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The purpose of the Academic Journal Guide

The AJG is a guide to the range and quality of journals in which business and management academics publish their research. Its purpose is to give both emerging and established scholars greater clarity as to which journals to aim for, and where the best work in their field tends to be clustered.

The AJG is based upon peer review, editorial and expert judgements following from the evaluation of publications, and is informed by statistical information relating to citation.

We advise that users read the AJG's Methodology to understand the aims of the 2018 edition and how journal ratings are judged.

Download the Methodology


  • 4* Journals of Distinction
    Within the business and management field, including economics, there are a small number of grade 4 journals that are recognised world-wide as exemplars of excellence. As the world leading journals in the field, they would be ranked among the highest in terms of impact factor. The initial paper selection and review process would be rigorous and demanding. Accepted papers would typically not only bring to bear large scale data and/or rigour in theory, but also be extremely finely crafted and provide major advances to their field.

    All journals rated 4, whether included in the Journal of Distinction category or not publish the most original and best-executed research. As top journals in their field, these journals typically have high submission and low acceptance rates. Papers are heavily refereed. These top journals generally have among the highest citation impact factors within their field.

    3 rated journals publish original and well executed research papers and are highly regarded. These journals typically have good submission rates and are very selective in what they publish. Papers are heavily refereed. These highly regarded journals generally have good to excellent journal metrics relative to others in their field, although at present not all journals in this category carry a citation impact factor.

    Journals in this category publish original research of an acceptable standard. For these well regarded journals in their field, papers are fully refereed according to accepted standards and conventions. Citation impact factors are somewhat more modest in certain cases. Many excellent practitioner-oriented articles are published in 2-rated journals.

    These journals, in general, publish research of a recognised, but more modest standard in their field. A 1 rating is a useful indicator in that it indicates the journal meets normal scholarly standards, including a general expectation of peer review. Papers are in many instances refereed relatively lightly according to accepted conventions. Few journals in this category carry a citation impact factor.

  • Journals within the AJG are assessed by an international panel of subject experts.

    Field Subject Expert
    Accounting Professor Christine Cooper, Strathclyde Business School
    Professor Kevin Holland, Cardiff Business School
    Professor Lisa Jack, University of Portsmouth
    Business and Economic History Professor Mark Casson, University of Reading
    Professor Geoffrey G. Jones, Harvard Business School
    Economics, Econometrics
    and Statistics
    Professor Jerry Coakley, Essex Business School
    Professor Robert Taylor, Essex Business School
    Professor Tim Worrall, University of Edinburgh, School of Economics
    Entrepreneurship and Small Business
    Professor Becky Reuber, University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management
    Professor Mike Wright, Imperial College London, London Business School
    Finance Professor Jerry Coakley, Essex Business School
    Professor Marco Pagano, University of Naples Federico II
    Professor John Wilson, University of St. Andrews School of Management
    General Management, Ethics, Gender and
    Social Responsibility
    Professor Stephen Brammer, Macquarie University, Faculty of Business and Economics
    Professor Caroline Gatrell, University of Liverpool Management School
    Professor Susan Marlow, Nottingham University Business School
    Human Resource Management and
    Employment Studies
    Professor Pawan Budhwar, Aston Business School
    Professor Fang Lee Cooke, Monash Business School
    Professor Mark Stuart, Leeds University Business School
    Professor Adrian Wilkinson, Griffith Business School
    Information Management Professor Joe Nandhakumar, Warwick Business School
    Professor Cathy Urquhart, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School
    Innovation Professor Ian McCarthy, Simon Fraser University, Beedie School of Business
    Professor Ammon Salter, University of Bath School of Management
    International Business and Area Studies Professor Jedrzej George Frynas, University of Roehampton
    Professor Becky Reuber, University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management
    Professor Heinz Tüselmann, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School (Chair)
    Management Development and Education Professor Donald Siegel, Arizona State University, School of Public Affairs
    Professor Ken Starkey, Nottingham University Business School
    Marketing Professor Gilles Laurent, INSEEC Paris
    Professor Adam Lindgreen, Copenhagen Business School
    Operations and Technology Management Professor Cipriano Forza, University of Padua
    Professor Christine Harland, Politecnico di Milano
    Professor Ian McCarthy, Simon Fraser University, Beedie School of Business
    Operations Research and Management Science Professor Valerie Belton, Strathclyde Business School
    Professor David Lane, Henley Business School
    Organisational Studies Professor Nic Beech, University of Dundee
    Professor Nick Llewellyn, Warwick Business School
    Psychology (General) Professor Wandi Bruine de Bruin, Leeds University Business School
    Psychology (Organisational) Professor David Guest, King’s Business School
    Public Sector and Health Care Dr Ian Elliot, Division of Business, Enterprise, and Management, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
    Professor Steve Martin, Cardiff Business School
    Regional Studies, Planning and Environment Professor Gary Cook, Hull University Business School
    Sector Studies Professor Peter McKiernan, Strathclyde Business School
    Professor Stephen Page, Hertfordshire Business School, University of Hertfordshire
    Professor John Tribe, Surrey Business School
    Social Sciences Professor Julie Froud, Alliance Manchester Business School
    Professor Mark Stuart, Leeds University Business School
    Professor Robyn Thomas, Cardiff Business School
    Strategy Dr Sotirios Paroutis, Warwick Business School
    Professor Henk Volberda, Rotterdam School of Management

  • The editorial team are responsible for developing the methodology, undertaking analysis of journal metrics, and authoring the AJG.

    Co-Editors in Chief
    Professor Geoffrey Wood, Essex Business School
    Professor David Peel, Lancaster University Management School

    Chief Methodologists
    Professor Marc Goergen, Cardiff Business School
    Professor James Walker, Henley Business School

    Professor Andrew Simpson, Sheffield University Management School

    Chair of the Scientific Committee
    Professor Heinz Tüselmann, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School

  • The AJG is overseen by the Management Committee, which reports into the Chartered ABS Council.

    Professor Angus Laing,
    Dean, Lancaster University Management School, UK (Committee Chair)

    Professor Robert Galliers,
    The University Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Bentley University, USA

    Professor Barbara Sporn,
    Head of Institute for Higher Education Management, WU Vienna University of Economics & Business, Austria

    Professor Robina Xavier,
    Executive Dean, QUT Business School, Australia

    Barney Roe,
    Director of Communications & External Relations, Chartered Association of Business Schools

  • Applications to the Academic Journal Guide open once every three years. Details on how to apply for the 2021 edition will be made available on the website in due course.