The Economics E-Journal announces the launch of a dedicated replication section. This initiative is a joint effort of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) and the German National Library for Economics (ZBW). It provides authors across all fields of economics an outlet for publishing replication studies.
This initiative is motivated by the difficulties that authors have had in submitting replication studies to other journals, and by the culture of secrecy within the profession around failed replications. We hope that our initiative can help begin to change these things.
The journal has several unique characteristics that may make it an attractive outlet for researchers looking for outlets for their replication studies. These characteristics are driven by a principle of openness.
This openness shows up in the desire for the journal to open up access to the submission and refereeing processes, speed up those processes while maintaining high standards, and open up access to articles for readers outside major academic institutions.
So far, this openness has met with success.
For instance, the journal currently has an impact factor of 0.644 (JCR Social Sciences Edition 2014), which places it between the Southern Economic Journal (IF = 0.683) and Applied Economics (IF = 0.613). Further, Economics E-Journal’s impact factor is likely to be biased downward since the journal is not yet ten years old.
The characteristics of the Economics E-Journal that make it an ideal outlet for replications are as follows.
First of all, the journal’s electronic format implies that there are no space constraints. The only constraint on the number of replications that can be published is the quantity and quality of the submitted replication studies.
Secondly, the management of the journal occurs alongside, but independently from, the IfW’s and ZBW’s other journals, and from other journals in the economics profession. This ensures a degree of independence not found in some other journals.
Thirdly, the journal is open access and open evaluation. Open access means that authors can reach a wide audience without running into a paywall. Open evaluation means that reviewers, commenters, and editors adjudicate papers in a fair, transparent, and rapid way.
Fourthly, the journal is a general interest journal, which means that it accepts submissions from all subfields of economics.
Guidelines for replicators can be found here. While the guidelines are mostly set, we are still seeking input into our procedures. In my next installment, I will be asking TRN readers for their comments and suggestions. Stay tuned!
-Claire Boeing-Reicher, Researcher, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.