A Global Ranking of Political Science Departments

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Abstract

Rankings of academic institutions are key information tools for universities, funding agencies, students and faculty. The main method for ranking departments in political science, through peer evaluations, is subjective, biased towards established institutions, and costly in terms of time and money. The alternative method, based on supposedly ‘objective’ measures of outputs in scientific journals, has thus far only been applied narrowly in political science, using publications in a small number of US-based journals. An alternative method is proposed in this paper – that of ranking departments based on the quantity and impact of their publications in the 63 main political science journals in a given five-year period. The result is a series of global and easily updatable rankings that compare well with results produced by applying a similar method in economics.

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