Thomas Scheiding on A History of Economics Publishing

20 02 2014

 

Thomas Scheiding writes:

The scholarly communication process in economics today can be characterized as a set of rank-ordered list of specialty research journals and a smaller set of top-ranked general journals. The number of journals in economics is vast with an estimated 600 journals in 2000 (with approximately half of these coming from the United States)… The emergence of this type of scholarly communication process in economics isn’t by any means natural.  Rather, when universities halted the establishment of journals that appealed to generalists in the early twentieth century, this had the impact of directing the research of scholars to either small circulation, newly established specialty journals or the few number of large circulation and more established generalist journals. Had there been more generalist journals or had researchers been encouraged to distribute their research via the monograph in the second half of the twentieth century, there would have been a greater need for indexing and abstracting services to organize the widely scattered research articles. Furthermore, had there been more generalists journals, there would have been less of an incentive for specialization by researchers and the formation of specialized research communities in universities.

Read more here. Scheiding’s work is important for anyone who serves on the executive of a scholarly organization or  is involved in journal editing.

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