European Society for Translation Studies

Statement on the rankings of Translation Studies journals

The European Society for Translation Studies is concerned by the difficulties that our discipline currently faces with respect to the main scholarly journals in our field.

There is a wide range of ranking systems, from the international Thomson Reuters ISI Web of
Knowledge to the European Journal Rankings (ERIH) and various national ranking systems.
Currently, only two Translation Studies journals are listed in the ISI Web of Knowledge; the SCImago index has many TS journals but rates them only in the mid range of Linguistics journals; many of the national indexes rate them poorly, perhaps because the evaluators are either in Linguistics or in Literature, leaving our discipline stranded in between. On the other hand, the ERIH ratings are generally good for our discipline, although the much-announced revised lists have yet to appear.

These rating systems are important not just for the scholarly standing of Translation Studies, but also for the way our members’ research is evaluated and their promotions are assessed.
The European Society for Translation Studies does not intend to evaluate journals, since there are already many evaluation systems. Instead, we take the following actions:

  1. We offer moral support all Translation Studies journals and, when requested, we will write in their support in their dealings with national rating systems.
  2. We urge the journal editors and publishers to comply with the criteria required by the top rating systems, especially the Web of Knowledge.
  3. We urge the main rating systems to establish “Translation Studies” as a category in their online search engines.
  4. Where requested or where approached as consultants, we will urge the national and European rating systems to include translation scholars in their Linguistics and Literature committees, or to establish Translation Studies as a separate category for rating

Executive Board
European Society for Translation Studies
March 5, 2011

Explanatory notes:

ISI Web of Knowledge

The ISI Web of Knowledge, now owned by Thomson Reuters, is a searchable database of scientific research. One of its products is the Journal Citation Reports (JCR), which ranks journals on the basis of the times articles are cited. The ranking system has various parameters and calculations, which are explained here:

These JCRs are the most widely recognized indexes in the sciences in general. Assessments of researcher performance and of research groups increasingly make reference to them.
The Web of Knowledge is not publicly accessible, but most universities subscribe.

The JCR Social Sciences Edition 2009 includes only two TS journals:
The Translator: Total cites 58; Impact factor 0.107
The Translator and Interpreter Trainer: Total cites 4; Impact factor 0.190

This might be compared with:
Journal of Pragmatics: Total cites 1629; Impact 0.952
Discourse and Society: Total cites 786; Impact 1.623
Discourse Studies: Total cites 367; Impact 1.575
Annual Review of Psychology: Total cites 8192; Impact 21.025
Trends in Cognitive Sciences: Total cites 11626; Impact 15.591

Other TS journals have been accepted on the Web of Knowledge but do not yet have a JCR rating: Meta, Translation Studies, Target and Interpreting are in this situation.

SJR rankings

Citation analysis is also the basis of the SJR rankings. Here, for example, you can see how Target is rated: