Where is the best IT knowledge published?

Thursday, 18/10/2001

The Communications of the ACM, the leading publication for Information Technology professionals and academics, recently published results of the work of ALBA Professors N. Mylonopoulos and V. Theoharakis. Nikos and Vasilis surveyed 1000 Information Technology University Professors from North America, Europe, the Far East and Australasia to elicit their perceptions of the quality of Journals publishing research in the broader field of Information Systems. The main outcome of this project is a list of 50 journals ranked in order of perceived quality. Journal quality, an inherently elusive concept, is measured in three different ways, thus capturing various perspectives.

The two highest-ranking journals throughout the world are MIS Quarterly and the Communications of the ACM. The Communications of the ACM, the flagship publication of the Association for Computing Machinery, is primarily a practitioner journal, which is, however, highly read and valued by academics. Equivalently, MIS Quarterly, the most authoritative publication of scientific research in Information Systems, aims at making research results relevant to the work of Chief Information Officers and has a broad and loyal readership among business managers. This finding is testimony to the fact that the best scientific research and the best business practice go hand in hand, as they should.

As the pressure for scientifically rigorous and relevant research mounts, authors need to identify those outlets with the highest visibility for their work and those publications in which readers seek the best sources for informed IS research. This study contributes to the ongoing concern about the quality of scholarly publications by introducing a global perspective and by presenting multiple measures of journal quality and impact. In an effort to be as representative as possible we were able to attract nearly 1,000 responses to our online questionnaire, by far the largest sample in this type of research.

Differences between the perspectives of North American, European and Australasian researchers have been identified in terms of characteristic discrepancies in popularity, position, percent ranking in the top 10 and readership. The undisputed leading journals in the world are MISQ, Communications of the ACM, and ISR. Journals such as EJIS, Decision Sciences and ISJ have an identifiable regional impact. The study’s key finding is that perceived journal quality is a multifaceted concept, the assessment of which may vary considerably depending on the measurement approach and the subjective regional stance one chooses to adopt.

Reference: “Where is the best IS research published?” Communications of the ACM, Vol. 44, No. 9, pp. 29-33, 2001