Publishing in public administration: Issues with defining, comparing, and ranking the output of universities
International Public Management Journal , Volume 18 - Issue 1 p. 87- 107
The measurement and comparison of the public administration output of universities is an important means for mapping the state of the field. However, such exercises are very sensitive to design choices made in the ranking and measurement methodology. Following an overview of existing research on journal reputation and quality in public administration and studies of institutional reputation and productivity, this article presents five alternative rankings of journal article output in public administration to illustrate how rankings of universities in the field of public administration vary depending on what is considered to be a “good journal.” Article output extracted from Web of Science and Scopus for the period 2009-2013 is used. It was found that using SSCI Journal Citation Reports as opposed to journal reputation has a considerable effect on the regional composition of the rankings. The article discusses key challenges in measuring and ranking article output in the discipline of public administration.