IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


VIRTUAL EVENT: Elite journals, publishing as prestige-generation, and implications for careers

09 March 2021, 2:00 pm–3:00 pm

Shelves of books. Image: Tony Slade for UCL Media Services

This event will explore how the intensity of engagement in publishing in elite journal impacts the global higher education research community.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Centre for Global Higher Education

Publications in top journals tend to influence three fundamental dimensions of academic life:

  1. securing an initial academic job
  2. the speed of promotion and attaining tenured positions
  3. access to competitive research funding.

Strategic journal choice is key to surviving in the current impact-oriented and resource-seeking academic environment. The reputation of journals plays an overriding role in gaining attention in science and is an important part of science signal systems: who publishes where matters. 

However, the prestige game in science is predominantly played by research-intensive universities and their research-focused scientists. Higher education as a field of study is not immune from these global pressures. 

The present research focuses on the higher strata of global higher education journals. In total, 6,334 articles published in six elite journals during the period 1996–2018 were studied in the context of 21,442 articles from 41 core journals.

Two research questions were addressed:

  1. How is the global higher education research community stratified in terms of the intensity of engagement in publishing in elite journals?
  2. How is the geography of country affiliations changing in elite journals?


Professor Marek Kwiek is Chairholder of UNESCO Chair in Institutional Research and Higher Education Policy, University of Poznan


Image: Tony Slade for UCL Media Services