--- layout: post status: publish published: true title: Three reasons why I think journal prestige is a broken system wordpress_id: 2933 wordpress_url: https://www.martineve.com/?p=2933 date: !binary |- MjAxMy0xMS0xNiAxOTo0NDo1NiArMDEwMA== date_gmt: !binary |- MjAxMy0xMS0xNiAxOTo0NDo1NiArMDEwMA== categories: - Technology - Open Access - Academia tags: - Open Access comments:  ---
One of the aspects that people seem to disagree with most, when I write or talk about open access, is that there is a problem with journal “prestige”. Overly-ventriloquizing on behalf of the stereotypical conversant in this debate, he or she usually accepts (as do I) that, in an economy of journals dealing with niche subjects, some will be held in esteem and that others will not fare so well. He or she also usually thinks that this is a useful feature of the system; it is helpful to know that Journal X will feature high-quality material. Where we usually diverge is that I state that I think there are huge problems with the current systems of prestige and that we should move to an article-level (or author-level) method of appraisal.
For easy reference, as this comes up time and time again, here are three core reasons why I think the system of journal prestige is problematic (there are nuances to each of these, they are presented here in an up-front way to give the core message):
There are many (sometimes) tiresome counter-arguments against Article-Level Metrics, mostly centering around the way they can be gamed. One need only look at how people try to game the Impact Factor, though, to see that this is hardly exclusive to ALMs. Futhermore, in disciplines such as mine where bibliometrics are rare, what I'm actually talking about when I say ALMs is "how good is the author and who said they are good". This can, in my view, be achieved in a far better way than journal brand as a marker and would most helpfully be conveyed through systems in point #3: which editor accepted the piece and who reviewed it (in cases of pre-publication review that are active in most humanities disciplines).