Academic Journal Guide 2021 available now

We are delighted to launch the 2021 edition of the Academic Journal Guide. Published every three years, the 2021 edition of the Academic Journal Guide (AJG) is a full update of the entire guide. In keeping with our goal to further enrich the information available to researchers, AJG 2021 includes new features which provide users with additional content and links to related resources.

The purpose of the AJG is to assist researchers to make informed judgements about the outlets they may wish to publish in. It provides details on a wide range of journals, across the fields that business and management academics may seek to publish their research.

The AJG is distinctive in that its methodology is informed by metrics but the AJG’s ratings are based upon peer review, editorial and expert judgements undertaken by the subject experts on our Scientific Committee following the evaluation of many hundreds of publications.

Professor Angus Laing, Chair of the Academic Journal Guide Management Committee said: “The extensive work undertaken in this review demonstrates our commitment to providing the business and management research community with a resource to support academics in their decisions about where to publish their work. The AJG is a ‘guide’ and we are proud that the expansion of the number of journals included, the additional information provided, and the diversification of the experts involved in this edition reflect the inclusive and supportive spirit that our academic community expect to be applied when using the AJG. It is in this vein that we look forward to continuing dialogue with the community in working towards a 2024 edition which further enriches the information available to academics on journals and publishers.”

Our guiding principles on how to use the AJG

  • As the name suggests, the AJG is a ‘guide’. It should not be used as a ‘one stop shop’ to decide where to publish nor to evaluate individuals’ research outputs.
  • We advise that users of the guide should also seek advice and recommendations from peers and the academic community more generally.
  • Although the best work is clustered in a limited number of leading journals, good work may be encountered in a wide range of different places; this highlights the merit of reading work.
  • Consider the relevance and quality of journals not listed in the Guide, including new journals, but be aware of predatory outlets.
  • The AJG seeks to encourage good practices in journal publishing. As well as considering a journal’s rating and relevance, consider other factors such as the composition and diversity of its editorial board, its fee charging practices, or its acceptance rates.
  • It is important that users of the AJG understand the methodology. By reading the methodology you will understand how a journal rating came about, and how the AJG’s metrics are derived.

What’s new in AJG 2021?

The work of Scientific Committee and their consultation focused on selected journals that had substantive changes in metrics or esteem. The AJG now comprises 1,703 journals up from slightly less than 1,600 journals in the 2018 AJG, i.e., a 9% increase in journals.

Almost all new journals typically entered the list with a rating of 1 or 2, reflecting their emerging or focused status. Only in very exceptional cases did journals enter the list with a rating of 3. Finally, there were 5 journals that were upgraded from a rating of 4 to Journal of Distinction status following overwhelming support to do so from a broad-based consultation of their respective fields as well as the Scientific Committee.

We have further expanded the size as well as the geographical and gender composition of eminent scholarly experts on the Scientific Committee. The Committee has expanded to 53 members, representing more than a threefold increase since 2010.  Since 2010, the proportion of women on the committee has risen from 11% to 33%. And while the members of the Scientific Committee are all internationally respected in their fields, the proportion of scholars based outside the UK has risen from 2% to 38%.

The only change to the quantitative methodology has been the inclusion of a fourth impact factor, the CiteScore, which replaces the IPP that had been discontinued by Elsevier.

In the Guide itself we have added the names of the publishers and links to further information on Scopus and the Web of Science.


To produce the Academic Journal Guide requires great effort, care and attention from a considerable number of people across the world. We are hugely grateful to the Editors, Methodologists, Chair of the Scientific Committee, members of the Scientific Committee, and members of the Management Committee. We are also thankful to Clarivate and Elsevier for the use of their journal metrics.

View the Academic Journal Guide 2021 here