Should junior faculty publish in a new journal like JAERE?
A note to worried souls and their senior advisors

In general, all researchers including junior faculty should try to publish in the most prestigious journals possible. We understand if some authors try other journals before JAERE. If your senior advisors read the following and still recommend a different journal, then you should follow their advice; after all, they will decide your promotion.


But we would like to point out to everybody that several factors make JAERE quite different from other start-up journals, and these factors might make JAERE a very attractive option to junior faculty.


First, for the past thirty years, the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE) appointed the editor of its official research outlet, the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management (JEEM). The 900 members of AERE devoted much energy to making its outlet the top journal in the field. Now AERE has discontinued identifying with JEEM and has started a new official research journal. Its last appointed editor of JEEM, Dan Phaneuf, has moved to become the first Editor in Chief of JAERE. Most of the co-editors of JEEM have also moved to become co-editors of JAERE. In other words, most of what made JEEM the top field journal has moved to JAERE, including the members of AERE, the editor, and most of the co-editors.


Second, we emphasize that only JAERE has the full-fledged support and backing of AERE—the top academic research association in the field of environmental and resource economics. The senior and most visible members of the association are committed to the success of the journal, for the good of the profession. We have already received dozens of papers from these individuals and secured the top researchers in the field as reviewers, with the goal of publishing only the best papers. We think others will want to be part of this. 


Third, we have recruited a veritable who’s who among the world’s economists to become co-editors of JAERE. These 25 individuals are at the top of the profession, and they have contributed their time and reputations to provide what is likely the most prestigious crew of environmental and natural resource economists ever assembled to co-edit one journal. They include three former JEEM editors-in-chief, two members of the National Academy of Sciences, and five winners of the “AERE Fellow” award.


Fourth, the new journal is being published and marketed by the University of Chicago Press, one of the most prestigious publishers on the planet. They will immediately package JAERE with their other economics journals, including the Journal of Political Economy, the Journal of law and Economics, and the Journal of Labor Economics. Most University libraries already subscribe to that package of essential economics journals and will therefore immediately start receiving JAERE. The new journal will therefore be available to all to read, to cite, and to gain reputation quickly.


It necessarily takes two years of published articles to get citations that count toward the first calculation of an “impact factor.” You may be up for promotion in less than two years, and your institution may put major weight on a mechanical calculation using impact factors of the journals in which you publish. But if your promotion is more than two years away, or if your university is adequately forward-thinking about the actual quality of the journals in which you publish, then your senior advisors could recommend that you publish in JAERE now as an excellent way to get in on the ground floor of what will become the top journal in the field.