January 2017 newsletter – Economic Journal – Editors’ Annual Report 2016

The editors of the Economic Journal made their annual report covering the period July 1 2015 to June 30 2016, to the Council of the Royal Economic Society in November. This is an edited version of that report.


• Regular submissions for the first three quarters of 2016 have exceeded those of the equivalent period in the previous year (from an average of 343 per quarter in 2015, to 382 in 2016). See Table 1. 
• For the first three quarters of 2016, we have received 1215 submissions, including conference papers and Feature papers. See Table 1. 
• Geographic distribution of submitted papers is similar to that of last year. See Table 2. 
• For the first three quarters of 2016, 614 of regular submissions were dealt with by Editors alone and summarily rejected (Table 1); of these, 92 per cent were returned to the authors within 14 days, with the remaining 8 per cent being returned within 15 to 30 days. This is an excellent improvement on turnaround times compared to last year and the best on record. 
• For the first three quarters of 2016, nearly 90 per cent of regular submissions that were sent to the referees were returned to authors within four months of submission; only 1 per cent took longer than six months (Table 3). Again, this is an excellent improvement on last year. 
• The vast majority of referees responded within three months, with 64 per cent responding within two months (Table 4). The Editors are very grateful to the referees for their excellent performance. 
• In June 2016, the 2015 Impact Factors were released and the journal saw an increase in its Impact Factor on 2014, to 2.370 from 2.336. 
•The journal has moved up six places on 2014 to 31/344 from 37/333 in the Economics ISI subject category. 
• All accepted papers continue to be passed through anti-plagiarism software before publication. 
• The journal continues to use its Twitter account to promote news and content. 
• Estelle Cantillon has joined the board as a Managing Editor. 
• The office remains at UCL. Imogen Clarke has joined as the Publishing Editor maternity cover.

Journal information and statistics 

Joint Managing Editors 
Estelle Cantillon, Université libre de Bruxelles 
Martin Cripps, University College London 
Andrea Galeotti, University of Essex 
Rachel Griffith, University of Manchester 
Morten Ravn, University College London 
Kjell G. Salvanes, Norwegian School of Economics 
Frederic Vermeulen, University of Leuven 
Hans-Joachim Voth, University of Zurich 

Editorial Office 
Imogen Clarke, EJ Publishing Editor, UCL (email: ej@res.org.uk) 

Production Editor 
David G Mayes, University of Auckland (email: d.mayes@auckland.ac.nz)

Submissions (Tables 1-2) 
• Total submissions for 2016 are likely to exceed the number for 2015 (based on averages per quarter). See Table 1.

The geographic distribution of submissions (Table 2) is similar to that of last year, with the largest share coming from Europe (40 per cent) and followed by the USA and Canada (25 per cent). UK submissions fell slightly to 15 per cent.

Editorial processing time (Tables 3-4)
• Editorial turnaround times (Table 3) is very quick. Only 1% of papers took longer than five months and none took longer than six months.
• 614 of regular submissions were dealt with by the Editors alone (summarily rejected). The Editors do this for papers that in their view have a low probability of getting published in order to help keep turnaround times down.

The ability of the Editors to keep turnaround times down is in no small part owing to the quick response we get from the referees. Table 4 shows that 64per cent of referees responded within two months; a strong improvement on last year.

Table 3 also shows response times separately for papers that were invited to revise and resubmit and those that were rejected. Of authors invited for revision, 87 per cent received a decision within four months.


Rankings and impact factors 
In June 2016, the 2015 Impact Factors were released and the journal saw an increase in its Impact Factor on 2014, to 2.370 from 2.336. This compares with Review of Economics and Statistics, 2.979; Journal of the EEA, 3.461 and Review of Economic Studies, 4.077.

Plagiarism checking 
Three years ago we introduced a new system under which we scan all accepted papers through anti-plagiarism software before publication. We use iThenticate software, recommended by Wiley. The software has mainly flagged up issues related to authors omitting to reference their own prior work. These omissions have been rectified before publication. We will continue to operate this policy.

Social media 
The journal launched its Twitter feed in April 2013. The feed provides access to articles, media briefings and news. 

Circulation statistics and membership of the RES 
These are shown in Tables 5-7.

Prize winners

We are delighted to announce this year’s prize winners:

Austin Robinson Memorial Prize 
Awarded to the best paper published in the Economic Journal in a given year by an author (or multiple authors) who is within 5 years of receiving his or her (or their) PhD as selected by the Editors of the Economic Journal.

Joint prize:

Pedro Gomes ‘Optimal Public Sector Wages’, Economic Journal, September 2015;
Erick Gong ‘HIV Testing and Risky Sexual Behaviour’ Economic Journal, February 2015.

Royal Economic Society Prize 
Awarded to the best paper published in the Economic Journal in a given year as selected by the RES President, a representative of the EJ Editorial Board and one invited judge from the RES Council. 

Miaojie Yu ‘Processing Trade, Tariff Reductions and Firm Productivity: Evidence from Chinese Firms’ Economic Journal, June 2015 

Referee Prize 
Up to 14 prizes awarded each year for referees judged by the Editors to have made an outstanding contribution in this capacity. 

Britta Augsburg, Institute for Fiscal Studies 
Tobias Broer, Stockholm University; 
Edouard Challe, École Polytechnique;
Cormac O'Dea, University College London;
Francois Gourio, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago ;
Christopher Huckfeldt, Cornell University; 
Oksana Leukhina, University of Washington; 
David Miller, University of Michigan; 
Helen Miller, Institute for Fiscal Studies; 
Francesco Nava, London School of Economics; 
Hessel Oosterbeek, Amsterdam School of Economics; 
Pedro Rey-Biel, Autonomous University of Barcelona; 
Juan Pablo Rud, Royal Holloway, University of London; 
Erik Schokkaert, University of Leuven. 

Altmetric Report
From October 2015 to October 2016, 161 EJ articles received online mentions recorded by Altmetric. A large part of the activity came from (66) Tweeters, who contributed 520 tweets collectively.

EJ articles were mentioned in 121 policy papers, published by Chatham House, National Bureau of Economic Research, the International Labour Organization and the World Bank, to name four.

News outlets contributed the 139 mentions in total. Both national news outlets such as The Independent and local press, such as the Western Telegraph, have mentioned EJ articles. Blogs, such as the LSE Business Review, The Economist and the Library of Economics and Liberty, have mentioned EJ articles in the past year. There were 56 Wikipedia pages that mentioned articles; sometimes with articles being referred to in separate pages (7 articles had more than one mention). In the past year there were over 7,000 readers of articles on Mendeley and Altmetric has recorded 15 Facebook wall posts that mention (9) EJ articles.

The highest scoring Altmetric Article in the last 12 months is: ‘Mathematics and Gender: Heterogeneity in Causes and Consequences’ by Juanna Schrøter Joensen and Helena Skyt Nielsen, Economic Journal, June 2016, with a score of 548.