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2008.05.30

Denise Rousseau on Publishing to Top Tier Journals

Yesterday I heard a talk by Denise M. Rousseau, President of the Academy of Management and the 1998-2007 Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Organizational Behavior. During the talk (which turned out to be an interesting Q&A discussion) I wrote down some of the tips she gave. Here they are.

  • If a good paper gets rejected due to a split review whose concerns can be addressed, argue with the editor for it to be reconsidered. When arguing offer unconditional positive acceptance of the editor's arguments.
  • Innovate in theory or in the method you use, but never on both.
  • Try to establish what type of papers a journal publishes (theory, qualitative, replication, quantitative, method, practical impact).
  • When targeting journals that publish diffuse articles (e.g. AMR, AMJ): define all key concepts, motivate the paper in multiple terms, explain choice of method and analysis, and (in the conclusion) return to motives and discuss implications.
  • Successful publishing strategies
    • Theory development (concept without data)
    • Construct development (new /refined concept to existing theory or research)
    • Generalization (replication on metastudy)
    • Practice
  • For any study relationship of variables is unimportant without providing an explanatory framework.
  • Explicitly mention the limits of your research.
  • Nowadays people (reviewers) come from various cultures and consequently don't share a common context. Therefore, never assume, tell explicitly.
  • Write using a strong topic sentence as the first sentence of each paragraph.
  • Give your paper to other 2-3 colleagues (probably from other universities) to review before submitting it.
  • To publish another paper from the same data set: use a different dependent variable, different theory, and disclose previous publications.

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