Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing (PE&RS) Journal Receives Top Rankings

Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing (PE&RS) has been ranked number one in terms of cost effectiveness and citation influence in the field of Imaging Sciences & Photographic Technology; second in the field of Remote Sensing; and third in Geography-Physical, respectively, using a newly-released network-based journal ranking system developed by The University of Washington, Department of Biology.  These rankings were determined using the Eigenfactor system which analyzed over 6000 academic journals in a wide variety of scientific disciplines ( 

PE&RS excelled against 12 closely-related journals and holds first place in the field of Imaging Sciences & Photographic Technology, ahead of IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, and Remote Sensing of Environment.  PE&RS ranked second among 10 competing publications in Remote Sensing, behind only the IEEE Transaction on Geoscience and Remote Sensing.  Finally, in the category of Geography-Physical, PE&RS held third place after Journal of Coastal Research and Polar Research journal.

Dr. Carl T. Bergstrom of the Department of Biology, University of Washington reported that, “We have set out to develop better quantitative measures of journal cost-effectiveness. The most cost-effective journals are the likely "must-buy" periodicals for even small libraries wishing to cover the subject area. Indeed, a number of major university libraries and library consortia already use our metrics in making their subscription decisions.”  In studying the economics of scientific publishing, the University of Washington researchers were “struck by the fact that in most scholarly disciplines, library subscription prices for journals produced by for-profit publishers are 3 to 5 times as much per page as for journals produced by societies and university presses,” according to Bergstrom.

As described on the Eignefactor website, the system evaluates the influence of scientific journals using the same sort of network-based mathematics that Google uses to rank web pages.  Using this method, scholarly references join journals together in a network of citations. Eigenfactor uses the structure of the entire network (instead of purely local citation information) to evaluate the importance of each journal.  Eigenfactor measures journal price as well as citation influence.  While the Eigenfactor (and related Article Influence) scores do not incorporate price information directly, the Cost-Effectiveness Search orders journals by a measure of the value per dollar. 

The Eigenfactor analysis contains 115,000 reference items and adjusts for citation differences across disciplines.  Different disciplines have different standards for citation and different time scales on which citations occur. By using the whole citation network, Eigenfactor automatically accounts for these differences and allows comparison across research areas.

Bergstrom added, “The high prices of many for-profit journals do not reflect higher quality as measured by citation rates. But, these high prices have driven the current ‘serials crisis’ that leaves even large research libraries unable to afford all of the journals that their users demand.  Our numbers suggest that you [ASPRS] and your editorial board have successfully met this daunting challenge. Congratulations on this.”

ASPRS Executive Director Jim Plasker reacted to the good news, “We are extremely pleased that PE&RS has received this type of recognition.  ASPRS volunteers and staff constantly strive to produce the highest quality publications in the most cost-efficient manner.  We are very proud of PE&RS and believe the Journal is a world-class publication; the Eigenfactor ratings appear to confirm this belief.”

About PE&RS

PE&RS, published monthly by ASPRS, blends the intellectual depth of a professional journal with the breadth of news represented by an industry magazine.  Theoretical and applied papers address topics in photogrammetry, remote sensing, geographic information systems, global positioning systems and other geospatial information technologies.  Every technical article is reviewed by mapping experts to ensure it is of the highest quality and makes a valuable contribution to the mapping profession.  PE&RS is distributed worldwide to nearly 7,000 ASPRS members and institutional subscribers, and back issues can be viewed on line at


Founded in 1934, ASPRS is an international professional organization of 6,000 geospatial data professionals. ASPRS is devoted to advancing knowledge and improving understanding of the mapping sciences to promote responsible application of photogrammetry, remote sensing, geographic information systems and supporting technologies.