Tuesday, January 15, 2008

42. Advice on starting to get published in Statistics and Probability journals

Unfortunately, there is little mutual interest or communication between typical fuzzy researchers and typical statistics researchers.

There seem to be two positions among SPFS researchers. Some of them think it's fine to have all their papers published in, say, FSS or INS or IEEE:TFS. That, I acknowledge, is good for their position within the fuzzy community, since many people just don't check non-fuzzy journals and so the efficacy of their efforts to get visible is undivided. Others think that publications should be allocated among fuzzy and non-fuzzy journals alike.

In order to do the latter, one needs to know which Statistics journals are better than others, and which give fuzzy papers a fair chance.

My advice is: you will lose less time if you don't bother to submit to journals which haven't published fuzzy papers for some time. On the other hand, some statistical journals have sustainedly published fuzzy material or don't have bizarre objections to it, for instance (in no particular order; more names will be added as they come to my mind)

Computational Statistics and Data Analysis
Statistics and Probability Letters

Publishing fuzzy in JCR-covered Probability journals is extremely hard, and although winning the lottery may need more luck, I'm not sure. They are very few, of good quality and they prefer their own fashionable topics. An exception is Stochastic Analysis and Applications, which has published some fuzzy material of a very specific nature.

Thus you would do better, paradoxically, in general math journals. A couple of journals I've had a very pleasant experience publishing with are

Journal of Approximation Theory
Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society

I recommend that you avoid the Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications. Not only it will avoid you anyway if you don't, but it's by large the less serious journal I've ever submitted to.

As far as journal quality or prestige is concerned, if you look at the journals' editorial boards without recognizing any name on it, you may want to trust me on the following recommendation.

First, download this document. It contains the tables in the following paper:

V.Theoharakis, M.Skordia (2003). How Do Statisticians Perceive Statistics Journals? American Statistician 57, 115-123.

You may also get the paper, but the tables contain all the information. As you will see, they are very informative.

Second, if you wish to use an objective ranking, my advice is that you may like the Article Influence indicator calculated by eigenfactor.org rather than the well-known company-owned Impact Factor. The AI can be accessed free and is calculated from the same data. It uses the Page Rank algorithm developed by Google to rank websites.

I know of three such rankings:
-The Impact Factor introduces some serious distortions in the ranking.
-The brand new SCImago ranking (which uses the SCOPUS database) is seriously wrong. However the SCImago website will provide you with an SCOPUS-based Impact Factor which you can access for free, and also a sort of Hirsch index for the journals.
-The Article Influence gives the least bad ranking, in fact it's quite good, but it fails for journals with few papers a year, so only about 50 journals are listed, as opposed to about 90 for the other two.

Readers' comments and further advice for beginners are welcome.


Blogger Pedro Terán said...

The JMAA handles hundreds of papers. I'm sure other people must have had better experiences with them.

2/01/2008 11:08 AM  

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