Musings on Accounting Research by Steve

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We are not looking for the cure to XYZ

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One of my teachers at the undergrad level and now a member of the International Accounting Standards Board (wow that is a long way from Mount Allison University) is noted for saying that as accounting researchers “we are not looking for the cure to cancer!”

What he was NOT doing was saying our research was unimportant! What he was saying is that as social science researchers we need to 1. Get it right and 2. Write it clearly and persuasively.

My added observation is that for most of us getting papers in top journals is hard to do. The number of ideas we have that put us into a position to get into those journals is likely limited ( I can say this readily with one JAR for seven submissions, four TARs for eleven submissions, five for eight at CAR, eight for eleven at AOS etc).

So, for good ideas we need to think long term and not rush them into journal submission especially when the feedback from peers at conferences and workshops is “great idea package it better”. Years ago Larry Brown did a study that showed papers exposed at workshops and conferences did better at senior journals! BUT this result is NOT by magic! It means take the authors needed to revise, revise, revise if they were to get published in senior journals!

So, I do not know about you, but I can tell you from this side of the desk, I have too few good ideas to waste them by submitting papers early only to get them rejected!


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