Musings on Accounting Research by Steve

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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Tightening up our data standards

Journals in other disciplines are beginning to require more disclosure about back of the house activities in the research process. Some economics journals require the final data set be posted. Some psychology journals are requiring disclosure of any manipulations that were omitted in the final data analysis or how many times different variants of the same experiment were run before a significant result is found!!!

I find the statement that the archival data used in our research is from publicly available sources and that is the end of the disclosure about data availability to be one of the most disingenuous statement very made. Especially by a group of scholars who are often studying the transparency of others disclosures.

It is especially worrisome as one sees paper after paper after paper eliminating large portions of the total population due to missing data, outliers, windsoring, inability to match observations across data sets etc. lets make it a required disclosure that the first data set used be disclosed so that others can replicate the exclusions and see if they are warranted.

I will elaborate on this theme in my next post or two with a concrete example from our literature.

Editing a paper to “death”

Every now and gain I come across strange cases where one reviewer recommends acceptance of a paper and the other reviewer keeps pushing for changes. The editor instead of drawing the matter to a close continues to let the process run on and on! What happens??? The paper in the end never satisfies the reluctant reviewer and gets to the point where the reviewer who recommended acceptance either changes his/ her mind or withdraws from the process talking the favourable voice out of the process.

You know what happens in this story don’t you???? Yep, the paper gets rejected!!! Strike another blow for strong editing!

Not mysterious enough

Yet again I have encountered what I call one of the silliest reasons for rejecting a paper – it is not complex or mysterious enough!

No it was not one of my papers but it has happened to two different sets of authors I know.

May I ask editors and reviewers what is wrong with clear straightforward and comprehensible writing in our papers??

One senior academic who is an editor at a major journal actually believes that scholarly reading should be ” hard work.” Excuse me, I thought doing research is hard work but I did not think we needed to make reading the results of those labours difficult.

The worst thing is that these folks are so certain of their position that no amount of talking with them will change their minds.

But maybe if I find a complex and difficult way to write about it they might listen! Nah!!!!!

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