In France, the journals in the various social sciences have been evaluated by committees since the 1950s before getting yearly public grants for their publication. The 1980s witnessed the beginning of a very different process, the ranking of journals along hierarchical categories. It was generalized to the European Union and then to France in 2007-2008. On the contrary, the article argues that only a single list encompassing the scholarly journals, both in France and in Europe, would make sense. It insists on a major dimension of the activities of journals : creating and developing knowledge, which cannot be assessed through unilateral and pre-established categories.
By Patrick Fridenson