Rankings of academic publishers

There are a number of approaches to ranking academic publishing groups and publishers.[1][2][3][4][5][6] Rankings rely on subjective impressions by the scholarly community, on analyses of prize winners of scientific associations, discipline, a publisher's reputation, and its impact factor (particularly in the sciences).

Ranking ChallengesEdit

Publications are often judged by venue, rather than merit.[7] This has been criticized in the Leiden Manifesto[8] and the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment. According to the manifesto, "Science and technology indicators are prone to conceptual ambiguity and uncertainty and require strong assumptions that are not universally accepted. The meaning of citation counts, for example, has long been debated. Thus, best practice uses multiple indicators to provide a more robust and pluralistic picture."[8]

In a study assessing an increasingly-diversified array of publishers and their service to the academic community, Janice S. Lewis concluded that college and university librarians ranked university presses higher and commercial publishers lower than did members of the American Political Science Association.[4]

According to Colin Steele, a librarian at the Australian National Library in Canberra, "Listings of publishers by title also fail to take into account that some university presses are strong in certain disciplines, but not across the whole spectrum."[9] Rankings can vary widely by discipline.

American Political Science RankingsEdit

The American Political Science Association (APSA) has ranked academic publishers, taking into consideration both book and journal publication.[1]

In 2007, their top-ranked (A+) publishers were:

  1. Cambridge University Press
  2. University of Chicago Press
  3. Columbia University Press
  4. Harvard University Press
  5. MIT Press
  6. Oxford University Press/Clarendon (UK/US)
  7. Princeton University Press
  8. Stanford University Press
  9. University of California Press
  10. Yale University Press

In 2007, their second-ranked (A) publishers were:

  1. Alfred A Knopf
  2. Allen & Unwin
  3. Cornell University Press
  4. Duke University Press
  5. Edward Elgar
  6. Elsevier Science Ltd
  7. IPA, Warsaw
  8. Johns Hopkins University Press
  9. Kluwer
  10. Manchester University Press
  11. Melbourne University Press
  12. New York University Press
  13. Palgrave MacMillan (UK & Australia, St Martins' Press in US)
  14. Politico's
  15. Polity Press
  16. Routledge (Taylor and Francis)
  17. Sage Publications
  18. Science Publishers
  19. Univ of Pennsylvania Press
  20. University of Michigan Press
  21. University of Minnesota Press
  22. University of New South Wales Press
  23. University of Toronto Press
  24. WHO/EDM, Geneva
  25. Wiley-Blackwell
  26. AP, London
  27. Basic Books, New York
  28. Blackwell, Oxford
  29. Clarendon Press, Gloucestershire, UK
  30. CRC, Ghent, Belgium
  31. CRC, New York
  32. Harper & Row, New York
  33. John Wiley & Sons, West Sussex, UK
  34. Pergamon Press, Oxford/Amsterdam
  35. Prentice Hall, Eaglewood Cliffs (NJ), USA
  36. Random House, New York
  37. Springer, London/Berlin

SENSE rankingsEdit

The Research School for Socio-Economic and Natural Sciences of the Environment (SENSE Research School) has ranked scientific publishers every year since 2006.[10]

SENSE works in conjunction with the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), in accordance with the standard evaluation protocol for Dutch universities. The school developed its ranking in conjunction with performance criteria for its staff. rating A, B, and C journals and A, B, C, D, and E publishers.

A-publishers are ranking scheme,[11] the "few top-notch international publishers"; B-publishers are "good international publishers";[11] C-publishers are "decent international publishers and excellent national publishers";[11] D-publishers are "professional publications published by major international organisations and good national publishers",[11] and E-publishers are "publications mainly published for a non-academic general public by national organisations and small local publishers". The SENSE Ranking was recognized in bibliometric literature[12][13] and other universities' attempts to rate publishers.[14]

The latest SENSE ranking, like its previous rankings, is based on the subjective assessment of a publisher by prominent Dutch and international scientists. An Excel table is available at the school's website.[10]

In 2017, their top-ranked (A) scientific publishers were (in alphabetical order):

  1. Academic Press (Elsevier)
  2. Cambridge University Press
  3. Oxford University Press
  4. Routledge
  5. Sage Publications
  6. University of Chicago Press
  7. Wiley

Their second-ranked (B) scientific publishers were (in alphabetical order):

  1. Ashgate
  2. Brill
  3. CABI
  4. Edward Elgar
  5. Elsevier
  6. Nomos
  7. Springer Verlag
  8. Taylor and Francis

Spanish National Research Council rankingsEdit

In 2012 and 2014, the Spanish National Research Council asked 11,864 Spanish academics to name the 10 most prestigious academic publishers from over 600 international and 500 Spanish-language publishers. It received 2,731 responses, a response rate of 23.05 percent. Results were compiled using a weighted average.[15] The results were:

  1. Cambridge University Press
  2. Oxford University Press
  3. Springer Nature
  4. Routledge
  5. Elsevier
  6. Peter Lang
  7. Thomson Reuters
  8. Blackwell
  9. De Gruyter
  10. McGraw Hill[15]

Granada RankingsEdit

To quantitatively assess the output of a publishing company, a research group associated with the University of Granada created a methodology based on the Thomson-Reuters Book Citation Index.[16] The quantitative weight of the publishers is based on output data, impact (citations) and publisher profile. According to the Granada study, the 10 leading companies were:[16]

  1. Springer
  2. Palgrave Macmillan
  3. Routledge
  4. Cambridge University Press
  5. Elsevier
  6. Nova Science Publishers
  7. Edward Elgar
  8. Information Age Publishing
  9. Princeton University Press
  10. University of California Press

Libcitation rankingsEdit

The Research Impact Measurement Service (RIMS) at the University of New South Wales presented a quantitative methodology of bibliometric comparisons of book publishers.[17][18][19] In a Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology article, Howard D. White et al. wrote: "Bibliometric measures for evaluating research units in the book-oriented humanities and social sciences are underdeveloped relative to those available for journal-oriented science and technology". The RIMS proposed what they called a "libcitation count", counting the libraries holding a given book as reported in a national (or international) union catalog. In the follow-up literature, comparing research units or even the output of publishing companies became the target of research.[17][20] White et al. wrote,

Libcitation counts reflect judgments by librarians on the usefulness of publications for their various audiences of readers. The Libcitation measure thus resembles a citation impact measure in discriminating values of publications on a defined ground. It rewards authors whose books (or other publications) are seen by librarians as having relatively wide appeal. A book's absolute appeal can be determined simply by counting how many libraries hold it, but it can also be gauged in relation to other books in its subject class.[17]

Libcitations, according to the RIMS, reflect what librarians know about the prestige of publishers, the opinions of reviewers, and the reputations of authors.[17]

Other studiesEdit

In a later study,[21] Austrian political scientist Arno Tausch used six main indicators for 57 companies with data from the SENSE and the Granada studies. The study, which relied on the Thomson Reuters Book Citation Index, also used the Harvard Library ratio of books checked out to the total stock available in the catalog; the 2015 outreach of a company in typical scientific global cultures (Japan, Sweden and India); the presence of a publisher's output in international organizations such as the European Commission in Brussels (the ECLAS catalog) and the World Bank, and references to the company in newspapers such as the New York Times. A 2011 Tausch study analysed the library outreach of a company in the OCLC WorldCat.[22]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Goodson, Larry P.; Dillman, Bradford; Hira, Anil (1999). "Ranking the Presses: Political Scientists' Evaluations of Publisher Quality". PS: Political Science and Politics. 32 (2): 257–262. doi:10.1017/S1049096500049416. JSTOR 420561.
  2. ^ Steele, Colin (2008). "Scholarly Monograph Publishing in the 21st Century: The Future More Than Ever Should be an Open Book". The Journal of Electronic Publishing. 11 (2). doi:10.3998/3336451.0011.201.
  3. ^ Garand, James C.; Giles, Micheal W. (2011). "Ranking Scholarly Publishers in Political Science: An Alternative Approach". PS: Political Science and Politics. 44 (2): 375–383. doi:10.1017/S1049096511000229. JSTOR 41319924.
  4. ^ a b Lewis, Janice S. (2000). "An Assessment of Publisher Quality by Political Science Librarians". College & Research Libraries. 61 (4): 313–323. doi:10.5860/crl.61.4.313.
  5. ^ Samuels, David (2013). "Book Citations Count". PS: Political Science & Politics. 46 (4): 785–790. doi:10.1017/S1049096513001054.
  6. ^ Rhodes, R. A. W.; Hamilton, Margaret (2007). "Australian Political Science: Journal and Publisher Rankings" (PDF). Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ Lee, Icy (2014). "Publish or perish: The myth and reality of academic publishing". Language Teaching. 47 (2): 250–261. doi:10.1017/S0261444811000504. S2CID 146536290.
  8. ^ a b Hicks D, Wouters P, Waltman L, de Rijcke S, Rafols I (23 April 2015). "The Leiden Manifesto for research metrics" (PDF). Nature. 520 (7548): 429–431. doi:10.1038/520429a. PMID 25903611. S2CID 4462115. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  9. ^ Steele, Colin (2008). "Scholarly Monograph Publishing in the 21st Century: The Future More Than Ever Should be an Open Book". The Journal of Electronic Publishing. 11 (2). doi:10.3998/3336451.0011.201.
  10. ^ a b "SENSE - Quality & Criteria". www.sense.nl.
  11. ^ a b c d "Home" (PDF).
  12. ^ Zuccala, Alesia; Guns, Raf; Cornacchia, Roberto; Bod, Rens (2015). "Can we rank scholarly book publishers? A bibliometric experiment with the field of history". Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. 66 (7): 1333–1347. doi:10.1002/asi.23267. hdl:10067/1262130151162165141. S2CID 11497173.
  13. ^ Torres-Salinas, Daniel; Robinson-Garcia, Nicolás; Jiménez-Contreras, Evaristo; Enrique de la Fuente (2015). "The BiPublishers ranking: Main results and methodological problems when constructing rankings of academic publishers". arXiv:1505.01074 [cs.DL].
  14. ^ See for example the Ranking List of Academic Book Publishers, provided by the Education University of Hong Kong. This "Hong Kong" ranking quotes rankings by the Australian Political Studies Association; and another publisher ranking system of the Centre for Resource Studies for Human Development (CERES) of the University of Utrecht in addition to the SENSE Ranking. The "Hong Kong" ranking emphasizes the high correlation between all these ranking attempts by explicitly stating "There was a high level of consistency in the ranking of Book Publishers among the three systems."
  15. ^ a b http://ilia.cchs.csic.es/SPI/metodologia_2014.html and http://ilia.cchs.csic.es/SPI/prestigio_expertos_2014.php
  16. ^ a b Torres-Salinas, Daniel; Robinson-Garcia, Nicolas; Miguel Campanario, Juan; Delgado López-Cózar, Emilio (2014). "Coverage, field specialisation and the impact of scientific publishers indexed in the Book Citation Index". Online Information Review. 38: 24–42. arXiv:1312.2791. doi:10.1108/OIR-10-2012-0169. S2CID 3794376.
  17. ^ a b c d White, Howard D.; Boell, Sebastian K.; Yu, Hairong; Davis, Mari; Wilson, Concepción S.; Cole, Fletcher T.H. (2009). "Libcitations: A measure for comparative assessment of book publications in the humanities and social sciences". Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. 60 (6): 1083–1096. doi:10.1002/asi.21045.
  18. ^ Drummond, Robyn; Wartho, Richard (2009). "RIMS: The Research Impact Measurement Service at the University of New South Wales". Australian Academic & Research Libraries. 40 (2): 76–87. doi:10.1080/00048623.2009.10721387.
  19. ^ For a recent summary of the literature see Tausch, Arno (2017), Die Buchpublikationen der Nobelpreis-Ökonomen und die führenden Buchverlage der Disziplin. Eine bibliometrische Analyse Bibliotheksdienst, March 2017: 339 – 374. SSRN 2674502
  20. ^
    • Drummond, R., & Wartho, R. (2009). RIMS: the research impact measurement service at the University of New South Wales. Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 40(2), 76-87
    • Kousha, K., Thelwall, M., & Rezaie, S. (2011). Assessing the citation impact of books: The role of Google Books, Google Scholar, and Scopus. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 62(11), 2147-2164
    • Sieber, J., & Gradmann, S. (2011). How to best assess monographs?. Humboldt University Berlin
    • Torres-Salinas, D., Robinson-García, N., & López-Cózar, E. D. (2012). Towards a Book Publishers Citation Reports. First approach using the Book Citation Index. arXiv preprint arXiv:1207.7067
    • Torres-Salinas, D., Robinson-García, N., Cabezas-Clavijo, Á., & Jiménez-Contreras, E. (2014). Analyzing the citation characteristics of books: edited books, book series and publisher types in the book citation index. Scientometrics, 98(3), 2113-2127
    • Torres-Salinas, D., Robinson-Garcia, N., Miguel Campanario, J., & Delgado López-Cózar, E. (2014). Coverage, field specialisation and the impact of scientific publishers indexed in the Book Citation Index. Online Information Review, 38(1), 24-42
    • Torres-Salinas, D., Rodríguez-Sánchez, R., Robinson-García, N., Fdez-Valdivia, J., & García, J. A. (2013). Mapping citation patterns of book chapters in the Book Citation Index. Journal of Informetrics, 7(2), 412-424
    • Waltman, L., & Schreiber, M. (2013). On the calculation of percentile‐based bibliometric indicators. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 64(2), 372-379
    • Zuccala, A. A., & White, H. D. (2015). Correlating Libcitations and Citations in the Humanities with WorldCat and Scopus Data. In A. A. Salah, Y. Tonta, A. A. Akdag Salah, C. Sugimoto, & U. Al (Eds.), Proceedings of the 15th International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics (ISSI), Istanbul, Turkey, 29th June to 4th July, 2015. (pp. 305-316). Bogazici University
    • Zuccala, A., & Guns, R. (2013). Comparing book citations in humanities journals to library holdings: Scholarly use versus perceived cultural benefit. In 14th international conference of the international society for scientometrics and informetrics (pp. 353-360)
    • Zuccala, A., Guns, R., Cornacchia, R., & Bod, R. (2014). Can we rank scholarly book publishers? A bibliometric experiment with the field of history. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
  21. ^ Tausch, Arno (2017), Die Buchpublikationen der Nobelpreis-Ökonomen und die führenden Buchverlage der Disziplin. Eine bibliometrische Analyse. Bibliotheksdienst, March 2017: 339 – 374. SSRN 2674502
  22. ^ Tausch, Arno (2011). "On the Global Impact of Selected Social-Policy Publishers in More Than 100 Countries". Journal of Scholarly Publishing. 42 (4): 476–513. doi:10.3138/jsp.42.4.476.