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Comparison of US and UK rankings of LIS journals

Lynsey Taylor (Information School, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)
Peter Willett (Information School, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)

Aslib Journal of Information Management

ISSN: 2050-3806

Article publication date: 15 May 2017




The purpose of this paper is to investigate UK academics’ views of the importance and prestige of journals relevant to library and information science (LIS) teaching and research.


A questionnaire, based on one used previously in the USA, was sent to UK academics involved in LIS teaching and research. The questionnaire asked respondents to rate the importance of 87 LIS journals, to suggest others that were of importance to them but that were not amongst the 87, and to identify the five most prestigious journals for promotion purposes. In addition, those journals were identified that had figured in institutional submissions to the LIS Unit of Assessment in Research Excellence Framework (REF).


While there was a fair measure of overall agreement between US and UK rankings of the 87 journals, with both highlighting the standing of the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology and of the Journal of Documentation, some substantial differences were also noted. Evidence is presented for a strong locational component to academics’ assessments of journal prestige, and analysis of the REF2014 submissions demonstrates the highly inter-disciplinary nature of LIS research in the UK.

Research limitations/implications

The sample size is small, comprising 30 completed responses.


This is the first study to report UK academics’ rankings of LIS journals, and to compare those with comparable data for US academics.



The authors thank Dr Laura Manzari for helpful comments on the design of the survey, and the referees for comments on the first version of this paper.


Taylor, L. and Willett, P. (2017), "Comparison of US and UK rankings of LIS journals", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 69 No. 3, pp. 354-367.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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