Ranking Journals and conferences in Supercomputing and Data Science

Helmut Neukirchen, 22. November 2019

Many academics insist on that journals are better than conferences, e.g. some PhD programmes have unwritten rules that a PhD thesis needs to involve at least one journal publication (which can be really a problem, because some journals have 1.5 year time span from submission to publication; add this to another 1.5 year for a PhD student to produce the first results being worth published in a journal/top conference, then this is almost impossible in 3 years of PhD study).

For Computer Science, some conference are as hard (or even harder) as journals, e.g. in terms of acceptance rates (which however depends also a lot, e.g. having a lot of crap submissions automatically leads to a low acceptance rate). Also Computer Science is a very fast developing field, so results would be often outdated after 1.5 years, so the far shorter publication cycles make conferences far more attractive.

As an example, below are two rankings (based on impact, i.e. citations such as h-index) that show that Computer Science conference are as high-quality (or even higher) as journals. Of course, you can always find conferences (but also journals) that have a low impact: therefore, instead of claiming that in general journals are better than conferences, you always need to look at each particular conference, but also at each particular journal (acceptance rates are missing in these lists -- they would be nice to compare, but this data is tedious to collect):