Purpose – The objective of this paper is to discuss some criteria in order to distinguish between top versus leading journals in marketing. The aim is to stimulate the debate of the adequacy of those issues that dominate in the top marketing journals.
Design/methodology/approach – The authors discuss three groups of criteria, namely journal, article, and research. Each is discussed based on a set of dimensions: journal criteria – the editor, the editorial board, the editorial objective and the author affiliations; article criteria – research implication, practice implication, readability and originality; and research criteria – process, paradigm, representation, readership and contribution.
Findings – While the top journals in marketing are named, the analysis is meant to be of a more general nature rather than to question or lambaste a specific journal.
Research limitations/implications – There is an underlying quest for identifying and verifying the top academic journals in different research disciplines. As an extension to the discussion of top versus non-top journals, the authors raise another crucial issue, namely criteria to differentiate between top and leading journals in marketing.
Practical implications – These criteria are based on the authors' examination of the editorial descriptions and overall contents of six top journals in marketing. The criteria are also derived from a review of the literature on academic journals and academic publishing.
Originality/value – The discussion may stimulate and widen debate with respect to what constitutes a leading academic journal in marketing. The suggested list of criteria should be seen as a trigger for further discussion. It does not aspire to be complete, but a complement to the ongoing discussion of academic journals and academic publishing in marketing.
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