Problematising the construction of journal quality: an engagement with the mainstream

Joanne Locke, Alan D. Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Journal ranking studies have generally adopted citation techniques or academic perceptions as the basis for assessing journal quality. They have traditionally been a source of information about potential research outlets, new journals, and an aid to developing a consensus about the relative merit of publications for promotion decisions. The aim of our research is to address specific shortcomings in the conventional literature and construct an alternative view of how we might more appropriately assess journal ‘quality’. We attempt to engage with the conventional literature by applying an approach that does not privilege either citation techniques or academic perceptions. We have adopted from Zeff (1996) an objective measure of academic journal library holdings, which Zeff describes as a ‘market test’. Our construct provides evidence of an important difference in journal holdings for the Australasian region that could significantly influence further research on journal quality. The method itself is entirely mundane but may be considered to reflect a complex of historic and more contemporary variables which impact on academic and administrative decisions, influencing the makeup of academic library holdings and providing a proxy for journal ‘quality’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-71
Number of pages27
JournalAccounting Forum
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2002


  • journal ranking
  • citation
  • academic perceptions
  • journal quality


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