The Intellectual Foundations of Education: Core Journals and Their Impacts on Scholarship and Practice

Dec. 10, 2009

Source: Educational Researcher, Vol. 38, Iss. 9; pg. 700-706. ( Dec 2009).
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

Academic journals are the primary mode of communication among researchers, and they play a central role in the creation, diffusion, and use of knowledge.

This article updates previous attempts to identify a core set of journals that most education scholars would acknowledge as consequential sources.

On the basis of nominations from a panel of experts, 11 primary journals were identified; three of these journals were nominated by at least one third of the respondents.

The impact of these journals is assessed using a number of alternative metrics.
In addition, differences in impact on policy and practice versus scholarship are considered.

Lessons from the Analyses

The most striking finding from these analyses is the lack of any clear consensus about core education journals. Also similar to the findings therein, the nominated journals in this study were primarily those related to one's area of specialization.

Finally, the authors note that the impact factors of these top journals are low relative to those of other fields (even other social science fields). It seems likely that this is related to the knowledge on which education journals focus.

On a promising note for unity, the 11 core journals in the list did meet the authors’ expected criterion of having relatively greater impact than the other education journals.

Updated: May. 09, 2010