so some reader might say well there are no general lessons from this conference experience and you are just being called out for the impolite devil that you are! No doubt there is some truth to that charge and I wish I had it in me to word things a bit nicer, to be naturally constructive iN conference questions the way I am when I write reviews and editorial letters!
BUT that is not the real issue that should concern accounting academics!
Every time we deliberately do not cite relevant literature, we are partaking in the silencing of those researchers not cited! Whether it is a markets researcher not citing experimental research, a field study researcher ignoring markets or experiments on their topic, a markets or experimental researcher ignoring field studies on point to there research – it diminishes the field as a WHOLE.
While some of the time it is from ignorance that such citations are not made, more and more I ann seeing this as being done deliberately and given the use of databases to readily do literature reviews it is hard to accept the ignorance argument.
Furthermore, capital markets and interpretive field researchers tend to be most ” guilty” of such selective citation practices!!!! I know the term guilty has strong normative tone to it, BUT readers of this blog know that I call it as I see it and deliberately not citing relevant research is wrong – no matter how much you like the person doing it or how much you believe it helps the cause of your research! Indeed, some field researchers justify this choice by saying markets researchers will not cite me so why should I cite them???
Did your mother not ever tell you ” two wrongs do NOT make a right!”?
(Reading the previous blog entry is necessary to follow the line of this one!)
so let’s assume today’s thought experiment is about a capital markets paper. Let’s assume it is one of the many papers that are attempting to incorporate behavioral finance /’psychology insights into a market reaction to accounting information story. Let us further assume that the authors cited the underlying psychology research, behavioural finance research and standard market in accounting.
But as you note, there is no mention of the experimental financial accounting research! But this paper used constructs that were used in experimental financial accounting research. Furthermore, rather than archival proxies for these constructs, the paper used on line people as surrogates for investors making assessments of constructs commonly employed in financial accounting experimental research!
Let’s also assume this paper was presented to a standard accounting audience. Likely there are a small but vocal minority of experimental accountants in the room! What would happen if one of those raised the same questions, but from an exclusion of relevant financial accounting experimental research that I suggested would be asked in the previous post?
Questions like: Do you think the author might have been accused of ignoring important accounting research literature? Do you think there might have been some suggestions that The author was not very competent in the tone of the questions? that at the very least by ignoring this literature the results could have been much more informed if the literature was cited?
Well this actually happened at a conference I was recently at and, as you might guess, I was the person asking the questions! What do you think the reaction of the capital markets folks in the audience was???
A circling of the wagons around the author with the suggestion that I was not being constructive! That my wanting citing of on point research was confrontational! In other words an attempt to silence the critic just like ignoring the citation of relevant experimental financial accounting experiments silences the contribution of this research in this day and age of citation index importance!
A double standard, is it not! The next post deals with lessons learned ( beyond the well known fact that I ask tough questions with a bit of an attitude)!!!
to set up this entry let’s assume An author had written an experimental paper that created post-earnings announcement drift in the lab. Let’s further assume that The author wrote this paper carefully citing the experimental economics literature, the finance and economics literature and other experimental accounting papers that were related to this paper!
But, let’s assume The author did not quote any financial accounting papers other than ball and brown! No Bernard and thomas, ec etc etc! After all their work was not immediately relevant to my experimential paper as The author was not attempting to make a market inefficiency versus risk argument!
If The author presented such a paper to a standard accounting audience in most of the world what do you think would be the reaction of capital markets researchers?
Do you think The author would have faced some tough questions? Do you think the author might have been accused of ignoring important accounting research literature? Do you think there might have been some suggestions that The author was not very competent in the tone of the questions? That at the very least by ignoring this literature the results could have been much more informed if the literature was cited?
I think we all know that the answer to all of these latter three questions would be a resounding YES!!! Would The author have deserved it – YES! Would it have been a ” feeding frenzy” with lots of questions, some openly hostile, to the author!!! We have all seen this happen…..
BUT what if the shoe were on the other foot? See my next post for the answer!