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Where to Submit an Economics Paper

Where to Submit an Economics Paper

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Published by Svetlana Batrakova

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Published by: Svetlana Batrakova on Sep 01, 2011
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Where to Submit an Economics PaperRon DaviesUniversity College Dublin
When thinking about where to submit a paper, there are basically two things to balanceagainst one another: quality of journal versus likelihood of acceptance. But remember, it’s alla crapshoot.In terms of the quality of journal, one way to judge it is to look at the rankings availableonline. A google of “economics journal ranking” is one way to go, REPEC offers theirs athttp://ideas.repec.org/top/top.journals.simple.html. There is some variation across rankings,but if you’re considering a journal that’s not really in any of these, that tells you something.Also, rankings can seem very odd. Looking at REPEC, do you really believe that
 Journal of 
 
 Labor Economics
is a better journal that the
 AER
?A second way to judge quality is to simply ask around. Talk to more senior people in yourdepartment and in your field. This latter is also important because those are the people whowill write letters for you for jobs/tenure/promotion. Knowing what they think is a good journal will make it easier for you to put yourself in a position where they want to say goodthings about you.Another way to choose a journal is to look at what you cite. If you don’t ever cite anythingout of 
Canadian
, chances are it’s not the right journal for you. Again, this is looking to wherethe people you will ask for letters from publish and what they likely read.Then there is the probability of acceptance. One thing to consider is the simple acceptanceratio. Some journals publish this information on their websites, others don’t. Generally, thehigher the ranking of the journal, the lower the acceptance rate. In looking at these, don’t getdepressed. Rick Bond gave me a great way to look at it: If the
 AER
publishes 5% of papersand, out of the 20 you send there only 1 gets accepted, you’re about average for people whopublish in the
 AER
. For most of us who are being reasonable about where we send our stuff,we might send 20 papers to the
 AER
over a career, so if you get one in during your life,consider yourself a pretty good economist.A factor that influences acceptance probability a lot is fit. For example, don’t be stupid andsend a game theory paper to
 Journal of Monetary Economics
unless it has something to dowith Macro. If you’re considering a journal that doesn’t publish stuff in your area, chancesare they won’t be interested in what you have to offer. In addition, consider the mix of theoryand empirics. These days
 Journal of International Economics
is very empirical with anemphasis on micro level data. Therefore, theory work there is going to have a harder timegetting in. In public,
 National Tax Journal
is pretty empirical whereas
 Journal of Public Economic Theory
is, obviously, theory oriented. Take that into account when decidingbetween journals. A final thing that might help with fit is that if the papers closest to yoursare largely in a particularly journal, that seems like the natural outlet for yours.Finally, if you know an editor at a specific journal or have had a good track record there inthe past, that certainly helps. Another thing that can influence this is refereeing – if you do agood, timely job refereeing for a journal, that can tip the balance in your favour with an editor(or at least they might work a little harder at getting you good, timely referees too). Anotherway to play this angle is to think about your acknowledgements. I will often send stuff to

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