Relative Significance of Insurance and Actuarial Journals and Articles: A Citation Analysis

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INTRODUCTION

The importance of evaluating journal quality has been documented in the finance literature by Alexander and Mabry (1994) and Zivney and Reichenstein (1994). Assessing journal quality is important because (1) hiring, promotion, and tenure decisions often are based in large part on the quality of a faculty member's research; (2) faculty are interested in directing research to outlets where publication is most appropriate and beneficial; (3) an editor's knowledge of a journal's quality is important in evaluating future editing decisions; and (4) an institution's knowledge of journal quality is valuable when few resources are available for the purchasing of research journals.

The issue of limited library resources is particularly relevant to many academics who research and teach in the areas of insurance and actuarial science. Gardner and Schmit (1995), in a survey of collegiate risk management and insurance (RMI) education programs in the United States and Canada, find that 20 percent of the 60 schools that offer an undergraduate RMI program have 50 or fewer students enrolled in the program every year. In addition, the survey also states that 56 percent of the schools that report offering undergraduate RMI studies offer only one or two classes. It is unlikely that these universities have significant funds available to provide resources that generally serve only a small percentage of all students and faculty.

The purpose of this article is to provide an objective measure of the quality of a sample of insurance and actuarial journals based upon the number of journal citations appearing in thirteen insurance and actuarial journals and sixteen of the leading finance journals. Rankings also are provided based on the average relative "impact" that the insurance and actuarial journals' articles have had on other research. The study reveals the degree to which knowledge is communicated between insurance and actuarial journals by observing the frequency with which these journals are cited by one another. Finally, the most frequently cited articles from the sample insurance and actuarial journals are observed and reported.

PREVIOUS LITERATURE

Finance Literature

In recent years, citation data have been used extensively in finance research to rank research journals, rank the research productivity of individual authors and institutions, and to evaluate interjournal communication. Alexander and Mabry (1994) and Zivney and Reichenstein (1994) rank finance journals according to the number of citations found in finance journals during a five-year and one-year period, respectively. Borokhovich et al. (1995) use citation data to evaluate the finance research productivity of 661 academic institutions during the years 1989 through 1993, adjusting for the number of faculty in an institution and the quality of the journals in which the faculty published research.

Borokhovich, Bricker, and Simkins (1994) evaluate the communication of knowledge between eight finance journals during the years 1990 and 1991 by observing the frequency with which each journal is cited by the other journals in the study. Their results reveal the degree of influence that each journal has had on research published in other journals. Finally, Schwert (1993) uses citation data to examine the influence that the Journal of Financial Economics had on other finance research during the years 1974 through 1991.

Insurance Literature

In an attempt to provide a ranking of journals (primarily insurance and actuarial journals) based upon the opinions of insurance academics, Outreville and Malouin (1985) survey members of the American Risk and Insurance Association (ARIA) regarding their familiarity with a number of journals and the members' perception of the value of having a paper published in each journal. The survey was comprehensive in that it included 255 journals from most mainstream business disciplines. …