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ERIH replies on its 2011 rankings of Translation Studies journals

On June 5 2011, the European Society for Translation Studies expressed its concern and dismay at the systematic downgrading of Translation Studies journals in the 2011 lists released by the European Science Foundation.

On November 28 2013 (after more than two years of silence?), ERIH gave the purely generic reply reproduced below, which does not address the status of interdisciplines like Translation Studies.

We urge our members, wherever possible, to disregard the ERIH lists, which now claim to be "merely informative". Our own lists of journals, and notes on ranking, are more informative.

Anthony Pym
December 6, 2013

From: erih <erih@esf.org>
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 2013 13:28:37 +0000
Subject: Update about ERIH

Dear colleague,

We would like to thank you for your message in response to the publication of the European Reference Index for the Humanities (ERIH) Revised Lists 2011. The ESF Standing Committee for the Humanities (SCH) and the ERIH Steering Committee very much appreciate feedback from the research community to the publication of the lists. The ERIH lists are produced by researchers for researchers and discussions and consultations with the research community are an important contribution to further development of journal indices for the humanities and social sciences.

In response to your enquiry, and on behalf of the SCH and the ERIH Steering Committee, I would like to inform you that:

1. The aim of ERIH is to enhance the global visibility of high-quality research in the Humanities across all of Europe and to facilitate access to research journals published in all European languages; it is not to rank journals or articles. All journals included in ERIH meet the threshold standards as defined in the criteria for inclusion (full definitions of criteria available here). Categories NAT, INT1 and INT2 do not constitute a ranking but convey additional information on their audience, distribution and reach.
2. The SCH and ERIH Steering Committee consider the identification of quality national journals as the main innovation of ERIH and thus the NAT category is equally valuable as INT 1 & 2. The categorisation of a journal as NAT, or re-categorisation from INT to NAT should therefore not be understood as down-categorisation. Please note that, in response to concerns voiced by the community of researchers, the initial categories A, B and C have been replaced by new ones (also for 2007 Initial Lists).
Journals covering more than one discipline may have been considered by more than one panel. Each panel put its considerations in the context of its specific discipline and the publication culture of this discipline. It has therefore been accepted that different panels can attribute different categories to the same journal.
ERIH Expert Panel members and chairs are appointed by the ERIH Steering Committee. They are experienced researchers in their domain and take their decisions independently based on peer-review process. Lists of panel members are available here. The panels make independent recommendations on the inclusion of a journal in ERIH and on its category. The ERIH Steering Committee and SCH are responsible for verifying the overall accuracy of the process, not individual decisions.
ERIH 2011 Revised Lists are a result of the second phase of the ERIH project. In the period November 2008 – January 2011 ERIH Expert Panels met to work on the revised lists. They reconsidered the categorisation of journals already included in ERIH Initial Lists based on feedback forms received from editors and publishers and, when necessary, data from publicly available sources . All editors and publishers were given the opportunity to give input to the ERIH categorisation process through feedback forms. Based on the same sources, the panels also considered new journals submitted for inclusion in ERIH.
ERIH panels express the outcome of their considerations by including - or not including - a journal in an ERIH list and by attributing it a category. They do not provide a concluding statement for each journal and, consequently, the ESF-ERIH office is not able to provide justification for individual decisions.
All journals submitted or re-submitted (via feedback form) to the ESF-ERIH office in time to be considered by a panel in the revision phase (2008-2011) have been discussed by the panel. However, it should be noted that only journals that were submitted before the closing date (list of closing dates available here) were evaluated by the panel.
If a journal was submitted to the ESF-ERIH office for consideration before the closing date but has no classification (category) in the 2011 column of the list, this means that - in the opinion of the panel - the journal had not met the threshold standards of ERIH mentioned under point 1 and has been removed from ERIH. It is important to note that some panels have not delivered their revised lists (this is the case for Archaeology, Religious Studies and Theology and History of Science lists) and, consequently, the lists published on the web include only categories from 2007 Initial Lists.
ERIH categories do not refer to individual volumes or years of a journal. The categorisation is a general appreciation of the volumes from recent years.
The second round of ERIH panel meetings has been completed and there is currently no possibility to request a reconsideration of panel recommendations or to submit a new journal for inclusion in ERIH. Should such a possibility arise, it will be announced on the ESF ERIH webpages.
All hyperlinks to information provided above can also be accessed via the ESF ERIH webpages: www.esf.org/erih.

I trust these explanations answer your question(s).

Best regards,

Dr.Nina Kancewicz-Hoffman
Senior Science Officer, Humanities and Social Sciences

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Further information:

Formal letter of complaint from EST
Formal letter of complaint from AEITI
Resolution by CATS
Introduction to ERIH lists

 

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