Monetary Equivalent Value (MEV) of a Published Article in Psychology


  • Joseph G. Ponterotto


Publishing one’s research in peer-reviewed journals is generally acknowledged to be a valuable enterprise. This is particularly the case for academic and research psychologists who rely on publications for career status, stability, and advancement. Psychological researchers can devote extensive amounts of time to planning, conducting, writing up, and getting their research published in respected psychology journals, yet their work efforts in this regard have heretofore never been quantified monetarily. This article introduces the concept of a monetary equivalent value (MEV) of a published article in psychology. An initial basic linear equation is introduced that sets the dollar (or Euro) value of an article based on the median number of hours involved in publishing an article, the mean hourly wage of psychologists, and the 5-year Impact Factor (IF) of the journal in which the article is published. MEVs were calculated for the full range of journals published by the American Psychological Association (APA) that have IF ratings. MEV values varied widely, from a low of $4,562 for an article published in the journal "Dreaming", to a high of $131,613 for an article appearing in "Psychological Bulletin". This article represents the first to explore the MEV as an additional metric to understand the impact of published articles, and as such this exploratory study has numerous limitations. Chief among these is the study’s reliance on the controversial Journal Citation Reports (JCR) journal impact factor metric, as well as its extrapolation from a limited medical literature on the average number of hours involved in publishing a study.