Graduate students and faculty submitting articles for publication; faculty seeking to bolster tenure applications; and undergraduates interested in using the most authoritative analysis and data in writing research papers, all potentially have an interest in the highest ranked journals in their fields. As a result, there are numerous lists and citation-based metrics attempting to provide guidance. Journal rankings are intended, not only to reflect the place of a journal within its field, but also indicate the relative difficulty of being published in that journal.
Many lists of journals are subjective, depending upon subject grouping choices (what journals are included in the field of International Relations?), but citation-based metrics have permitted more objective criteria across disciplines. Some commonly used citation metrics are
In addition to the two sources noted here (Google and the subscription-only Journal Citation Reports), Harzing Publish or Perish Software is a free software program that retrieves and analyzes academic citations. It uses Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Search to obtain the raw citations.
2017 Combined Political Science/International Relations SJR with at least 30 citable docs over 3 years - Top 25
|Title||Total Cites (3years)||Cites / Doc. (2years)|
|1||American Journal of Political Science||1101||4.92|
|4||Quarterly Journal of Political Science||105||2.46|
|5||American Political Science Review||632||3.13|
|7||Journal of Conflict Resolution||483||2.96|
|9||Journal of Peace Research||582||2.49|
|10||Review of International Organizations||184||2.16|
|11||Western European Politics||575||2.56|
|12||European Journal of International Relations||358||2.25|
|13||International Studies Quarterly||475||1.92|
|14||Conflict Management and Peace Science||107||1.29|
|17||International Theory: A Journal of International Politics, Law and Philosophy||166||1.5|
|20||European Union Politics||216||1.97|
|21||Review of International Political Economy||457||2.47|
|22||Perspectives on Politics||351||1.38|
|23||Journal of Common Market Studies||761||2.16|
|24||European Political Science Review||179||1.75|
Librarian's list of 'predatory' journals reportedly removed due to 'threats and politics'
NOTE: The list can still be seen through the Internet Archive site.
Additional sources that may clarify the publishing process and choices available to you include