Musings on Accounting Research by Steve

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Really, we can’t all publish in the American 3?!


Kris Hardies ( a heck of a good sort and one I am normally sypatico with) recently published a blog entry at the EAA ARC ( ). Really? “No sh*t Sherlock” as an expression, somewhat blue in nature, goes in North America! (Expression means, for non North American English readers, that is not a surprise with an allusion to the famous fictional British “consulting detective” Sherlock Holmes).

Kris’s argument is that there are at least 3000 publishing Accounting academics in the world and over a five year period there is not room for three thousand authors in the American Three! But who has agency here?

Is it not our fellow academy members in our own universities that decide we will only count Three ( or 4 or 5 or 6 or 10) journals? When I see commentaries like this I just cringe as it assumes that bright PHD’s have no agency in the matter!! You can find a different school, you can fight for change in your school, you can publish where you want and challenge any negative performance evaluation as arbitrary and unreasonable!

The one thing you should not do is to attempt to blindly conform and not publish your research at all in the best journals you can publish in! After all countless prize winning articles have been published outside the American Three. Yet to not publish at all is the reaction I have seen frequently to such edicts by schools and rants like Kris’s ( sorry Kris . . . .).

1 Comment

  1. Kris Hardies says:

    Hi Steve:

    I don’t think we’re in big disagreement here actually; the blog did contain the following sentences:
    – we should stop being preoccupied with just a few out of many journals.
    – there are many more fine accounting journals than just the big 6, or those indexed in Web of Science or those labelled as A* or A in the ABDC list
    – ‘our goal as scientists is not to publish as many articles as we can, but to discover and disseminate truth’

    So I definitely didn’t want to argue that we all should just ‘blindly conform and not publish your research at all in the best journals you can publish in’.

    But, I can’t blame you for labeling my blog as a “rant”. I definitely didn’t intend the blog as such, but I do have to say that two of my own PhD students told me they thought I’d written the blog shortly after a paper rejection and felt there was some bitterness in the way it was written, and at least two other PhD students (not my own) told me they thought the blog provided a somewhat depressing message. Clearly, I have to blame myself for that, but that definitely wasn’t the way I intended it to be read (“do research you enjoy, and publish in ‘the best possible’ journal – whatever that may be (in most cases it won’t be a Top X journal – but you really shouldn’t care very much about that”, would probably be a better summary of my intended message, but it seems I didn’t bring that across all too well).


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