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How to Get Published: What are Editors [and Reviewers - Innovate

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HOW TO GET PUBLISHED:
WHAT EDITORS &
REVIEWERS LOOK FOR
Mike Wright
Centre for Management Buy-out Research, Imperial College
Business School
Former Editor, Journal of Management Studies &
Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, Journal of Technology
Transfer
Co-editor, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal
Mike.wright@imperial.ac.uk
• Editors: Jay Barney, Mike Wright, Tom lumpkin, Rajshree
Agarwal + AEs
• Emphasis on strategic aspects of Entrepreneurship
• Innovation, technology, growth, risk, behavior, actions, processes, social
• Submissions increased sharply since impact factor
• Like to identify papers likely to make it and work with authors
• Theory development
• 4 issues [inc 1 special]
It’s Getting More Competitive & the
Threshold has Increased!
Trend in Submissions to JMS
1000
900
800
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
JMS
2000
2002
2004
2006
2008
2010
Paper Submitted
“Desk” Reject
Reject
Send for Review
Major mods.
Minor mods.
Rewrite and resubmit
Reject
Rewrite
Accept
Publish
Return
Accept
Timescales
• Initial Response – one month
• Receipts of reviews and decision – 3-4 months
• [some variance…..16 months from ICC]
• Resubmission – 6-8 months
• Receipts of reviews and decision – 3-4 months
• Acceptance to publication – 6-12 months
How low are acceptance rates in top journals?
E.g. Journal of Management Studies
• Desk rejects approaching 70%
• Acceptance rate c6%
• => ….and some other top journals have even higher
rejection rates
• => importance of getting over hurdle [1] to be sent out for
review and maximize chances of getting over hurdle [2] to
Revise and Resubmit, probably best you can hope for
Strategy
• Be realistic about publishing in the very top journals
– Few system-wide publish one in very top tier journals in a career
• Lower level journal to build confidence?
– But be mindful of quality threshold
• CV-fillers vs papers that count
• Develop portfolio
• Balance desire to get published with quality of journal and
�perceived’ quality of paper
• Too many low level publications sends negative signal
Journal of Management Studies
Reasons for Reject
• Stage 1 Initial submission
– Fit between subject and scope of journal
– Nature of contribution
– Rigour of methods
– Novelty of findings
– Extent of contribution
– General presentation
• Stage 2 – First review
– Theoretically weak
– Poor description of methods / inappropriate methods
– Lack of integration
– Lack of novelty
– Weak contribution
JMS Reasons for Reject After Review
[based on 270 papers in 2003-2004]
Reason
#
%
Lack of contribution
248
92
Failure to develop
theoretical
contribution
Fatal flaws in
methods
Deficiencies in
analysis
205
76
189
70
156
58
Choosing a Journal
• Reputation
– ISI Impact Factors vs �subjective assessments’
– ABS list
– FT40 now FT45
– Your university’s list
– See www.harzing.com
• Prior work in similar areas
• Citations
– Publish or perish
– Google scholar – usually much higher as pick up cites in
other outlets than journals
2 and 5 year Impact Factors 2012
ACAD MANAGE REV
ACAD MANAGE J
J MARKETING
J MANAGE
J MANAGE STUD
ADMIN SCI QUART
J ORGAN BEHAV
STRATEGIC MANAGE J
ACAD MANAGE PERSPECT
INT J MANAG REV
J INT BUS STUD
J CONSUM RES
J BUS VENTURING
J INT MARKETING
J RETAILING
J SERV RES-US
J ACAD MARKET SCI
FAM BUS REV
ENTREP THEORY PRACT
J MARKETING RES
R&D MANAGE
6.169
5.608
5.472
4.595
4.255
4.212
3.854
3.783
3.75
3.581
3.557
3.101
3.062
2.9
2.75
2.732
2.671
2.6
2.542
2.517
2.507
11.442
10.565
7.039
6.81
5.16
6.545
4.382
6.288
2.704
4.978
5.245
3.96
3.849
3.596
3.645
4.138
4.233
3.472
3.61
3.978
3.171
J BUS ECON MANAG
J WORLD BUS
MARKET SCI
BUS ETHICS Q
LONG RANGE PLANN
J ENVIRON ECON MANAG
J PROD INNOVAT MANAG
STRATEG ENTREP J
BUS STRATEG ENVIRON
INT J ADVERT
CORP GOV-OXFORD
J BUS RES
TECHNOL FORECAST SOC
J INTERACT MARK
CALIF MANAGE REV
INT J RES MARK
STRATEG ORGAN
J PUBLIC POLICY MARK
INT J ELECTRON COMM
SMALL BUS ECON
SUPPLY CHAIN MANAG
IND MARKET MANAG
BRIT J MANAGE
INT BUS REV
QME-QUANT MARK ECON
INT SMALL BUS J
2.388
2.383
2.36
2.205
2.197
2.169
2.109
2.053
1.96
1.903
1.897
1.872
1.709
1.679
1.667
1.662
1.643
1.595
1.55
1.549
1.535
1.53
1.516
1.511
1.5
1.492
3.073
3.007
2
2.372
3.06
3.64
2.803
1.92
1.502
2.473
2.214
2.231
2.417
2.638
2.364
2.426
2.287
2.404
2.489
2.475
1.827
1.76
2.098
Submitting to Journal
• Read the papers in the journal
– cite papers on your topic
– cited authors may be your reviewers
– see structure and framing of papers
• “We went through previous AMJ papers line-by-line. We identified
standard phrasing and framing” Frans van den Bosch [Erasmus
University, published in AMJ 2006]
–Follow style guidelines
• citation and heading style, etc.
• number of copies [if not electronic]
Submitting to Journal
• Take time to polish the paper and receive comments
from colleagues, seminars, workshops, etc.
• Make sure it’s �complete’
• If not complete, looks sloppy and send wrong signal
• especially, references and correct style
• abstract &/or Executive Summary
• number the pages
• get rid of track changes and internal notes to yourself!
• Submit to ONE journal at a time!!!
• Submission Letter
• Be brief!
Papers from PhDs
• Carving out papers by editing your PhD
• It shows!
• A good idea to co-author with an experienced researcher who
has published in good journals
• Writing a paper from a new structure
• essential!
• Scope
• Don’t try to cram too much into one paper
• But Dangers of �salami slicing’
Submitting to a journal
– Clarify your contribution and added value
– Theoretical contribution is increasingly given priority over
empirical contribution
– Do not mischaracterise the literature to force your point
– Often useful to draw diagram of model
– Link hypotheses to your theory & put others in control
variables
– Ensure methods and measures are fully explained and
appropriate
– Conduct an appropriately detailed discussion of the
findings, implications and limitations
– Give the paper a lift at the end
Introduction & Framing Are Key But
Require Considerable Crafting
• What’s the Novel Contribution?
• Disconfirm some existing assumptions
• Addressing observed puzzles
• What’s the research gap & why important to fill?
• Consensus-challenging research vs �filling-in-the-potholes’
• Seeking to bring a new theoretical lens to an established area
• important to show shortcomings of existing approaches and how the
new lens causes us to see a topic quite differently.
• Opening up a new topic not addressed before.
• may be published in more prestigious journals only once its validity
has been established
• Be Explicit About Research Question
• [and how you arrive at it]
• State your contribution[s]
• Contribution to general [theory]; Contribution to specific
Receiving replies from journals
• 1-3+ reviews plus editors’ letter
• If you get a revise and resubmit (R&R) this is a
VERY GOOD SIGN!
• Most papers get rejected
– Even from senior and experienced academics
– “If you are not getting rejected, you are aiming too low”
Donald Siegel [Editor AMP]
To publish in good academic journals
you need to be able to F.I.T.E.....
• F – focus [on research, on journals], frame
• I – ideas, inspiration, insight
• T – tenacity [take rejection and deal with
adversity], techniques, teams
• E – energy [deal with sheer amount of input
needed], enjoyment, enamoured [passion]
And Finally…..
Good Luck!!!
Appendix:
Details on Structuring a Paper
Introduction and Framing
• Not sufficient to have just �perfectly formed empirics’
• Framing and positioning the whole paper is crucial
•
This applies to how to present theory and empirical sections
• Novel [Theoretical & Empirical] Contribution?
• Disconfirm existing assumptions or address observed
puzzles
• Quality of research & importance of RQ
Introduction and Framing
• What’s the research gap & why important to fill?
• Not just a methodological gap!!!
• Consensus-challenging research vs �filling-in-the-
potholes’
• Seeking to bring new theoretical lens to established area
• Demonstrate shortcomings of existing approaches and
how new lens helps see a topic differently.
• Opening up a new topic not addressed before.
• Such work may be published in more prestigious journals
only once its validity has been established
• Avoid saying paper is exploratory
• Methods still have to be rigorous and �industry standard’
Introduction and Framing
• Be Explicit About Research Question
[and how you arrive at it]
• State your contribution[s]
• Contribution to general [theory]
• Contribution to specific
• Brief recognition of the data being used
Framing Entrepreneurship Papers for Top
Management Journals
• What is novel? What shortcomings in existing
management research does entrepreneurship
context sheds new light on?
• What conceptual frameworks is paper grounded in?
• Connect entrepreneurship to management
debates?
• Rigorous research that speaks to real problems and
questions [McGrath 2007]
• Interact with practitioners and link this to key debates in the
literature to give conceptual grounding
Structuring the Paper
• Literature and Theoretical Framework
– Focus the literature review on the issues to be covered
– Clear and justified theory
– Integration of theories can be advantage but avoid too
many
• Hypothesis development
– Have an overall framework upfront so the reader knows
how things fit together => Draw a diagram which helps
connect to the analysis
– Use theory to develop hypotheses not previous
empirical studies
– Avoid replicative and uninteresting hypotheses
•
Implications for conduct of the analysis
– Hypotheses need to connect to the theoretical
framework
•
Can put others in control variables
Structuring the Paper
• Data and method
• Sample and method
•
•
Why this sample and method?
Up to date data
•
•
Especially if using databases
More of a problem for questionnaire surveys
• Cross-section vs longitudinal
•
Endogeneity; causality vs association…
•
Standard techniques to deal with endogeneity now expected in
management journals
Structuring the Paper
• Data and method
• Archival vs questionnaire
•
•
�quality’ of measures; derivation of research instrument;
low response rates increasing problem with mail surveys
•
•
hence even greater importance of establishing validity and reliability
On-line questionnaires
•
•
•
Can enable higher response rates
Are the scales sufficiently rigorous?
Can you convey representativeness etc.?
• Hand-collected vs off the shelf
Structuring the Paper
• Data and method
• Differentiation; multiple sources..
• Multi-levels
•
•
Increasing interest from journals
Increasingly being recognized that need to use multi-level methods if
have multi-level variables
• Mixed methods
•
•
•
Journals increasingly interested in mixed methods
Need to justify use
Qualitative should not just replicate the quantitative findings but help
explain puzzling results
Structuring the Paper
– Data preparation
• Response bias and representativeness tests
• Reliability, validity, common method bias, inter-rater reliability
– Standard common method bias tests but top journals
going beyond one-factor tests
– Can you obtain data from another source [e.g.
Financial data]
•
Variable definitions
– Connection between theory and measures
» Cf. �proxies’ in some disciplines
– Control variables
В» Include some! Especially key ones
•
Brief descriptives; correlation matrix, means and standard deviations,
VIFs
Structuring the Paper
– Analytical methods
•
•
Justify approach adopted
May be some debate about whether alternative approaches
should/could also be used
– Undertake different tests and footnote
•
Selection bias issues
– E.g. Exporting propensity vs intensity – selection into exporting
– Standard techniques – e.g. Heckman, tobit..
•
•
–
Statistical and economic significance
Management and entrepreneurship journals now expecting to see
economic significance data
Be Concise
Structuring the Paper
• Results and Analysis
• Be Concise and structure in line with H’s
• Avoid �surprises’ where you introduce tests not
theorized
•
E.g. Introducing interaction effects only in results section
•
Save discussion for later
• Management journals tend to go for models with
clearer justified measures not use of different proxies
•
Major issue if use dataset for purpose it wasn’t designed for
•
Build up from controls to final model showing
significance of incremental R2
• Top journals tend to frown on 10% sig. Levels
• Robustness analyses
•
•
Common in finance journals, now appearing in
management/entrepreneurship journals
Justify why you are doing this
Structuring the Paper
• Discussion
– Summarize findings; Link results to literature – what is
surprising?
•
Don’t go beyond your findings
– Implications for management
– Limitations and further research
• Don’t commit suicide!
• Conclusions
– Emphasize contribution
– Don’t finish on limitations!
• References
• Journal style and completeness
• Footnotes [minimize]
• Tables & Figures
– Ensure are clear and self-explanatory
Responding to Reviewers
• Read the reviews and note all the points
• Write to Editor for clarification, if needed
• Disagree with the reviewers
• Timescale
• Write a detailed response
• Attention to detail
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