A quantitative evaluation of the relative status of journal and conference publications in computer science.

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Coyle, Lorcan ; Freyne, Jill ; Smyth, Barry ; Cunningham, Padraig (2010)
  • Publisher: Association for Computing Machinery
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1145/1839676.1839701
  • Subject: Citations | computer science | Scholarly publishing | Computer science--Periodicals | Computer science--Congresses | College teachers--Promotions | Google Scholar | Quantitative evaluation | conference publications
    acm: GeneralLiterature_REFERENCE(e.g.,dictionaries,encyclopedias,glossaries)

While it is universally held by computer scientists that conference publications have a higher status in computer science than in other disciplines there is little quantitative evidence in support of this position. The importance of journal publications in academic promotion makes this a big issue since an exclusive focus on journal papers will miss many significant papers published at conferences in computer science. In this paper we set out to quantify the relative importance of journal and conference papers in computer science. We show that computer science papers in leading conferences match the impact of papers in mid-ranking journals and surpass the impact of papers in journals in the bottom half of the ISI rankings - when im- pact is measured by citations in Google Scholar. We also show that there is a poor correlation between this measure of impact and conference acceptance rates. This indicates that conference publication is an inefficient market where venues that are equally challenging in terms of rejection rates offer quite different returns in terms of citations.
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