Methodology review recommendations

In 2018 the ABDC appointed Australian and international experts to review the methodology for the ABDC Journal Quality List.

The final recommendations were:

1. Journal quality ratings should be validated by expert panels. The panels should be informed by globally recognised and externally validated journal ranking lists[1], appropriate and select citation metrics (e.g. SCImago) and, if required, expert peer review.

2. The following criteria must be met by each journal in the ABDC Journal Quality List. A journal must:

  • Have reached the necessary quality threshold level, as determined by the expert panel using globally accepted, externally validated journal ranking lists, journal citation metrics and expert peer review
  • Adhere to general scholarly principles, including scholarly peer review
  • Be relevant to the discipline areas of the ABDC, which include management, accounting, economics, information systems, business and taxation law and other agreed Fields of Research (FoRs)
  • Not be a predatory journal.

3. An indicator for journals of regional significance should not be incorporated against relevant journals in the ABDC Journal List.

4. A new quality category (e.g. A**) should not be added to the ABDC Journal List to recognise world elite journals deemed to be the best in the world.

5. Members of the expert panels, including the Panel Chair, should be selected through a formal call for Expressions of Interest. The processes will be similar to those used by the Australian Research Council for panel selection.

  • The ABDC will provide appropriate levels of administrative support so panel members should not expect to make significant time commitments to the Journal Quality List Review. Administration will include a Research Assistant to support gathering data on each journal
  • There should be between five and eight expert panels as the panels do not need to mirror the FORs
  • The size of each panel should reflect the number and size of the disciplines represented on it
  • Where possible, panels should be representative and reflect expertise in terms of gender, institutional affiliation and geographic location.

6. More explicit and rigorous processes for the ranking of journals should be developed and reported.

  • Note: Terms of Reference for each of the expert panels should be developed by ABDC’s Business Research Deans’ Network, BARDsNet, and then approved by the ABDC Executive.

‘I would like to acknowledge the contribution of Dr Kim Langfield-Smith, Principal at Nous Group, and Professor Geoffrey Wood, from the UK Chartered Association of Business Schools to this project. I would also like to acknowledge the input provided by members of BARDsNet, the ABDC Business Research Deans’ Network,’ ABDC President, Professor Tony Travaglione, said.


[1] Including UK ABS Journal Quality Guide, UT Dallas Top 100 List, Financial Times Top 50 Journals List

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