Studies of research influence commonly look at the overall field of finance. The purpose of this paper is to examine the sub-field of corporate finance at four different points in time to determine its evolution and range of influence, specifically focussing on the relative influence of seven leading journals.
Not all articles appearing in the set of journals are in corporate finance. The authors examine each article published in the journals for four key periods and identify those that are corporate. The impact factors (IFs) published in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) are for all articles appearing in a journal. The authors are interested only in the corporate articles, so the authors calculate separate corporate IFs based on the citations to the corporate articles using the JCR technique.
The authors find a broad corporate research environment with influence that extends well beyond finance. The authors also find differences in the relative influence of the journals not only in their total influence, but in where the influence occurs outside finance and other business journals and even more broadly in the social sciences.
The exclusion of journals outside the seven selected may not uncover other areas where corporate finance articles impact research more broadly. Also, classification of articles is inherently subjective.
The authors draw comparisons between journals and corporate finance topic areas; indicating the breadth and depth research in these areas attain. These results should prove beneficial to researchers in determining areas of influence for their work, consequently providing opportunities for additional exchanges of ideas resulting in better and more informed research in the overall social sciences. Further, our approach to analyzing journal influence could prove fruitful for additional research.
The findings allow for a greater understanding of the influence of individual journals and their subsequent rankings by a number of different means. The authors propose that the means and measures employed here can lead to a greater understanding of how influential a journal really is. Further, the authors contend that the study provides comparisons of the scope and depth of influence for each journal in a way that could lead to new avenues of research.
JEL Classification — G00, G30
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