Journal characteristics, rankings and social acculturation in operations management

Gyula Vastag, Frank Montabon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)


Over the past 15 yr, there have been several attempts in operations management to rate journals, authors and schools based on their research productivity and quality. While many of these have been very helpful in generating a relative ranking of productivity and prestige, these analyses seem incomplete in many ways. Most notably, they neglected the fact that these rankings are loaded with value judgments acquired in the process of academic acculturation on one hand and that they did not provide basic information about the journals on the other. This paper argues that the rankings reflect the milieu in which they were conceived and calls for "usage-based" measures as more appropriate ways of measuring a publication's impact through influencing and changing the thinking and actions of researchers, students and practitioners. Specifically, this article has three objectives. First, it fills an information gap by giving the characteristics of 28 journals in the broadly-defined field of operations management. Second, the article summarizes the strengths and weaknesses of the approaches taken to rank journals. Third, this article shows some factors of social acculturation (acquired either through education or working in different environments) in the journal evaluation process. The empirical part of the paper is based on analyzing referencing practices of these journals, surveying senior editors, analyzing reading lists of doctoral programs at major research universities, and contacting university and corporate libraries, and consulting companies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-126
Number of pages18
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 27 2002


  • Empirical research
  • Journal rankings
  • Research publications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management

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