Can we classify real scientific journals?
When two scientific journals follow the same publication standards (e.g., papers are blindly reviewed by at least three reviewers), then how can we say that one is better than the other? Apparently, the European Science Foundation through the European Reference Index for the Humanities is attempting to classify journals in humanities. On the other hand, a number of editors have made their objection to this attempt loud and clear in a common statement. I totally agree with them when they say
Truly ground-breaking work may be more likely to appear from marginal, dissident or unexpected sources, rather than from a well-established and entrenched mainstream.
In my own experience, established journals are too conservative and they do not dare to publish quirky ideas. Consequently, by adopting such a scheme Europe will drive its scientists to work on “established” ideas only…