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Publishing in accounting journals: A fair game?

  • Moizer, Peter
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    Publication in the social sciences appears to have evolved into a game, played by four parties: the author, the reviewers, the editor and the bureaucrats using the simple criterion that a quality researcher publishes in quality journals. Acceptance rates for top quality journals now hover around the 10% mark. Something cannot be right with a system which creates so much apparent waste. Either too many authors are submitting substandard articles or too many reviewers are setting unrealistically high hurdles over which authors have to jump. Most of the literature has focussed on the unrealistically high hurdle rate explanation and also on the fallibility of reviewers and editors. The aim of this paper is to explore the issues of low acceptance rates as well as an increasingly lengthy publication process. The paper considers what is the purpose of publishing in academic journals and what are the motivations of authors, reviewers and editors. In order to inform both authors and reviewers of best practice, a summary of the extensive literature is given in the Appendix. The paper concludes with a survey of the suggestions that have been made to improve the publishing process in order to link back to the original purpose of publishing, that of communicating important results to inform public debate on major issues.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Accounting, Organizations and Society.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 2 (February)
    Pages: 285-304

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:aosoci:v:34:y:2009:i:2:p:285-304
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/aos

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    1. Ofer H. Azar, 2005. "The Academic Review Process: How Can We Make it More Efficient?," General Economics and Teaching 0502069, EconWPA.
    2. Glenn Ellison, 2000. "The Slowdown of the Economics Publishing Process," NBER Working Papers 7804, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Ruth Ben-Yashar & Shmuel Nitzan, 2001. "Are Referees Sufficiently Informed About The Editor'S Practice?," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 1-11, August.
    4. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1994. "Facts and Myths about Refereeing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 153-163, Winter.
    5. Bruno Frey, 2005. "Problems with Publishing: Existing State and Solutions," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 173-190, April.
    6. Strathern, Marilyn, 1997. "‘Improving ratings’: audit in the British University system," European Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(03), pages 305-321, July.
    7. Ofer H. Azar, 2005. "The Review Process in Economics: Is It Too Fast?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 482–491, October.
    8. Timothy Clark & Steven W. Floyd & Mike Wright, 2006. "On the Review Process and Journal Development," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 655-664, 05.
    9. Ofer H. Azar, 2004. "Rejections and the importance of first response times," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 259-274, March.
    10. R. K. Pachauri & Sujata Gupta, 2002. "Editorial," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(2-3), pages 127-128, September.
    11. Sharon M. Oster & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1998. "Aging And Productivity Among Economists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 154-156, February.
    12. Engers, Maxim & Gans, Joshua S, 1998. "Why Referees Are Not Paid (Enough)," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1341-49, December.
    13. Mark Thornton, 2004. "Does Academic Publishing Pass the Real Market Test?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 120(1_2), pages 41-61, 07.
    14. Hubbard, Raymond & Vetter, Daniel E., 1996. "An empirical comparison of published replication research in accounting, economics, finance, management, and marketing," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 153-164, February.
    15. Derek Leslie, 2005. "Are Delays in Academic Publishing Necessary?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 407-413, March.
    16. R. Purdy, 2002. "Editorial," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(1), pages 1-2, March.
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