Yeah, I don’t really know either. I always hear the expression ‘SSCI’ thrown around as the gold standard for social science work. Administrators seem to love it, but where it comes from and how it gets compiled I don’t really understand. Given that we all seem to use this language and worry about impact factor all the time, I thought I would simply post the list of journals for IR ranked by impact factor (after the break).
I don’t think I ever actually saw this list before all laid out completely. In grad school, I just had a vague idea that I was supposed to send my stuff to the same journals whose articles I was reading in class. But given that I haven’t found this list posted on the internet anywhere, here it is. I don’t know if that means it is gated or something, or if my school has a subscription, or whatever. Anyway, I thought posting the whole IR list would be helpful for this site’s readership.
Note that a bunch of them are published in Asia, and 3 alone are about Korea (Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, Korean Observer, and NK Review) – so get to work!
But I have a few questions. First, why does Thomson-Reuters create this? Why don’t we do it? Does anyone actually know what they do that qualifies them for this ? And don’t say ‘consulting’ or ‘knowledge services’ or that sort of MBA-speak. The picture above includes some modernist, high-tech skyscraper, presumably to suggest that lots of brilliant, hi-tech theorists are in there crunching away big numbers (but the flower tells you they have a soft side too – ahh), but I don’t buy it. Are these guys former academics who know what we read? Who are they? Does anyone know? The T-R website tells you nothing beyond buzzwords like ‘the knowledge effect’ and ‘synergy.’ I am genuinely curious how T-R got this gig and why we listen to them. Why don’t we make our own list?
Next, I am not sure if the SSCI and the Journal Citation Reports from T-R are different or not or what. Click here to see the SSCI list; and here is the JCR link, which is probably gated, but ask your administration; they probably have access. There are 3038 journals in the whole SSCI list (!), 107 listed under political science, and 82 under IR. There is some overlap between the last two, but the PS list does not completely subsume the IR list, as I think most of us would think it should. For example, IS is listed only under IR, not political science, but ISQ is listed under both, even though I think most people would say IS is a better journal than ISQ. Also, there is no identifiable list for the other 3 subfields of political science. I find that very unhelpful. More generally, I would like to know how T-R chooses which journals are on the SSCI and which not. It doesn’t take much effort to see that they’re almost all published in English…
Next, I thought the SSCI was only peer-reviewed, but Foreign Affairs and the Washington Quarterly (which I understand to be solicited, not actually peer-reviewed – correct me if I am wrong) are listed on the IR list, and even Commentary and the Nation magazine are on the PS list. Wow – your neocon ideological ravings can actually count as scholarship. Obviously FA should be ranked for impact factor; it’s hugely influential. But does it belong on the SSCI? Note also that ISR is listed on the IR roster, as is its old incarnation, the Mershon ISR. Hasn’t that been gone now for more than a decade? Also when you access the impact factors (after the jump),T-R provides an IR list with its ‘Journal Citation Reports’ that has only 78 journals listed for IR, not 82. So the SSCI for IR (82) does not quite equal the JCR for IR (78). Is that just a clerical error? If so, does that mean the super-geniuses in the futuristic skyscraper are spending too much time looking out the windows at the flowers? I guess if you double-count M/ISR, you get 79, which is pretty close to 82, but given how definitive this list is supposed to be, it seems like there are problems and confusions.
Anyway, I don’t really know, so I just thought I’d throw it out there. Check the IR rankings on the next page.
2010 is the most recent year T-R provides a ranking, so I used that, plus the rolling 5-year impact factor. The ranking on the left follows the 5 year impact factor, not the 2010 one.
A few things leap out to me:
1. How did International Studies Perspectives rocket up so high in less than 15 years, higher than EJIR, RIPE, and Foreign Affairs? Wow. I guess I should read it more.
2. What is Marine Policy (no. 11) and how did it get so very high also?
3. Security Studies at 27 doesn’t sound right to me. We read that all the time in grad school.
4. A lot of the newest ones, at the bottom without a 5-year ranking, come from Asia. That isn’t surprising, as Asian countries are throwing more and more money at universities. That’s probably healthy in terms of field-range, to move beyond just Western-published ones.
5. Why haven’t I ever even heard of something like half of these journals? I guess we really are a hermeneutic circle – reading just the same journals again and again – APSR, IO, IS, ISQ, EJIR. That’s pretty scholastic when this IR SSCI list shows a rather interesting diversity I never have time to read. A shame actually…
Rank Title 2010 Impact Factor 5-Year Impact Factor
|4444||J CONFLICT RESOLUT||1.883||3.165|
|5555||INT STUD QUART||1.523||2.427|
|6666||INT STUD PERSPECT||0.719||2.344|
|7777||EUR J INT RELAT||1.426||2.337|
|9999||COMMON MKT LAW REV||2.194||2.071|
|10110||J PEACE RES||1.476||2.036|
|12112||INT J TRANSIT JUST||1.756||1.923|
|14114||JCMS-J COMMON MARK S||1.274||1.643|
|15115||INT STUD REV||0.803||1.621|
|16116||REV INT POLIT ECON||0.861||1.519|
|19119||CONFLICT MANAG PEACE||0.682||1.423|
|19119||EUR J INT LAW||1.5||1.423|
|22222||STUD COMP INT DEV||0.605||1.352|
|24224||REV WORLD ECON||0.966||1.201|
|25225||REV INT STUD||0.98||1.177|
|26226||MILLENNIUM-J INT ST||0.727||1.084|
|28228||FOREIGN POLICY ANAL||0.7||1.032|
|29229||TERROR POLIT VIOLENC||0.814||0.946|
|30330||AM J INT LAW||0.865||0.858|
|34334||LAT AM POLIT SOC||0.34||0.731|
|35335||STANFORD J INT LAW||0.6||0.727|
|37337||CORNELL INT LAW J||0.541||0.693|
|38338||COLUMBIA J TRANS LAW||0.741||0.671|
|39339||J JPN INT ECON||0.444||0.662|
|41441||B ATOM SCI||1.057||0.632|
|44444||EMERG MARK FINANC TR||0.444||0.558|
|45||INT J CONFL VIOLENCE||0.586||0.524|
|46||OCEAN DEV INT LAW||0.282||0.518|
|47||AUST J INT AFF||0.508||0.517|
|48||J STRATEGIC STUD||0.344||0.491|
|50||MIDDLE EAST POLICY||0.219||0.309|
|53||KOREAN J DEF ANAL||0.304||0.261|
|55||WORLD POLICY J||0.144||0.164|
|56||J MARIT LAW COMMER||0.244||0.15|
|59||ASIA EUR J||0.237|
|59||ASIAN J WTO INT HEAL||0.333|
|59||BRIT J POLIT INT REL||1.025|
|59||CAMB REV INT AFF||0.18|
|59||CHIN J INT LAW||0.206|
|59||INT RELAT ASIA-PAC||0.676|
|59||J HUM RIGHTS||0.34|
|59||J INT RELAT DEV||0.429|
|59||J WORLD TRADE||0.398|
|59||N KOREAN REV||0.75|
|59||REV DERECHO COMUNITA||0.098|
|59||REV INT ORGAN||0.971|
|59||STUD CONFL TERROR||0.588|
|59||WORLD TRADE REV||1.231|