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Ranked Journal List Development

Please note that material on this page is strictly related to the ERA 2010 process and is not relevant for the ERA 2012 process.

20,712 unique peer reviewed journals have been included in the ERA 2010 Journal List. 

Each journal has a single quality rating (or is not ranked) and is assigned to one or more disciplines defined by Field of Research (FoR) code(s).  The full list of FoR codes can be found here:

The draft ranked journals list includes journals assigned to up to 3 four-digit FoRs, and journals assigned to up to 3 two-digit FoRs , which publish articles relating to all of the four-digit codes beneath it. The journal list also contains multidisciplinary journals.

A journal's quality rating represents the overall quality of the journal. This is defined in terms of how it compares with other journals and should not be confused with its relevance or importance to a particular discipline.  There are four tiers of quality rating and their definitions can be found here.

FoR codes assigned to each journal are considered to be core to the particular journal.  It is accepted that a journal will contain some research that falls outside the assigned FoR.  However, it is important that the FoR assignment is kept as focused as possible to the majority of the content published by the journal.

The FoR assignment will be used to develop the journal sets which will be used to derive citation benchmarks.  Including journals that are not core to the field will diminish the quality and accuracy of the citation benchmarks. The Ranked Journal List identifies the journals that are indexed by Scopus, and therefore subject to citation analysis under ERA.

Changes after release of Journal Title List

To assist institutions to prepare for the ERA 2010 evaluation, the ARC released the ERA 2010 Journal Title List on 17 December 2009, while FoRs and ranks were undergoing final expert review.  

During the final phase of consultation, the ARC received further feedback from expert reviewers about whether a number of journals met the eligibility criteria for inclusion on the list. As a result, the final Ranked Journal List contains an additional 252 journals that were not included on the Journal Title List, and 145 have been removed from the list. The details of these changes can be found in the Journal Title List Change File.

Consultation to develop Ranked Journal List

The Ranked Journal List was developed on the basis of expert review and public consultation. The ARC would like to thank everyone involved in developing and reviewing the journal list. The Learned Academies and discipline peak bodies involved in developing and reviewing the Journal List are listed here:

Phase 1 consultation – Ranking journal list development and initial review

In late 2007 the four Learned Academies and a number of discipline peak bodies undertook a journal ranking exercise to develop draft journal rankings for their relevant disciplines.  The lists were reviewed by the ARC, in consultation with the Academies and the other list providers, to remove duplication and inconsistencies.

The ARC also updated Research Fields, Courses and Disciplines (RFCD) classification codes to the new FoR codes to reflect the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC).

Phase 2 consultation – Review and feedback from researchers in the sector

In this phase of the consultation the ARC sought feedback on the draft journal rankings. Specific feedback was requested about the appropriateness of the journal’s quality ranking and the FoR code(s) assigned to it.

Phase 3 consultation – Release of the Journal Title list for public review

The ARC released the 2010 ERA Journal Title list for feedback from September – November 2009. This allowed for omitted journals and ISSN checks to be submitted to the ARC.

Following this stage, the Journal Title List (without FoR and ranks) was finalised for ERA 2010.

Phase 4 consultation – Final review by researchers in the sector

In this final phase of consultation, the consolidated draft Ranked Journal List was provided to over 700 expert reviewers who assisted the ARC in developing the ERA 2010 journal list to allow for a final check of ranks and FoR assignments.

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