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I have been remarking as I travel around the world that the volume of manuscripts has not changed much over previous years but the quality has gone way up!!! This presents both good news and challenges. For a world of accounting that likes to focus on rejection rates, sorry folks, my rejection rate is going down. For the world of scholarship – good news – we are accepting articles that would have a problem finding a home elsewhere despite their being important topics.
The first paper our team accepted was a field study of governance committees (by Dana Hermanson et al forthcoming in issue 1 of 2019). Governance Committees are second order actors in issues that accountants study themselves (i.e. governance pick the pool that is available to fill the audit committee, etc). Furthermore, the authors objected to a lot of excessive theorizing – we know from lots of field studies in North American governance at least that it takes a combination of agency, resource based view and power theories in order to account for the diversity of practices in corporate governance. Nonetheless, the paper had been done very well and we decided that the push for excess theorizing was getting a little out of hand. Mind you, we requested that the authors do more theoretical analysis than they wanted, but in the end we had a meeting of the minds!
Scopus and their impact factor index (Citescore) had a day in the sun when I was at the EAA in Milano! The top ten rankings they came up with were as follows:
|Management Accounting Research||4.53|
|Journal of Accounting and Economics||4.36|
|Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal||4.33|
|Journal of Accounting Research||4.29|
|British Accounting Review||3.31|
|Critical Perspectives on Accounting||3.18|
|Meditari Accountancy Research||3.02|
|Accounting, Organizations and Society||2.94|
|Journal of Accounting Literature||2.61|
Notice the absence of some of the leading players as we like to think of them. CAR and RAST were not in the top ten of CiteScore.
Fast forward a few weeks and JCR reports from Clairviate Analytics came in
|Full Journal Title||Journal Impact Factor|
|JOURNAL OF ACCOUNTING RESEARCH||4.542|
|Management Accounting Research||3.800|
|JOURNAL OF ACCOUNTING & ECONOMICS||3.282|
|Critical Perspectives on Accounting||3.182|
|Accounting Auditing & Accountability Journal||2.911|
|AUDITING-A JOURNAL OF PRACTICE & THEORY||2.409|
|British Accounting Review||2.232|
|European Accounting Review||2.169|
|ACCOUNTING ORGANIZATIONS AND SOCIETY||2.077|
|CONTEMPORARY ACCOUNTING RESEARCH||2.065|
Some strong similarities. The similarities include:
- the high ranking of Management Accounting Research (kudos to Wim and his team)
- the return of JAR as a contender for top accounting cited journal
- The missing of RAST from both lists and the fact that CAR only makes it into the second due to rounding error.
- The grouping of a new top three JAR, JAE, and MAR with several journals knocking at the door AAAJ, CPA, BAR and TAR.
No I am not talking about the state of mind of the organizers, albeit with the amount of work they have to put into this every third year (just long enough to forget the details from the last time they hosted it) they may well feel that way at the time! No what I am talking about it the virtual absence of archival management accounting research at the conference.
If my memory serves me correctly, a few years ago the unbalancing was on the side of field research – where it was relatively rare to have more than one or two sessions of field work. In the last two GMARS the absence of archival management accounting research has been striking – not even enough papers for one full session.
On the plus side, GMARS is a beacon for diversity in management accounting research with experimental economics, psychology experiments, survey research, and all flavours of field research (positivist and interpretivists with the odd critical paper). Nonetheless, just as a few years ago when I saw the lack of field work a drawback, I am now seeing the lack of archival based economics work as a constraint to the success of what I think of as the best management accounting conference in the world.
(As an aside to a certain Texan, note that my defense of diversity is not based on my preferred methods being better represented but rather on the basis of what is needed to allow for an excellent exchange of ideas across research approaches.)