Musings on Accounting Research by Steve

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Disclosure in our business

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As BRIA Senior Editor I have been surprised at the number of submissions that I have been receiving that do not have the experimental instrument (or survey, questions used as probes in interviews, etc) attached to the paper submission.  I think it is pretty clear from the website that it is required and for the life of me I cannot understand the resistance to providing the same.  Indeed, my understanding is that almost all accounting journals that publish this sort of research require the submission of related research instruments.

The only time in my career as an editor where I waived this requirement lead to one of my most embarrassing moments as an Editor (in-chief).  I was the Editor in charge of one of Jim Hunton’s papers at CAR (one of only three he published there thank goodness).  The submission stated that the questions used in that paper were embedded in a proprietary survey done for the sponsor of the workshop where he collected the data.  Hence, he could not provide me with a copy of the complete survey instrument.  So to my shame, I accepted the submission. Further the paper was presented at the 25th Anniversary CAR Conference and published in the 25th Anniversary CAR issue, the only Conference issue in the life of the journal.  While I can offset that shame by stating I was the only person/editor who publicly referred the entire corpus of Hunton research to Bently University that lead to the investigations/retractions, nonetheless as far as I was concerned I failed as an editor in not insisting on full disclosure.

So imagine my surprise when being recently asked to review a paper and requesting that the journal get a copy of the survey instrument I was fired as a reviewer as the authors did not want to provide it!!!!  SHOCKING – have we not learned our lesson yet?????  I complained to the senior editors at the journal who expressed some surprise and dismay at this happening (or at least on me calling them out over it happening – one can never be certain but knowing the editors I think it was genuine dismay).  More anon.


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