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Thursday, December 12, 2019


82 Annual Meeting of the VHB

March 17 - 20 2020

Frankfurt a. M., Germany


... a ranking of journals relevant to business research based on evaluations by VHB’s members.


In the last few months, more than 1,100 VHB members have conducted a total of 64,113 journal evaluations. Of the 934 journals evaluated, 651 exceeded the qualification of 25 evaluations and were given a rating. 


The results can be subdivided as follows:

  • 22 outstanding and leading international academic business research journals (A+ = 3.4%),
  • 72 leading academic business research journals (A = 11.1%),
  • 217 important and renowned business research journals (B = 33.3%),
  • 273 recognised academic business research journals (C = 41.9%)
  • 59 academic business research journals (D = 9.1%).


Using the median as a rating basis also yields sub-categories. In this case, the median falls exactly between two categories: 1x A/B (= 0.2%), 5x B/C (= 0.8%) and 2x C/D (= 0.3%).


Moreover, 210 journals received between 10 and 24 evaluations. These journals were given the label “no rating” (and a corresponding explanation). In the case of 26 journals, more than 50% of the VHB members polled indicated that the journals were not academic (i.e. their main target is not scientists, but rather managers, politicians etc.). Accordingly, these journals are labelled “not an academic journal”. 47 journals received fewer than 10 evaluations and are mentioned for information purposes only.  


The correlation between VHB-JOURQUAL3 and VHB-JOURQUAL2.1 (conducted in 2011) is 0.89. The correlation between VHB-JOURQUAL3 and the British Academic Journal Quality Guide (AJQG) is 0.66 and the impact factor gauge Scimago Journal Rank (SJR) 0.70; both scores are higher than the equivalent correlations between VHB-JOURQUAL2.1 and AJQG and SJR. However, the deviations also demonstrate that journal rating positions cannot be absolute truths, but rather only ever potentially error-prone indications of trends. VHB therefore also encourages the consideration of relevant alternative ratings to achieve the desired orientation.


In contrast to the previous editions, a conscious decision was made not to issue an overall rating on all the journals evaluated. The aim of VHB-JOURQUAL3 is not to impinge on the competition among business research sub-disciplines. Instead, it is intended as a tool that can be used as a supportive orientation aid in decisions within individual sub-disciplines. Consequently, the VHB-JOURQUAL3 rating is exclusively displayed in accordance with the sub-ratings of the individual disciplines within business research.  


Once again, we would also like to stress the importance of a responsible and thoughtful handling of ratings for VHB-JOURQUAL3, especially when it comes to the assessment of a researcher’s performance. Ratings cannot and should not substitute reading the individual publications – especially in the case of evaluations of an individual’s research achievements. Any evaluation of research achievements with recourse to standardised procedures and average values contains simplifications and thus a narrower view. Please also note VHB’s directions on the responsible use of ratings, which are available as both a “information leaflet” on VHB-JOURQUAL3 and in a more general form in the “VHB tips on ethical and practical vocational orientation”, especially in the tips on good practice for the Dealing with journal rankings and those of individual acadamics.


Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any suggestions and comments on VHB-JOURQUAL3.


We thank all our members for their feedback and support on the ratings.


Thorsten Hennig-Thurau, University of Münster

Henrik Sattler, University of Hamburg

Acadamic Head of VHB-JOURQUAL3


Harald Dyckhoff, RWTH Aachen

Nikolaus Franke, Vienna University of Economics and Business

Georg Schreyögg, FU Berlin

JOURQUAL Advisory Board

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