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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 Reviews and changes to journal listings

1.     When will the next review occur, what is the likely process and how can I find out about it?

It is anticipated details of this next major review will commence in late 2017.

ABDC will publicise details of the next review process once confirmed across all Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) business schools. While the specific process for submission is still under consideration it is likely that, as in past rounds, submissions from outside ANZ academic community are ineligible.

In 2013 an independent chair and discipline-specific panels undertook an extensive review of public submissions for adding or changing journal listings. This review was further supported by qualitative and quantitative data assessment, a public exposure feedback and  an international discipline expert consultation period. Final suggested changes from the external review were evaluated by the discipline chairs and the final revised list was presented to the ABDC for endorsement and publication.

The 2016 interim review focused only on adding new journals established since 1 January 2011, removing journals of low quality and changing Field of Research codes (FoRs) or incorrect journal details. The next major review will reassess journal ratings and adding older journals, for which we may not have received submissions in the 2013 review or which have changed significantly. 

2.     How do I make a submission to add or remove a journal or to change a rating of a listed journal?

Other than correcting or updating factual details (e.g. a revised journal title, website address, ISSN), CHANGES to journal listings MUST happen as part of an official REVIEW process and under investigation by discipline-specific expert panels. See eligible submissions.

3.     Are reviews intended to update the existing list or to develop a new list?

For the 2016 Interim Review, the ABDC Journal Quality 2013 list was the base - we do NOT create new lists, just revise and update existing ones.

4.     If no-one makes a submission during a review for a particular journal, was it removed in 2016?

If no-one raises any issue with a journal it remained on the list at its 2013 rating. Even if issues are raised, good cause is needed for a removal of a journal.

Eligible submissions

5.     If I send an email or write a letter will it be considered as a submission?

No. To achieve an efficient and effective process for submitters and review assessor panels, the appropriate form must be used for each and every valid submission during an official review process. For any given journal the QUALITY of submissions is more important than the quantity – like-minded submitters are STRONGLY encouraged to submit a single joint submission with letters of support from eminent scholars in the relevant field.

6.     In future reviews, how do I make an eligible submission?

For a submission to be eligible, it must: 1) be made through an official online review; 2) be able to demonstrate that a journal's content has a 'substantive business element'; 3) reach the necessary quality threshold and not be deemed a predatory open-access journal; and 4) emanate from one of the following Australia or New Zealand (ANZ) stakeholder groups:

    1. Business School/Faculty located in ANZ, or from a non-business school or faculty located in ANZ deemed to have a legitimate interest in the FoR codes covered by the ABDC list; or
    2. A relevant Peak Body representing ANZ academics (where such a body is primarily located in ANZ); or
    3. An individual academic with formal affiliation to a university based in ANZ (NB: must have a relevant minimum of 0.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) position).

The basic logic for such eligibility criteria is that the core purpose of the list to serve relevant academic "needs" within the Australian and New Zealand setting (which won’t necessarily coincide with considerations relevant in other country settings) AND recognition of the critical need to keep the workload of each panel reasonable and manageable. All other submissions are ineligible. 

7.    ABDC has advised that submissions must come from the ANZ academic community - how do I contact them?

If you have regular contributors from within Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) business academic community, who see your journal as of high enough quality for inclusion in the ABDC Journal Quality List, we would expect them to make an official submission in the next review. The next review will be widely publicised among the Australian and New Zealand business academic community. The official submission guidelines will be released then. See eligible submissions for more detail.

Submissions from outside Australian and New Zealand (ANZ)

8.     In future reviews, can supporting letters be from academics outside Australia and New Zealand (ANZ)?

Yes if from truly ‘eminent scholars’ in the relevant field.

9.     Why are review submissions only accepted from Australia and New Zealand (ANZ)?

The main purpose of the ABDC journal list is to serve the interests and needs of ABDC members and the business-related academic community located in ANZ (which won’t necessarily coincide with the considerations relevant in other country settings). We do however encourage letters of support (included in submissions) from eminent scholars worldwide. However being mindful of minimising panel workloads and the over-riding ANZ focus, we require that submissions emanate from within the ANZ academic environment. We recommend that the primary submitter be independent of the journal to avoid any conflict of interest impacting on a journal submission. However if you are a publisher or editor from outside ANZ and you notice that the details of a listed journal need to be corrected please complete a change factual details form. 

10.   Are submissions accepted from a visiting scholar to an ANZ institution?

A submission is acceptable from an individual academic or groups of like-minded academics with formal affiliation(s) to a university(ies) based in ANZ. However please note each signatory must have a relevant minimum of 0.5 FTE position with their affiliated university.

Journal assessment 

11.   In reviews, how are journals assessed for inclusion?

To date, the discipline expert reviewers, who review the ABDC Journal Quality List and review eligible submissions to add a journal, have been given latitude to exercise their judgement. Criteria considered regarding listing of journals have included:

    • Have a ‘substantive business element’ evidenced by >50% of articles over three years written by a business faculty; or >50 per cent of articles over three years being of a business nature.
    • Relative standing of the journal to comparable journals listed in the specific discipline; relying mainly on citation metrics and other reputable journal quality lists including recognised disciplinary lists.
    • International standing of the editorial board
    • Quality of peer-review processes
    • Track record of publishing influential papers
    • Sustained reputation
    • Influence of publications in the journal in relation to hiring, tenure and promotion decisions.

12.   The journal, in which I wish to publish, is not currently listed, why not and how do I find its ranking?

If the journal does not appear on the online ABDC Journal Quality List, then it is not listed and will not have a ranking. Review panels generally omit journals based on one or more of the following broad criteria:

    • No submission received from the academic community within Australian or New Zealand universities
    • Failure to reach a minimum threshold of quality
    • Failure to meet the ‘substantive business element test’
    • Insufficient English language content
    • Deemed to be a ‘predatory’ open access journal

If you see the journal in question as being relevant to add to the list and you are eligible to make a submission, we recommend you do so during the next major review of the list. See eligible submissions for more detail.

 13.  How do I publish in one of the journals listed in the ABDC Journal Quality List?

The ABDC publishes an ABDC Journal Quality List, which rates journals only. We do not publish any journals. If you wish get a paper published in one of the journals included in the ABDC Journal Quality List, you must directly contact the relevant publisher(s) of the journal(s) question.

Predatory journals

14. How does ABDC assess whether journals or predatory open access journals?

ABDC takes the issue of predatory journals very seriously. Under the current process, journals can only be removed from the ABDC Journal Quality List, if a submission is received from an eligible submitter during an official review period. Based on submissions received during the 2016 Interim Review of the ABDC Journal Quality List, some journals were removed due to claims of probable predatory scholarly open-access activity.

In the Final Review Outcomes Report, we also identified journals or publishers (of which we were aware of at the time of publication) that were both on the ABDC Journal Quality List 2016 and also listed on Beall’s Scholarly Open Access website as ‘questionable, scholarly open-access’ journals or publishers. ABDC recommends that scholars read the available reviews, assessments and descriptions provided on Beall’s website, and then decide for themselves whether they want to submit articles, serve as editors or on editorial boards. ABDC emphasises that journal publishers and journals change in their business and editorial practices over time and this list is only identifying journals ‘of concern’ that warrant closer scrutiny.

If you have evidenced predatory activity of any journals on the ABDC Journal Quality List 2016, we strongly encourage you to make a submission during the next major review. Robust evidence greatly helps our expert panels scrutinise journals and make a clear decision on the removal of any journals ‘of concern’

 Multi-coding of journals

15.   Will journals be multi-coded in future iterations of the ABDC Journal Quality List?

Although an over-lapping coding system would be ideal, we need to minimise duplication, information overload and manageable panel workloads, by assigning ‘ownership’ to the most relevant primary panel. The primary panel will be responsible for reviewing the journal, but can consult other panels as necessary. Once the overall revised ABDC list is compiled and ‘certified,’ the nominated assigned FoR is indicative only - there will be no intention to have researchers ‘pigeon-holed.’

Recommendations from eminent scholars and signatories 

16.   In future reviews, what format is appropriate for the above?

For recommendations from eminent scholars, please include a signed letter. For signatories, please provide a summary list including signatories' title and university affiliation. Additionally, in the same attachment, please include email approval from each signatory (i.e. a copy of a short email from each signatory stating that they agree to “signatory” status of content included in form ‘X’ regarding journal ‘Y’ submitted by primary submitter ‘Z.’) 

Submissions for non-listed Field of Research (FOR) codes

17.   In future reviews, where do I go to make a submission for FoRs not included on the ABDC journal list?

The ABDC has defined its domain explicitly linked to ‘core’ research activity deemed sufficiently relevant to business schools located in ANZ, in terms of the seven primary FoR panels. FoRs outside this relevant domain are for others outside the ABDC to decide whether they wish to invest the significant relevant resources to perform a similar exercise for whatever constituency they believe needs to be represented.

Further enquiries

If there are any further queries regarding the ABDC Journal Quality List not adequately resolved on this page, please contact the ABDC office by emailing