Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Who is the 'Journal Grand Master'? A new ranking based on the Elo rating system

Lehmann, Robert and Wohlrabe, Klaus (2017): Who is the 'Journal Grand Master'? A new ranking based on the Elo rating system.

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In this paper we transfer the Elo rating system, which is widely accepted in chess, sports and other disciplines, to rank scientific journals. The advantage of the Elo system is the explicit consideration of the factor time and the history of a journal's ranking performance. Most other rankings that are commonly applied neglect this fact. The Elo ranking methodology can easily be applied to any metric, published on a regular basis, to rank journals. We illustrate the approach using the SNIP indicator based on citation data from Scopus. Our data set consists of more than 20,000 journals from many scientific fields for the period from 1999 to 2015. We show that the Elo approach produces similar but by no means identical rankings compared to other rankings based on the SNIP alone or the Tournament Method. Especially the rank order for rather 'middle-class' journals can tremendously change.

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