ABDC Journal Quality List | ABCD Analysis

ABDC Journal is the collective voice of all Australian university business schools. There are 39 members, who teach and research the areas vital to the success of the businesses that underpin Australia’s economy.

As their peak body, ABDC’s role is to ensure that those with political, social, cultural, and economic influence appreciate and support how business education contributes to Australia’s future.


The Australian Business Deans Council’s mission is to make Australia’s business schools better.

ABDC fosters the national and global impact of Australian business education and research does this by:

  • Being the collective and collegial voice of our member university business schools
  • Providing opportunities for members to share knowledge and best practice
  • Creating and maintaining strong, collaborative relationships with affiliated national and international peak industry, higher education, professional and government bodies
  • Engaging in strategic initiatives and activities that further ABDC’s mission.

ABDC Journal Quality List

The ABDC Journal publishes a ranking list of journals in most of the fields under which research is performed in these institutions. This list has been based on the grading of journals that were created under the Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) project conducted by the Australian Government’s Australian Research Council.


In 2007, ABDC established the ABDC Journal Quality List for use by its member business schools. Most universities adapt the list to suit individual university requirements.

The initial list aimed to overcome the regional and discipline bias of international lists.  An independent chair and discipline-specific panels reviewed the ABDC Journal Quality List in 2013 and 2009.

ABDC Review Methodology:

The ABDC appointed Australian and international experts to review the methodology for the ABDC Journal Quality List. After taking into account the expert review and feedback from BARDsNet (Business Academic Research Directors’ Network), the ABDC endorsed the following methodology:

1. Journal quality ratings should be validated by expert panels. The panels should be informed by globally recognised and externally validated journal ranking lists, appropriate and select citation metrics (e.g. SCImago) and, if required, expert peer review.

2. The following criteria must be met by each journal in the ABDC Journal Quality List. A journal must:

  • Have reached the necessary quality threshold level, as determined by the expert panel using globally accepted, externally validated journal ranking lists, journal citation metrics, and expert peer review
  • Adhere to general scholarly principles, including scholarly peer review
  • Be relevant to the discipline areas of the ABDC, which include management, accounting, economics, information systems, business and taxation law, and other agreed Fields of Research (FoRs)
  • Not be a predatory journal.

3. An indicator for journals of regional significance should not be incorporated against relevant journals in the ABDC Journal List.

4. A new quality category (e.g. A**) should not be added to the ABDC Journal List to recognise world elite journals deemed to be the best in the world.

5. Members of the expert panels, including the Panel Chair, should be selected through a formal call for Expressions of Interest. The processes will be similar to those used by the Australian Research Council for panel selection.

  • The ABDC will provide appropriate levels of administrative support so panel members should not expect to make significant time commitments to the Journal Quality List Review.
  • The administration will include a Research Assistant to support gathering data on each journal
  • There should be between five and eight expert panels as the panels do not need to mirror the FORs
  • The size of each panel should reflect the number and size of the disciplines represented on it
  • Where possible, panels should be representative and reflect expertise in terms of gender, institutional affiliation, and geographic location.

6. More explicit and rigorous processes for the ranking of journals should be developed and reported.

On the basis of the above methodology, The Australian Business Dean’s Council (ABDC) has graded over 760 journals in the Field of Research categories of Statistics, Economic Theory, Applied Economics, Econometrics, and Other Economics.

The 2019 List endorses 2,682 journal entries with the following classifications:


Category Percentage Total Journals
A* 7.41% 199
A 24.27% 651
B 31.69% 850
C 36.61% 982

It includes 144 upgrades; 17 downgrades; the addition of 157 new journals; and the removal of 241 journals. These scales have been proposed to be used to evaluate research within the institution and across institutions and have gone through a series of public discussions as documented on the ABDC website.

In 2019, for the first time in the history of the ABDC Journal Quality List, the number of journals removed from the list has exceeded the number added.

All journals on the List must meet the substantive business element test and fall within relevant Australia and New Zealand Fields of Research (FoR) codes.

The advantage to Researchers:

These rankings provide some indication of research quality and Impact that have been devised as an inexpensive method for the evaluation of research that can be conducted by individuals that have no expertise in the research areas.


1.The now-defunct Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) rankings list was discontinued in 2010 due to “ feedback from Research Evaluation Committees that they relied on their own expert knowledge of the quality of research outlets relevant to their discipline ” rather than using a ranking list.

2. The uneven nature of the grading across disciplines and the lack of a direct relationship between these grades and bibliometric indicators.

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