercept
-0.677
9.466
-0.890
-0.925
-3.147
-0.495
0.899
t
b
14.394***
t
4.80
0.001
PSQ
b
t
b
6.657
t4.421***
7.002
14.636***
5.861
-0.126
-0.533
-0.302
0.049
-0.990
-0.017
0.190
Subfield
American politics
Internationalrelations
Judicial politics
Politicaltheory
Politicalmethodology
Public administration
Public Policy
-0.21 8
0.153
-1 .182
-0.31 9
-1 .513
-0.115
0.373
4.678
0.632
-1 .737
-0.545
-2.189
0.181
0.551
-0.267
4.614
-1 .619
4.596
4.940
4.333
4.197
0.970
-2.188**
-2.758***
-1. 132
-1 .558*
-0.600
-0.317
-0.554
-0.924
-2.752
-0.787
-1 .200
-0.729
-0.058
-1.902**
-3.2 14***
-3 .880***
-1 .385*
-2.149**
-1 .121
4.080
MethodologicalApproach
Quantitative
Mixed
Qualitative
Formal
0.033
0.350
0.701
-0.183
0.063
0.650
1.354
4.213
0.768
0.652
1.127
0.890
t.567*
1 .336*
2.661***
0.958
0.738
0.617
0.327
1.785
1.464*
1.198
1.107
1.058
0.386
0.550
1.087
0.277
t
13.228***
-0.448
-1 .706*
-0.605
0.100
-1 .670
-0.034
0.368
0.880
1.239
2.483***
0.436
282
N
252
260
222
Adjusted R2
0.050
0.062
0.071
F
2.21
2.54
2.52
0.028
1.73
Prob (F)
0.015
0.005
0.005
0.066
***prob(t) < 0 01
**prob(t) c 0 05
*prob(t) < 0.10
Note: Comparative politics is the excluded group among the subfield variables, and normativetheory is the excluded group among the
methodological approach variables.
Key:
APSR American PoliticalScience Review
AJPS American Journal of Political Science
JOP
Journal of Politics
WP
WorldPolitics
IO
CP
CPS
PSQ
PSOnlinewww.apsanet.org
InternationalOrganization
C:omparative Politics
Comparative PoliticalStudies
PoliticalScience Quarterly
305
approach.A case in point is World Politics, in which the coefficientsfor quantitative, mixed, and qualitativeapproachesare all positive and significant.
What is noteworthy,however, is that the
coefficient for those adoptinga qualitative approach(b = 1.597, t = 3.607) is
almost twice the magnitudeof the coefficient for those adoptinga quantitative
approach(b = 0.852, t = 1.871).5Simply, qualitative
scholarsare
much more faevaluationsof
Our results Sl
use
political scie tinsts
d read
publish in, f ar
wide range f scholarly
,
journals, bu tItnat
not
1l ,
a| | Jo urnaIs re created
than normative
scholarsand,
more importantly,than
quantitative
scholars.
It is also the
|
case that some equal.
journalsdraw
relativelyequal
evaluationsfrom quantitative,mixed,
qualitative,and other scholars.In Table
10, this appearsto describemost closely
International Organization and Comparative Political Studies; the formeris
slightly better evaluatedby qualitative
scholars,while the latteris slightly better evaluatedby quantitativescholars,
though in neithercase is the effect a
strong one. For both of these journals
the primarydifferentiationin evaluation
occurs among the subfieldvariables,
with comparativepolitics scholarsexhibiting strongerevaluationsthan other
scholarsfrom other subfields.Among
the otherjournalsrankedin the top 20
in terms of impact, several others
appearto be undifferentiatedin terms of
methodologicalapproach,includingthe
British Journal of Political Science,
American Sociological Review, American
Economic Review, PS: Political Science
and Politics, International Studies Quarterly, and Political Theory. For these
journals,respondentsappearto be similar in their evaluations,regardlessof
methodologicalorientation.
What do all of these results suggest
about "a discipline divided"in terms of
the journalevaluations?Our results suggest a definitiveanswer:simply, it depends. Some journalsappearto stimulate patternsof evaluationsthat are
based on political scientists'methodological orientations.We suspect, but
have no firm empiricalevidence, that
this reflects the degree to which a given
journalidentifieswith a specific
methodologicalapproach.Some journals
are identified,correctlyor incorrectly,as
favoringquantitativeresearch;for these
306
journals,the evaluationsof quantitatively-orientedscholarswill be more favorable,and the evaluationsof qualitatively-orientedscholarswill be less so.
Otherjournalsare identifiedas favoring
a qualitativeapproach,and evaluations
will again depend on whetherthe evaluator is orientedtowardthe quantitative
approachor the qualitativeapproach.
Some journalsavoid being characterized
as quantitative
or qualitative,
uggest
tnat
and these jourx
a
nals
are likely
to
generate
similar evaluations
quantitatively
and qualitatively-oriented
scholars.
The distribution of methodological orientations differs
by subfield, and
thiscan have an effect on the overall
distributionof evaluationsof various
journals.We have estimateda series of
models in which the various methodological approachvariablesare depicted
as a function of the subfield variables;
for the sake of brevity, these results are
not shown, but they are of interest
nonetheless.On average, comparative
politics scholars are, along with those
in the field of normativetheory,the
least likely to adopt a quantitativeapproach, and they stand alone in their
increasedlikelihood of adoptinga qualitative approach.Simply, comparativists
are less quantitativeand more qualitative in their orientationsthan most
other political scientists. No doubt this
shapes the relative evaluationsthat
scholars of different subfieldsgive to
.
varlous
.
Journa. s.
Do quantitativescholarswithineach
subfielddiffer in theirjournalpreferences from their qualitativesubfieldcolleagues?In orderto explore this, we
have also estimateda series of models
in which we depict evaluationsof various journalsas a functionof subfield
variablesand interactionvariablesfor
subfieldand quantitativeorientation.The
coefficientsfor the interactionvariables
indicatethe degree to which quantitative
political scientistsin each subfieldare
more or less favorablyinclinedtowarda
given journalthan qualitatively-oriented
political scientistsin the same subfield.
Based on these results (not shown),it is
also the case that scholarswith at least
some quantitative orientation (either
quantitative or mixed quantitative and
qualitative) are more supportive of quan-
titativelyorientedjournalssuch as the
APSR or AJPS, regardlessof subfield.
For instance,quantitativecomparativists
have more positive evaluationsof the
APSR and AJPS than qualitativecomparativists, a patternthat is also observed
for Americanpolitics and international
relationsscholars.If, however,quantitative comparativistsare a relativerarity
among comparativepolitics scholars,it
follows that comparativistswill on average exhibit lower supportfor quantitatively orientedjournalsthan scholars
representingother subfieldswhere there
is a higher shareof scholarswho adopt
a quantitativeapproach.
Conclusion
What do these results suggest about
scholarlyjournalsin political science?
Our results suggest that political scientists use, publish in, and read a wide
range of scholarlyjournals,but that not
all journals are createdequal. Some
journalsare widely read by political scientists, while others are read by small
groups of specialists.Some journalsare
very positively evaluatedby scholars
who are familiarwith the work published in their pages, while otherjournals are not so well regarded.Some
journalsare read by broadaudiences
that cross subfieldboundaries,while
otherjournalsare read almost exclusively by scholarsworkingwithin specific subfields.Ultimately,some journals
have a major impacton the political
science discipline, with otherjournals
labor in relative obscurity.
In this paperwe reportresultsfrom a
surveyof 559 politicalscientistsin both
Ph.D. and non-Ph.D.grantingdepartments conductedduringthe springand
summerof 2001. Our core findingsare
similarto those reportedin previous
studies.The American Political Science
Review, American Journal of Political
Science, and Journal of Politics continue
to rankamong the top threejournalsin
termsof their impacton the politicalscience discipline,as measuredto take into
accountboth scholars'evaluationof the
qualityof work reportedin these journals and their familiaritywith these journals. These threejournalsare followed
in the impactrankingsby a combination
of highly regardedsubfieldjournals
(World Politics, International Organization, Comparative Politics), respected
flagshipjournalsin relateddisciplines
(ArnericanEconomic Review, Ameracan
Sociological Review), and generaljournals with broadreaderships(British
Journal of Political Science, PS: Political
Science and Politics, Political Research
PS April 2003
Quarterly).Publicationsin these journals
are likely to draw the attentionof large
numbersof political scientistsand pass a
rigorouspeer evaluationbefore being accepted for publication.Ultimately,publications in these journalsrepresenta
featherin one's-proverbialhat or, in this
case, in one's vitae.
We also introducesome new, alternative ways of looking at journalimpact,
primarilyby asking scholarsthe journals
to which they would preferto send
their best work and that they read for
the best work in their fields. Here
again, the generaldisciplinaryhierarchy
is relativelyundisturbed,with the journals that rate highly on the impact rankings also holding prominentpositions
on the submissionand readingpreference lists. Not only do journalssuch as
the AmericanPolitical Science Review,
AmericanJournalof Political Science,
WorldPolitics, InternationalOrganization, and ComparativePolitics rate
highly in terms of journalimpact, but
they also are the journalsthat political
scientistsread and to which they want
to submittheir best research.
When one looks below the surface,
however,one finds some disagreement
aboutthe relativeimpactsof scholarly
journalsin the discipline.For one thing,
journalsearn a high ratingby being
both well evaluatedand familiarto large
numbersof political scientists.Some
journalsdo very well on the journalimpact rankingsbecausethey do particu-
larly well on one of these dimensions
but not particularlywell on the other.
The resultis that some journalsare
rankedvery highly in termsof mean
evaluationbut are not rankedso highly
in terms of familiarity,and vice versa.A
case in point is the American Political
Science Review, which earnsan evaluation score that ranksit 17th on that dimension,but which is ranked1st by a
big marginin terms of familiarityto political scientists.In the end, the APSR is
rankedfirst in terms of journalimpact,
in large partbecause it is so widely read
by political scientists,includingthose
who evaluateit unfavorably.
Moreover,we find considerablevariation in journalimpact, evaluation,and
familiarityamong scholarsof different
subfieldsand methodologicalapproaches.Among Americanpolitics
scholars,the preferenceorderingis
clear, with the APSR, AJPS, and JOP
earningtop-tierstatus. In comparative
politics, internationalrelations,and political theory,journals such as the APSR
and JOP have a prominent(but by no
means dominant)role, but there is much
greaterimpact attributedto broadsubfield journalsand more specializedjournals within each subfield.The result is
that, for internationalrelationsscholars,
International Organization, International
Studies Quarterly, or World Politics join
the APSR as first-tierresearchoutlets.
For comparativepolitics specialists,
World-Politics, Conaparative Politics,
and ComparativePolitical Studies are
leading outlets, along with the APSR for
some comparativists.For political theorists, Political Theoryand the APSR are
in the first tier, along with broad-based
journalssuch as the Journalof Politics
and Polity.
We also find that methodologicalapproachis a majorsource of cleavage in
political scientists'assessmentsof journals. Quantitativescholarstend to evaluate certainjournalsmore highly than
qualitativescholars,and there are also
journalsthat draw the interestof qualitative scholarsbut not much interest
among quantitativescholars.The
methodologicaldivide seems to be particularlystarkfor journalsthat are identified as favoringresearchwith a particularly methodologicalorientation.
All of this raises questionsaboutthe
currentstatus of the political science
discipline.Are there schoiarlyoutlets
where political scientists subjecttheir
work to the scrutinyof others who do
not share their subfieldor methodological orientation?Should such disciplinewide journalsexist, particularlygiven
the seemingly balkanizednatureof the
discipline?Should scholarsof American
politics see the work of comparative
politics scholarswho read the research
findingsof internationalrelationsscholars who follow the work of political
theorists?Is there value in such crossfertilizationacross subfieldsand
methodologicalapproaches?
Notes
1. For example, the Journal of International
Law and the Journal of Politics were both
given approximatelythe same evaluation by
those respondents rating these journals. However, over 90% of respondents reported being
familiar with the Journal of Politics, while less
than 20% reported familiarity with the Journal
of International Law. As Garand suggests, the
Journal of Politics is likely to have a broader
level of visibility and potential impact on the
profession, since a broaderrange of political
scientists is likely to be exposed to its contributions. The Journal of International Law might
have an importantimpact for scholars of international law, but far fewer political scientists
are likely to be exposed to work published in
this more specialized journal.
2. The Ph.D. group is based on university affiliations clearly indicated in the membership
list. The non-Ph.D. group consists of those
clearly indicating an affiliation with a nonPh.D. granting institution and those not providing informationon affiliation. Some of the latter are actually affiliated with academic
institutions, some with non-Ph.D. granting institutions, and some are not affiliated with academic institutions at all. Note that we only excluded from consideration members who clearly
indicated a non-academic affiliation.We believe
that the lower response rate within the nonPh.D. subset may partially reflect the inclusion
of non-academic and student respondentsfor
whom the survey would have less relevance. By
any means, this structuredsampling assured the
inclusion of respondents from non-Ph.D. institutions, and since the respondentswere asked on
the survey to indicate the Ph.D.-grantingstatus
of their home institution this accurate indicator
was available for any analysis.
3. These preferences are ordered based on
1st preferences, ratherthan on total preferences.
In addition, it should be noted that, because of
relatively small sample sizes, we do not report
data for respondents who report their primary
fields as political methodology, public policy,
public administration,and judicial politics.
4. We focus here on those who report taking
quantitative,mixed, and qualitative approaches
to their research. Two other approaches,formal
theory and normative theory, are excluded because of small sample sizes, though these two
groups are included in the analysis of variance
results reported in this table.
5. The coefficients for the mixed and qualitative variables are each significantly different
than the coefficient for the quantitativevariable
(results not shown).
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PS April 2003
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