Citation Metrics for Editors of Top-Ranked Journals Related to Higher Education: A Descriptive Study

Michael K. Ponton


Today’s university faculty members engage in myriad activities related to the three general work categories of teaching, research, and service. In order to satisfy the evaluative process for tenure and promotion as related to the research category, the faculty member typically must present not only a curriculum vitae that establishes a substantive record of scholarly productivity but also indicants of impact to the field. Though these latter indicants have often been via letters of support from the faculty member’s discipline, increasingly the provision of citation metrics are being used. But while such metrics are meant to provide support for advancement, their use is rather ambiguous due to the lack of defined standards of performance; that is, without standards, how can provided metrics be interpreted? Because chief editors of prestigious journals are typically seasoned scholars, the purpose of this descriptive study is to characterize the citation metrics—citation count, h-index, and i10- index—for the chief editors of 10 top-ranked journals related to the field of higher education. This field was chosen because such editors are likely fully engrossed in the study, practice, and traditions of higher education and, thus, should represent a professorial standard for comparison and, perhaps, a goal for a university faculty member’s scholarly productivity. For this descriptive study, citations metrics were available for 11 out of 16 chief editors whose institutions represented the countries of Australia, Canada, Colombia, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States of America. Findings suggest these 11 chief editors are widely cited academicians and, thus, provide salient standards for the purpose of this discussion.

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Journal of Studies in Education ISSN 2162-6952


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