Musings on Accounting Research by Steve

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Monthly Archives: September 2017

Off to Europe (and to the UK)

Heading out this week to Europe (and just in case it does not consider itself part of Europe any more, the United Kingdom).  Visiting the University of Bristol, working on some research with a co-author, being part of the faculty at the EARNet (European Audit Research network) doctoral consortium, and presenting my research there.  It is a heavy trip, no a boondoogle.  Two presentations, four discussions, an editors panel and a round table plus my own research.  So while it might sound glamorous there is real work involved in preparing and while on site.

However, it will be great to get back to Leuven which I consider one of the best kept secrets in accounting research in the world.  A world class faculty in auditing and management accounting with some excellent doctoral students.  Looking forward to KU Leuven again.

Respect the process

For years it was an article of faith among American researchers that their three journals, The Accounting Review, Journal of Accounting Research and Journal of Accounting and Economics were the most rigorous, most insightful, most everything journals in accounting.  When you pushed them for evidence, the most common response was well look at the SSCI journal reports.  The Social Sciences Citation Index (part of the web of science which is a part of the Thomson Reuters empire) was, and in many circles is still, considered the ultimate in quality control for citations.  Year after year that index said the same thing, they were the most cited, with the odd year that Accounting Organizations and Society would displace one of the three (and consistently would displace one of the three if one used the five year citation index instead of the two year impact factor)..

Okay, so I got it then!  But today things have changed, the American Three are still contenders but year after year other journals are consistently getting more cites than one or two of these three.  Management Accounting Research being the top example. But instead of adjusting the top three list or admiitting that maybe there are more than three journals that matter, like the Australians and Europeans do, many American academics put the blinders on and say “we only look at citiations for journals we consider important and then rank them by citations.”

Hmmmmmmm, another example of American exceptionalism at work.  After all this must be FAKE news.eh????????

Doctoral students say the most insightful things

Last week at our (i.e., Queen’s Smith School of Business) Graduate Student Symposium I had the honor of leading a discussion about publishing with about 25 grad students.  I was surprised again by how much knowledge I did not know that I had when students asked “the darndest questions!”

One of the best, was a question about editorial process differences.  As I answered the question I realized how varied the models are.  These include:

  • How papers get assigned to editors by senior editors?
    • At random or by subject area/methodological area or by nomination of author
  • How do reviewers get chosen?
    • By Editors or by the Senior Editor
  • Who has final acceptance responsiblity de facto?
    • Editor or the Senior Editor or both
  • How is the review process done?
    • Single blind (i.e. reviewer knows who author is) or Double blind (i.e. reviewer does not know who authors are) or at the call of the Editor
    • Are reviewers compensated and what does that do to their objectivity if anything?
  • What are differences in editorial cycle turnaround times?
  • What are differences in journal acceptance rates?

All of these are good things for doctoral students to know and for supervisors to pass on their knowledge about.

Blog writer’s block

The summer in the northern hemisphere has produced a large blog writer’s block.  Hence, the “sound of silence” for the last few weeks.  So now for some thoughts:

  • After a quick start a couple of years ago, the number of replications coming into the system at BRIA has been low.  Reasons?  I will publish a brief introduction to replications at the BRIA website in the near future to help this conversation.
  • We are getting about a manuscript a week submitted.  So far the score is 4 second rounds, 6 rejects after first round, 1 not suitable for the journal. Four of the editors have processed their first manuscript.
  • A prominent Australian academic has agreed to write a 30 year retrospective on what is so far the only critical perspectives paper to have been published in the Accounting Review.
  • Critical Perspectives on Accounting is publishing later this year an empirical paper with six commentaries (Steve Kachelmeir and me among those six) that looks that the signals editors send when constructing editorial boards.  If you have never read CPA, this is one article you will not want to miss.
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