Does Bradford-Zipf aply to Business and Management journals in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise?

2005-07-28T15:09:20Z (GMT) by Valerie Bence Charles Oppenheim
As part of research on journal submissions to the UK Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), data was compiled for a longitudinal analysis for Unit of Assessment (UoA) 43, Business and Management Studies (BMS). Data on the 1996 RAE submissions for this UoA was considered. For the 2001 RAE, academic Departments in the UK wishing to submit to the RAE were asked to nominate up to four items of published output per member of staff being submitted that represented the best work those individuals had published in the period. There was no obligation to just use journal articles, as all types of publication were acceptable, but in practice the majority of items returned (69.7% in 2001) were journal articles. The remainder comprised reports, conference proceedings and similar outputs. Journal submission data obtained from the publicly available database ( following the 2001 exercise was checked, tabulated and analysed. This showed that for 2001, 7941 journal articles were submitted to 1489 journal titles . This sample of journal titles could be said to represent the best UK BMS research for the period 1996-2001 (the period under consideration in the 2001 RAE). . The question arises whether journals in which articles for the RAE are submitted represent the “core” journals for that subject. One way of approaching this question is to subject the data to a Bradford-Zipf analysis. If the material shows a classic Bradford-Zipf distribution, it could be argued perhaps that the core journals in the field can indeed be identified using this method. In order to address this issue and as part of the on-going research, the group of 1489 titles was used to test for a Bradford-Zipf distribution.