SYNOPSIS

Faculty have increased the number of articles submitted to journals ranked in the top-5 of their discipline. This is their rational response to the overweighting of publications in top-5 journals by university promotions and tenure committees. Using journal impact factors, however, to infer the quality of a faculty member's publications incurs a high incidence of both Type 1 errors, when we conclude incorrectly that a paper published in a top-5 journal is a high-impact paper, and Type 2 errors, when we conclude that papers (and books) not published in these journals have low impact. A third type of error occurs when scholars underinvest in research about practice innovations because such research is viewed as unpublishable in top-5 journals. The paper suggests reforms to overcome the dysfunctional fixation on publication in top-5 journals.

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