EURAM Meet the editors panel

Reports on a meet the editors panel at the 2016 EURAM conference

At the 2016 EURAM conference I chaired a "Meet the editors" panel. My introduction emphasised the development of the editorial role over time. We had a distinguished group of editors presenting their journals.

European Management Journal - Sabina Siebert
European Management Review - Mustafa Ozbilgin
Journal of Management Studies - Dries Faems
Long Range Planning - Tomi Laamanen
Organization Studies - Bobby Banerjee
Strategic Management Journal - Richard Whittington

Q&A session

What factors would cause you to desk-reject a paper?

The most frequently listed criteria were: lack of fit, not contributing to the journal conversation, lack of theoretical contribution, lack of novelty. However, most editors still provided substantive feedback with their desk rejects, so it is not all bad news. See also: Why does my paper get a desk-reject time and again?

What do you do if the reviewers give conflicting advice?

First of all, read the editor's letter very carefully. Usually the editor will provide advice on how to deal with conflicting advice. If there is no advice, contact editor as it might mean s/he did not realise the contradictory nature of the reviews. Remember, the editor is your friend and can accept your paper even with bad reviews (but the reverse can be true too).

What if the reviewers are really positive and the editor still rejects the paper? Can I appeal?

Realise that the reviewers might be much less positive about your paper in their private response to the editor. Different academic cultures have different reviewing styles and some academics are more direct than others. If you really think the editor made a mistake, most journals have appeal processes. The editors were divided about how likely it is that appeals are successful.

Are there any training resources for becoming a reviewer?

Most journals have resources online that explain how do write a good review. Some conference organise reviewer workshops. However, the best way to learn is simply to get involved as a reviewer, you learn by doing and you get to see the reviews of the other reviewers as well.

Can I become a reviewer as a junior academic?

Yes you can. Most journals really welcome academics volunteering to do reviews. Be clear about your expertise so the editor can ensure a good match with the paper.

Should I submit a paper to a top journal just to get good feedback?

Yes and no. First, make sure you polish your paper as much as possible before you submit. Present it at at least two conferences and get feedback. Major conferences provide much better feedback these days then they did in the past. Get several colleagues to read your paper as a "friendly reviewer". Then, and only then, submit the paper to a journal.

Can I write about China for European journals?

Yes, but the context has to be relevant to the audience. The paper also has to make a bigger contribution. Just doing research about a particular national context isn't enough.

Why isn't OS accepting paper submission in different languages like EMR does?

Organization Studies did accept submission in the major European languages in the past, but it no longer does. The editor's suggestion was to bring this request up again at EGOS. Other editors indicated that they do not reject papers because of the language, but they do acknowledge that translation is expensive, so academics might not want to invest in this until they know the paper is accepted.


Additional resources

These resources might be useful for academics preparing for journal submission. Thanks to Yvonne McNulty and Jan Selmer for sharing the first four resources. An extended list of resources is available in their forthcoming handbook: Selmer, J., & McNulty, Y. (2016). Publishing research on expatriates. In Y. McNulty & J. Selmer (Eds). Research Handbook of Expatriates. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar

  • Kilduff, M. (2007), ‘Editor’s comments: The top ten reasons why your paper might not be sent out for review’, Academy of Management Review, 32(3), 700-702

As the title says.... See also my blog Why does my paper get a desk-reject time and again?

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