January 2016 newsletter – The Econometrics Journal – Editor’s Annual Report

The managing editor, Richard J Smith, made the annual report covering the period July 1 2014 to June 30 2015, to the Council of the Royal Economic Society in November. This is an edited version of that report.

The Editorial Office of The Econometrics Journal is based in Faculty of Economics at the University of Cambridge with Richard J Smith as Managing Editor of the journal. Recent editorial changes include the appointment of Dennis Kristensen (UCL, IFS and Cemmap) as Co-Editor to replace Andrew Patton (Duke University) on his taking up the position of Managing Editor of Journal of Financial Econometrics. Dennis has been an Associate Editor of The Econometrics Journal since 2008 whereas Andrew was a Co-Editor between 2013 and 2015. The journal is grateful to Joris Pinkse (Pennsylvania State University) who resigned as an Associate Editor due to pressure of other commitments for the help and advice he provided and is pleased to welcome as new Associate Editors Marc Henry (Pennsylvania State University), Keisuke Hirano (University of Arizona), Yingyao Hu (Johns Hopkins University), Andriy Norets (Brown University) and Adam Rosen (UCL).

Impact factors
The sixth set of data from the ISI Citation Index are now available for 2014. (2007-13 data are given in parentheses). The journal impact factor is 0.818 (1.128, 1.000, 0.870, 0.691, 0.733, 0.750, 0.479) with the immediacy index at 0.095 (0.364, 0.227, 0.240, 0.176, 0.125, 0.065, 0.034). The eigen-factor score and five year impact factor are 0.00415 (0.00377, 0.00417, 0.00280, 0.00352, 0.00367, 0.00324, 0.00379) and 1.488 (1.235, 1.252, 0.964, 1.166) respectively. (2008-13 and 2010-13 figures in parentheses. The journal impact factor ranks The Econometrics Journal at 175 (112) out of 333 (333) economics journals.

Both journal impact factor and immediacy index have disappointingly dropped substantially as compared with the gentle increases in recent years, the former primarily due to the excellent 2011 being omitted. More encouraging are the eigen-factor score and five year impact factor with the latter the highest ever recorded and placing the journal at 117 (149) out of 333 (333). The impact factor and rank for the competitor journals are rather similar to 2013: Econometric Theory 1.262 (103), Journal of Econometrics 1.600 (64), Review of Economics and Statistics 2.749 (22), Journal of Applied Econometrics 1.673 (60) and Journal of Business and Economic Statistics 2.241 (37). The short-term figures give cause for concern although it is likely the 2015 impact factor should improve in 2015 as the rather poor 2012 figure drops out.

Wiley-Blackwell prepared marketing information for the RES 2015 Conference (leaflets,post ers, highlighted key papers) and photographed the Wiley-Blackwell stand and the Denis Sargan Prize award. An email blast was sent to the Wiley-Blackwell opt-in lists to join The Econometrics Journalstand at the RES 2015 conference granting immediate access to the journal and included an invitation to The Econometrics Journal Special Session on ‘Econometrics of Matching’. The journal was also promoted by Wiley-Blackwell with free sample issues, trial cards and leaflets at a number of events worldwide. Wiley-Blackwell has yet to report on how they intend to promote The Econometrics Journal at Econometric Society meetings and other meetings of econometricians. The Editorial Board has requested Wiley-Blackwell to provide an annual list of such promotional activities in advance for each year. The journal prefers an active rather than reactive rôle in contributing to the preparation of resources for conferences and marketing campaigns.

The journal now prepares and publishes Winter and Summer Newsletters. Issues Nos. 3 and 4 have been distributed to RES members, to The Econometrics Journal email database and to various Wiley-Blackwell e-mail databases. Newsletters are posted on the journal’s website and can be accessed from the journal’s home page with twelve news items also posted announcing special events.

The Denis Sargan Econometrics Prize
The Econometrics Journal Denis Sargan Econometrics Prize is awarded for the best (unsolicited) article published in the journal in a given year by anyone who is within five years of being awarded their doctorate. An honorarium of £1000 is be awarded to the winning author.

The Econometrics Journal Editorial Board (Managing Editor and Co-Editors) evaluated those qualifying articles published in 2013 and the prize was awarded to Professor Koen Jochmans (Sciences Po) in respect of his paper ‘Pairwise-comparison estimation with non-parametric controls’ published in The Econometrics Journal, Vol. 16, Issue No. 3, pp. 340-372. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ectj.12008/abstract

A video of the presentation (by Professor Sir Richard Blundell) at the RES 2015 Conference held at the University of Manchester is now available on The Econometrics Journal website at http://www.res.org.uk/view/SarganPrize2013.html

The proportion of submissions attracted from North America in 2014-15 dropped relative to 2013-14 being rather similar to the historical level of earlier years. Consequently, the journal is still failing to attract the numbers and quality of submission from North America required in order to achieve its aim of becoming a top international general journal for econometrics research. The proportion of submissions from Europe is similar to that of previous years whereas that from the UK rose substantially. Together, submissions from North America, UK and Europe continue to dominate although there is evidence of an increase from the rest of the world.

157 new submissions were received under Editorial Express®. This total represents an decrease of 48 (23.41 per cent) over that reported for 2014. Additionally there were 40 resubmissions received during this period. These figures exclude papers associated with the various Special Issues of the journal.

A total of 199 decisions were made by the Editorial Board. Of these 157 concerned new submissions. Of the new submissions 127 (80.89 per cent) were screen-rejections which represents a fall from the figure of 82.41 per cent for 2014. Of the 30 papers not screen rejected, 13 (43.33 per cent) were either returned for resubmission or acceptance decisions (2014: 50.00 per cent), with 17 papers (56.67 per cent) being rejections. Overall, 144 papers or 91.72 per cent (2014: 91.20 per cent) of decisions were either screen-rejections or rejections. A total of 16 papers (2014: 14) papers were accepted by the Editorial Board representing an acceptance rate of 8.04 per cent (2013: 5.47 per cent).

The continued high number of screen-rejections reflects the determination of the Editorial Board to drive up the standard of submissions and accepted papers in order to establish The Econometrics Journal as top international general field journal for econometric research.

The mean estimate for time to decision in days was 42 (21, 10, 50) [2014: 43 (21, 11, 46)] for decisions on all submissions and resubmissions. The figures in parentheses are the median, first quartile and third quartile estimates. Kaplan-Meier estimates of the stratified survivor functions for time to decision are also presented. Excluding screen-rejections the respective figures are 104 (105, 64, 143).

The mean estimate for time to decision in days for new submissions was 38 (19, 9, 28). The corresponding figures for non-screen rejections and for a resubmission decision were 135 (132, 110, 158) [2014: 135 (129, 101, 169)] and 138 (140, 98, 175) [2014: 150 (120, 99, 210)]. For resubmissions the mean estimate for time to decision was 67 (65, 33, 98) as compared to 61 (53, 24, 96) for 2014.

These data indicate a satisfactory overall decision performance which may be primarily attributed to the policy of an intensive screening of submissions. As in previous years a concern remains for non screen-rejected papers although decision times mainly are not too out of line with the four month desired maximum turn-around period for decisions; The previous difficulty of long decision times for a few papers has diminished as compared to 2014 reflected in the slight decrease in third quartile estimates in most cases.

The Editorial Office of The Econometrics Journal is very grateful for the support of the Royal Economic Society and its officers. Particular recognition should be given to the editorial team and anonymous referees whose efforts ensure that the quality of the journal is maintained and improved. We are also grateful for the assistance offered by the publishers Wiley-Blackwell.