Accounting Journals and the ABS Guide: A Review of Evidence and Inference

Kelly, Aidan; Harvey, Charles; Morris, Huw and Rowlinson, Michael. 2013. Accounting Journals and the ABS Guide: A Review of Evidence and Inference. Management & Organizational History, 8(4), pp. 415-431. ISSN 1744-9359 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article reviews the evidence presented by those alleging bias in the rating of accounting journals in the ABS Guide to Journal Quality in Business and Management Studies. Drawing upon a wider range of citation metrics and international journal ranking schemes, the analysis presented covers all the accounting journals listed in the current 2010 version of the ABS Guide. The evidence of bias based on the mean RAE 2008 GPA scores for institutions and on the ‘world elite count’ as published in the guide is rejected. The simplistic comparison of the proportion of grade ‘4’ journals in accounting relative to other subject areas is rejected as evidence of bias and the preferred method reveals that the ABS Guide provides the accounting subject area with one more grade ‘4’ journal and seven more grade ‘3’ journals than might otherwise be expected. There is no evidence that the use of Thomson-Reuters citation data in the process of constructing the ABS Guide has been detrimental to accounting journals. The accounting journals in the ABS Guide have lower mean scores on almost all citation metrics when compared to other subject area journals with the same ABS grade. A detailed comparison of the ranking of accounting journals in seven international journal ranking lists fails to find evidence of bias against accounting journals and suggests that grade ‘3’ accounting journals have been favorably rated. In a detailed comparison of accounting and business history journals, there is little evidence from any source reviewed to suggest that Accounting History is of the same quality rank as Business History or that Accounting History clearly warrants a higher ABS Guide rating. The conclusion is that the evidence presented supports the view that the ABS Guide has not been biased in its rating of accounting journals.

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accounting; journal ranking; citation metrics; ABS Guide; UK

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11 October 2013Published

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Date Deposited:

27 Sep 2013 07:06

Last Modified:

23 Apr 2021 14:48

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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