City Research Online

The Journal Quality Perception Gap

Bryce, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-9856-7851, Dowling, M. & Lucey, B. (2020). The Journal Quality Perception Gap. Research Policy, 49(5), article number 103957. doi: 10.1016/j.respol.2020.103957


We explore the drivers of researchers’ perceptions around journal quality, and how these per- ceptions converge or diverge with national journal ranking systems. Prior to the release of the Academic Journal Guide (AJG) 2018 rankings list, we surveyed UK business school re- searchers, resulting in 19,597 individual journal rankings. We find a notable journal quality perception gap, with 39% of subjective rankings from the business and management commu- nity differing from the AJG 2018 rankings. We show that measures of personal connection to the AJG system have strong explanatory power. These factors include the usage of, and sentiment towards, the AJG list, as well as individual research success as measured by AJG rankings. Consistently, we find that high values for these factors narrow the quality perception gap, whereas low values widen it. We also find an increase in the quality perception gap for journals that a respondent has submitted to or reviewed for. Our research, thus, provides new insights into how researchers interact with journal ranking systems. We propose how researchers, business schools, and ranking bodies can incorporate these findings to improve stakeholders’ consensus on research quality assessment.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2020 Elsevier. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: Academic Journal Guide; Research Excellence Framework; Journal Quality; Jour- nal Ranking; Quality Perception
Subjects: A General Works > AS Academies and learned societies (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Departments: Bayes Business School > Actuarial Science & Insurance
SWORD Depositor:
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Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0.

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