Published on 01 Jun 11
by "AUSTRALIAN TAX FORUM" JOURNAL ARTICLE
The Australian Federal Government launched its Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative in February 2008. As part of the ERA exercise, the Australian Research Council (ARC), the peak research body in Australia, uses ranking of journals as a main indicator to assess research quality. In February 2010, the ARC released its revised ERA journal list in which academic journals of all disciplines are ranked into four tiers: A*, A, B and C. The present paper intends to serve a two-fold purpose. First, it critically reviews the ARC's ranking methodology, with particular reference to tax journals. Second, it reports the findings of a study of Australasian tax academics' perception of tax journal ranking in general and the ARC's tax journal ranking in particular.
The data of this study are obtained from an electronic survey of Australasian tax academics. A couple of findings emerge from the analysis of data. First, while recognising the importance of the ERA list, tax academics in Australia and New Zealand do not regard the ARC's current ranking of tax journals as reliable. Second, although the ARC's rankings of tax journals are compatible with the respondents' rankings of tax journals in the relative sense, ARC's rankings are in general lower than the rankings by the respondents. In particular, the perception of Australasian tax academics is that Australian Tax Forum should be ranked A*, Australian Tax Review and perhaps New Zealand Journal of Tax Law and Policy should be ranked A.
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