Many researchers have recently voiced an increasing resentment towards academic journals. Opinions vary widely, and tend from “they are not necessary anymore”, over “they are clubs and you are either part of these clubs or you don’t publish”, to “I love academic journals”. Economists tend to be particularly troubled with their journals, researchers from medicine seemingly less so. Why is that and what can be done about it?

Together with some other economists I am currently in the process of establishing a research group on “The Role of Academic Journals” in academic research. We are interested in two questions:

  1. Do academic journals fulfill the role that they are supposed to? Are there differences across the academic disciplines? If yes, why?
  2. If necessary or useful, are there potential alternatives? What would they look like?

We are currently developing a survey that we will use as a first step in obtaining answers to these questions.

More importantly, we are searching for researchers from other social or natural sciences who would be interested in joining this research group. If you are interested, please send an email to The profile that we are looking for are academic researchers who already have wider experiences with journals; are potentially but not necessarily on editorial boards; can help bring insights from their different disciplines; and are interested in a wider exchange/discussion about journals and the development of the survey. If you do not have time to join our research group but feel this is a useful task nevertheless, then please do not hesitate to distribute this call to any academic researcher that you feel could be interested in joining in. Furthermore, if you have an important insight but not the time to join the research group, please do not hesitate to send this via email or as a comment to this blog entry.