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Round 2 of the impact factor wars – JCR reports earlier this week

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:

Source title CiteScore
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
Accounting Review 3.24
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
Management Accounting Research 3.800
Critical Perspectives on Accounting 3.182
Accounting Auditing & Accountability Journal 2.911
British Accounting Review 2.232
European Accounting Review 2.169

Some strong similarities.  The similarities include:

  1. the high ranking of Management Accounting Research (kudos to Wim and his team)
  2. the return of JAR as a contender for top accounting cited journal
  3. The missing of RAST from both lists and the fact that CAR only makes it into the second due to rounding error.
  4. The grouping of a new top three JAR, JAE, and MAR with several journals knocking at the door AAAJ, CPA, BAR and TAR.

Promotion of diversity

Promotion of diversity does not equal a preference for your own research method.  In a recent editorial Steve Kachelmeir referred to me as promoting “field research” and suggested that CAR under my editorship had devalued analytical research due to the percentage of board members that were analytical.  As one makes an editorial board bigger and more diverse the percentage devoted to any one paradigm will decline, it is basic math.

What did analytical research look under my CAR editorship?  We had a well known analytical researcher as Editor, seven hand picked by him Editorial Board members as well as others on the Board that had some analytical expertise!  What did Steve offer as an example of a move to diversity on his editorial board – he appointed Ken Merchant to the Board!  It is a long way from appointing one board member to have an Editor and a dedicated staff of EB members.

But Steve misses the point, it is not the promotion of field research or indeed qualitative methods or methodology that should govern Editors and Editorial Board appointments at an Association journal.  It is the recognition that as an association journal one has the primary responsiblity NOT to those who published in the journal before BUT the entire membership of the association.  No argument will ever convince me that ad hoc editors and reviewers do the trick.  After all North Americans only have to look at JAR in the Ray Ball era to realize how narrow a journal can get if it gets rid of half of the analytical researchers and all of the experimental researchers.  If ad hoc editors and reviewers would do the trick – how did JAR go from being 15% experimental to 2% experimental during those years????

My European “junket”

When I set out to be BRIA Senior Editor, I promised the ABO executive that I would not be hiding behind my desk but out actively promoting the journal so that its innovations would be obvious around the world.  Last Spring/Summer it was Australia where I got to connect with a great group of authors and potential authors for BRIA as well as some key people on my Editorial Team.  This spring/summer brings me to Europe where I will be in attendance at the European Accounting Association in Milan, the Dutch Foundation for Audit Research in Amsterdam, the International Symposium on Audit Research in Maastricht, and the Global Management Accounting Research Symposium in Copenhagen.  My normal mix, an open accounting conference, an academic practitioner conference, an audit conference and a management accounting conference.

What BRIA innovations will I highlight?

  • Replications – and encouraging more replications
  • Survey instrument validation – separating the development of instruments from the substantive application in a way that is persuasive
  • Methods pieces – how to do BAR research better and or differently
  • Theory pieces – applying theory to social and behavioral accounting research in novel ways
  • Field research as a foundational behavioral approach.

While we are not ignoring our history of producing significant original research, we recognize there are many competitors in that market.  However, despite the rhetoric from some other journals, we are serious about our innovations (if I wanted to cast stones, I would suggest you look at the first regular issue of the Journal of Finanical Reporting (volume 2 no. 1) and see how little innovation is actually present – but of course I would not do that!!!!) So if you see me (and at 195 cm or 6′ 5″ it is not hard to do) chat with me!!!  I look forward to seeing you on your “home turf”!



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