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July 1st, 2013

How the Top 4 journals are different

If you look at which philosophers have made the most impact by publishing in refereed philosophy journals over the last 10 years, it is easy to conclude that the one with the most impact, across academia, is Joshua Knobe. He not only has some very highly cited articles, he has a lot of articles that are cited many times. Indeed, his Web of Knowledge h-score for the last decade is, I believe, 11, which is nearly as good as some journals.

The only place Knobe’s impact doesn’t show up is in the Top 4 philosophy journals. He’s been cited 5 times in Journal of Philosophy, twice in Philosophical Review (both in the last year), 4 times in Nous (twice in his own articles), and never in Mind.

That’s not because he is only getting cited outside philosophy. He has 20 citations in Philosophical Studies, 19 in Mind & Language, 9 in Analysis, 8 in PPR, and so on. It is something very distinctive about those four journals that means work like Knobe’s isn’t getting cited there.

Posted by Brian Weatherson in Uncategorized

7 Comments »

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7 Responses to “How the Top 4 journals are different”

  1. John Turri says:

    Hi, Brian. Astute observations. My only suggestion comes in the last sentence: ‘distinctive’ —> ‘peculiar’.

  2. Neil says:

    It is worth noting that Web of sic misses a lot of citations. I just checked on one of my papers: web of sci missed 12 citations that scholar picked up (excluding self-citations and drafts from the scholar results).

  3. Neil says:

    “web of sic” (sic). Damn you autocorrect.

  4. Neil says:

    Some checking turns up citations Web Sci missed: one citation to Knobe in Mind :
    Ross & Schroeder, Reversibility or Disagreement.

    Citations in Nous :

    Livengood, Actual Causation and Simple Voting Scenario;
    Chudnoff, Awareness of Abstract Objects
    McGrath, Conciliatory Metaontology and the Vindication of Common Sense;
    Sinhababu, The Desire-Belief Account of Intention Explains Everything;
    Buckwalter & Schaffer, Knowledge, Stakes and Mistakes;
    Björnsson & Persson, The Explanatory Component of Moral Responsibility.

    Bottom line: stop using Web Sci.

  5. Brian Weatherson says:

    I don’t know how many of those were missed, and how many are differences in what is being measured.

    3 of those 6 Nous citations are forthcoming, which Web of Science doesn’t measure. The Mind paper was published 5 weeks ago, and I guess the database hasn’t updated yet.

    That does leave one mistake. I’m away from the office so don’t have access to the database right now, so I can’t check whether it was Web of Science that was mistaken, or me. (The latter is highly possible!)

    Having said that, I wonder how much the Healy data would change if we included forthcoming (and missed) results like you’ve done here…

  6. Neil says:

    Yes, a lot depends on whether Web Sci is more likely to miss papers in certain areas/journals than others. Of course the fact that the missed citations are very recent doesn’t reflect badly on Web Sci, but it does make the conclusion that the H4 are different less well supported. I think it is probably true in any case: with the exception of Nous, they are widely thought to be less well-disposed toward empirically oriented philosophy.

  7. Brian Weatherson says:

    It makes the conclusion more strongly supported for the era 2004-2012, but yes it does make it harder to draw conclusions about the present day. After all, the missed recent citations will depress the numbers for the other journals I was comparing the H4 to. So it probably means that there are a lot more citations in the other journals by now, just like there are a few more in Nous/Mind.

    But I should double check results with Google Scholar in future – it’s striking how different your results were to what I’d got without checking Google.

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