INFORMS Open Forum

please participate in Financial Times journal list revisions today--deadline December 31, 2020

  • 1.  please participate in Financial Times journal list revisions today--deadline December 31, 2020

    Posted 22 days ago

    Dear INFORMS colleagues,  


    Hope you all are having a nice break!   

    You might have been informed that Financial Times has initiated their process to update the FT50 journal list and now I am contacting you because we need to make an orchestrated effort to endorse 10 more journals in our common fields of operations+information systems+analytics+quantitative methods. As we all know, journal lists play a significant role in academia for various decisions as well as rewards & incentives, and we are frequently contingent on placing our academic papers in journals that appear in journal lists, such as the FT50 list. Unfortunately, the current FT50 list has a very heavy representation from some other business disciplines not ours, but includes only a handful of journals in the realm of Operations/Information Systems/Analytics fields. We all are aware and take pride of the fact that "With 12,500 members from nearly 90 countries, INFORMS is the largest international association of operations research (O.R.) and analytics professionals and students" including/hosting MIS/IS colleagues too. So, we can make a difference if we move in an organized fashion altogether and behave responsibly! Hence, please send this message to any other colleagues of yours (particularly non-INFORMS members) as you see fit to reach out to more colleagues. This is the first time we have chance to play offense in this journal listing mechanism! And please ask these questions to yourself: "If not me, who? If not now, when?"  

    Good news is that FT has revised the process by which the FT journal list is compiled: they are now asking for input from individuals (just like you, us!) and institutional input via deans as always done previously. Each institution is allowed one institutional response whereas responses from faculty is much more flexible. The deadline for you to provide your input is December 31, 2020-just 1 day away from today. That survey can be found here:   


    You may recommend up to 10 journals to be added to this list and also can recommend some existing ones to be retained or dropped. You may want to look at what other more restrictive journal lists are composed of, such as the UT Dallas 24, and see what is missing in the UTD list and may want to suggest those to be dropped to sustain fair and equal distribution across all disciplines instead of a skewed distribution towards some areas. Currently, the discrepancy of 50-24=26 is inclined towards some specific business disciplines which are not ours for sure.  


    I am here providing you with my own suggested list of top 10 journals in alphabetical order in our common fields of Operations/Information Systems/Analytics/Quantitative Methods considering various quality criteria. Of course, you will have your own choices (and pay attention to the rank order) but please be generous, namely do not only provide one single journal suggestion since they give you the chance for top 10 to be considered for addition.   




    Here is my rationale for my own list above:  


    1) These journals frequently publishes work that is interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary/cross-disciplinary in nature; namely publish work across various departments/areas/sections many of which can be characterized as interface departments; i.e., marketing, accounting, finance, information systems and welcomes theoretical as well as methodological contributions. This is critical given the increasing importance for interdisciplinary research in all walks of academia. Even the grant funding agencies tend to go in that direction and most business & engineering schools have this in their strategic goals. But there is a clear lack of journals in the FT 50 list to accommodate such interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary/cross-disciplinary work.

    2) These journals are all well-established, with high impact factors (and/or 5-year impact factor), low acceptance rate, and host an editorial team that is distinguished and internationally well recognized.   


    3) Almost all of these journals are much higher quality than the half of the journals that are already in the FT50 list. But they have not been nominated for inclusion so far, so needs your input in that effort. I am providing further evidence of quality via other journal rating/ranking mechanisms such as ABDC journal list, ABS journal ranking, FMS rating as well as some US-based research institutions' internal ratings/ranking (some of these lists are current, some may be old all of which I could have access to via my own colleagues).  


    4) please note that we are not comparing any of these above 10 journals to the already listed FT50 journals in our common fields. Instead, we are currently comparing those to the already existing non-quantitative journals in the other business disciplines. So, while you are making your recommendations please keep that in mind. The worst-case scenario is "not to make any recommendation", the second worst case scenario is to make only one or two journal addition suggestions whereas FT is asking you to rank order top 10 new additions of your own consideration. Please make use of all those available 10 slots in your recommendations.        


    I believe we all are aware that we, as the Operations/Information Systems/Analytics, have a much more fierce competition (it is even safe to claim the fiercest) as within our common fields we are not only competing merely with the business faculty from these disciplines. Instead, as the INFORMS membership very well represents and reflects, we compete against industrial engineers, statisticians, mathematicians, computer scientists/computer engineers and so on. All in all, the total number of faculty and PhD students that try to place their best work in our outlets is way more than the other disciplines of business, but this fact has been somehow overlooked for so long in the FT journal list formation processes. 


    And this final note is for the faculty and PhD students who are not in the business school but are still registered INFORMS members (i.e. industrial engineers, math, stat, comp. science and etc.): You may not be the immediate users of the FT revised journal list but your current and future PhD students would probably make use of it down the road as they plan to work at a business school so please take an action on this now since FT journal ranking mechanisms might claim that this way of asking individuals' opinion has been very trying and hectic and they might stop this process altogether and freeze the list at 50-55-60 whatever the number might be without asking further revisions in the years to come. And we will again lose this battle...      


    Hope we, as the Operations/Information Systems/Analytics folks, can make a difference this time in the revised FT list so that it looks much fairer!   


    Wishing you all a safe, healthy, and successful new year!   


    Asil Oztekin, Ph.D. 

    Manning School of Business, UMass Lowell