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ABDC Journal Quality List

15 November 2018

ABDC announces recommendations to apply to 2019 Journal Quality List Review

Earlier this year the Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) appointed Australian and international experts to review the methodology for the ABDC Journal Quality List.

The reviewed ABDC Journal Quality List is expected to be released in the last quarter of 2019.

The final recommendations are:

1. Journal quality ratings should be validated by expert panels. The panels should be informed by globally recognised and externally validated journal ranking lists[1], appropriate and select citation metrics (e.g. SCImago) and, if required, expert peer review. 

2. The following criteria must be met by each journal in the ABDC Journal Quality List. A journal must:

  • Have reached the necessary quality threshold level, as determined by the expert panel using globally accepted, externally validated journal ranking lists, journal citation metrics and expert peer review
  • Adhere to general scholarly principles, including scholarly peer review
  • Be relevant to the discipline and sub-discipline areas of the ABDC, which include management, accounting, economics, information systems, business and taxation law and other agreed Fields of Research (FoRs)
  • Not be a predatory journal.

3. An indicator for journals of regional significance should not be incorporated against relevant journals in the ABDC Journal List.

4. A new quality category (e.g. A**) should not be added to the ABDC Journal List to recognise world elite journals deemed to be the best in the world. 

5. Members of the expert panels, including the Panel Chair, should be selected through a formal call for Expressions of Interest. The processes will be similar to those used by the Australian Research Council for panel selection. 

  • The ABDC will provide appropriate levels of administrative support so panel members should not expect to make significant time commitments to the Journal Quality List Review. Administration will include a Research Assistant to support gathering data on each journal
  • There should be between five and eight expert panels as the panels do not need to mirror the FORs
  • The size of each panel should reflect the number and size of the disciplines represented on it
  • Where possible, panels should be representative and reflect expertise in terms of gender, institutional affiliation and geographic location. 

 6. More explicit and rigorous processes for the ranking of journals should be developed and reported.

  • Note: Terms of Reference for each of the expert panels should be developed by ABDC’s Business Research Deans’ Network, BARDsNet, and then approved by the ABDC Executive.

‘I would like to acknowledge the contribution of Dr Kim Langfield-Smith, Principal at Nous Group, and Professor Geoffrey Wood, from the UK Chartered Association of Business Schools to this project. I would also like to acknowledge the input provided by members of BARDsNet, the ABDC Business Research Deans’ Network,’ ABDC President, Professor Tony Travaglione, said.

No changes or additions are being made to the list at this time. 

Please follow us on our ABDC Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to receive updates. 

Further Information:

[1] Including UK ABS Journal Quality Guide, UT Dallas Top 100 List, Financial Times Top 50 Journals List



February 2018

The Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) has appointed the Australian and international experts who will review the ABDC Business Journal Quality List.

They are Professor Kim Langfield-Smith, Emeritus Professor at Monash University in Australia and a Principal at Nous Group, and Professor Geoffrey Wood, Dean and Professor of International Business at Essex Business School in England. 

The pair will review the methodology underpinning the list’s rankings to ensure the list remains up to date and of continued relevance to the Australian and New Zealand business academic community. 

The Journal Quality List was first published in 2007 and revised again in 2009, 2013 and 2016. 

Professors Langfield-Smith and Wood will recommend a revised methodology for determining rankings that will seek to create a regular and consistent application of the existing 'relative standing' component of the 2007-2016 process. That process is based 'mainly on citation metrics and other reputable journal quality lists including recognised disciplinary lists'.

The existing 2016 list, which was developed over the last 10 years with extensive input from expert panels with a strong qualitative focus, will form a key component of the revised 2018 list.

The experts will make recommendations for the revised methodology to ABDC Business Academic Researchers' Network, BARDsNet. BARDsNet's response to the recommendations will then be presented to ABDC, which is responsible for the ultimate decision on adoption, or otherwise, of the revised methodology.

Any application of a revised methodology will be overseen by BARDsNet, which will have access to additional ABDC-funded support for this task.

Timelines for the publication of the revised list will be determined by ABDC after receiving the panel recommendations and  BARDsNet's guidance.

NOTE: Submissions related to the 2018 review are not yet open. Once the final process and timeframes are finalised they will be communicated via the website and ABDC Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Please follow us on social media to receive updates.



Professor Kim Langfield-Smith’s most recent university role was Vice-Provost (Academic Performance) at Monash University, where she oversaw academic staff performance, research performance reporting, global university rankings performance and management of the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) submission. Earlier appointments include being Deputy Dean (Research) and Head of Department of Accounting and Finance at Monash Business School, and Head of the La Trobe University School of Business.

At Nous Group, Kim is working with universities on building research capability, benchmarking research performance, improving research integrity, designing teaching and learning strategies, and enhancing the student experience 

Past positions include being on two ERA Research Evaluation Committees; an international member of the New Zealand Performance Based Research Fund Research Assessment Panel and Chair of the ABDC business researchers’ network, BARDsNet, from 2009 to 2012.

She also chaired the Accounting & Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand

(AFAANZ) from 2000-2001; was Chair of the Professional Qualifications Advisory and Accreditation Advisory Committees of CPA Australia; and was a member of the International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB).

Kim has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from both AFAANZ and CPA Australia.

Professor Geoffrey Wood is Dean and Professor of International Business at Essex Business School and holds honorary positions at Griffith and Monash Universities in Australia, and Witwatersrand and Nelson Mandela Universities in South Africa. Previously, he was Professor of International Business at Warwick Business School, UK.

Geoff has written, co-authored and/or edited 17 books and more than 160 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He serves on the British Academy of Management (BAM) Council and is Editor-in-Chief of BAM’s official journal, British Journal of Management. He is also Co-Editor of the Annals of Corporate Governance and Associate Editor of Academy of Management Perspectives.  

Geoff’s research focuses on the relationship between institutional setting, corporate governance, firm finance, and firm-level work and employment relations. He has received numerous research grants from councils (e.g. ESRC); government departments (e.g. US Department of Labour; UK Department of Works and Pensions); charities (e.g. Nuffield Foundation); the labour movement (e.g. the ITF); and the European Union. 


In 2007, ABDC established the ABDC Journal Quality List for use by its member business schools. Most universities adapt the list to suit individual university requirements. 

The initial list aimed to overcome the regional and discipline bias of international lists.  An independent chair and discipline-specific panels reviewed the ABDC Journal Quality List in 2013 and 2009.

In 2016, ABDC produced a revised list from an interim review that narrowly focused on:

  • New journals started since 1 January 2011
  • Removal of predatory open-access journal
  • Change of Field of Research (FoR) grouping 
  • Incorrect factual details 

The ABDC Journal Quality List 2013 comprised 2,767 different journal titles, divided into four categories of quality: 

  • A*: 6.9%
  • A: 20.8%
  • B: 28.4%
  • C: 43.9%. 

In each Field of Research (FoR) group, journals deemed NOT to reach the quality threshold level are not listed. 

See disaggregated summary across FoRs.

ABDC Journal Quality List 2016 

PLEASE NOTE: In the ABDC Journal Quality List there is considerable variability in the average quality between marginal journals at either end of each rating category.  Many journals legitimately crossover discipline areas but for pragmatic reasons are allocated to one FoR only. 

Journal lists should be a starting point only for assessing publication quality and should not constrain researchers to a particular domain.  There is no substitute for assessing individual articles on a case-by-case basis.