Examining the Average Citation Index of Education in Rural Australia (Now the Australian and International Journal of Rural Education)
Keywords:citation index, journal ranking, journal impact, scholarship, quality
The journal Education in Rural Australia (now the Australian and International Journal of Rural Education) has been in existence since 1991. During the Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) period, the journal maintained a B ranking, indicating that it was a quality journal within a specialised field. With the abolishment of the ERA journal rankings, it is important to find other methods to measure the journal's quality. We used Google Scholar to determine the number of citations each paper in the journal received. Using these citations, we calculated an average citation index across four two-year periods to determine an index of journal use, which can be compared to conventional measures, such as Thomson-Reuters' Impact Factortm. Specifically, the number of citations the journal received in indexed peer-reviewed journals in a given year to articles it published in the two years prior was divided by the total number of articles published in the two years prior the year for the index calculation. Using this formula, we determined the average citation index of Education in Rural Australia to be 0.65 in 2011. This result indicates that Education in Rural Australia's mean citations have increased considerably in the last years, up from average citation indices of 0.09 in 2010 and 0.4 in 2009. The journal's growing average citation index is a reflection of the journal's improving quality, and the average citation index may be used to improve the journal's marketing and (with continued calculation) track the success of editorial policy changes and attempted market expansions (e.g., the growing international focus of the journal). The journal's current citation practices are examined, and methods for increasing the average citation indices are discussed. It is suggested that an online-first publication option be adopted by the journal in order to increase the speed of dissemination (and hence citation), and the breadth of the journal's readership.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Aaron Drummond, R. John Halsey
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