New metric for ranking philosophy journals

I have been making metrics ranking philosophy journals based on both subjective (philosopher ranked) and objective (citation data) criteria, two of my metrics have been linked and commented on by Brian Leiter on his blog.

DEVITT’S LGS-INDEX Top Philosophy Journals (Leiter + Google Scholar)

This was my first metric that combined the Leiter ranking plus pure Google Scholar data. I was initially intrigued by how many journals Google didn’t include in their category ‘philosophy’ that were highly valued by philosophers. I was also curious why subjective and objective measurements ranked journals so differently.

DEVITT’S LGSCD-INDEX Top Philosophy Journals (Leiter + Google Scholar + Citable Documents)

My second metric modified the impact of the Google Scholar ranking  by a third factor, ‘citable documents’. Quite a different result is found by taking volume of publications into consideration, because a given philosophy journal can publish between 13 (e.g. The Philosophical Review) and 153 (Synthese) articles a year.

DEVITT’S GSCD-INDEX Modified Google Scholar Metric Top Philosophy Journals

After publishing my second metric above, some philosophers requested a metric that modified the Google Scholar data, but stripped out the reputational data from Leiter’s measure. This final metric ranks interdisciplinary philosophy journals much more highly than many traditionally prestigous philosophy journals, though many top philosophy journals retain their high ranking no matter what the metric (e.g. The Journal of Philosophy always ranks in the top 6).

Cognitive Decision Scientist

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S. Kate Devitt


Research Associate, Institute for Future Environments and the Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology