10.3.1 Worked example: Entry modes of Japanese multinational companies

So how do you do a final check to establish that you havent missed any highly relevant papers in the journal you are targeting? You could browse tables of contents on the web or in the library. However, Publish or Perish offers a much quicker way. Simply enter the journal in question in the journal title field of the Journal Impact Analysis. It is usually safe to limit your search to the last ten years, as recent papers if the authors have done their job properly will normally have referred to older work in the journal.

Let's assume you have written a paper about entry mode choice (the choice between different ways to enter a foreign market) of Japanese multinational companies and intend to submit to Journal of International Business Studies. The screenshot below lists the Publish or Perish output with the 30-odd most-cited papers in the last 10 years of JIBS.

The one but last paper on the list would certainly be relevant for your paper. However, there are quite a few other papers on entry mode choice or market entry. Furthermore, the highly-cited paper on international acquisitions (which is one particular mode of entry) might also be worth a look. Finally, there are two papers that deal with a theory of international new ventures, which is a topic that is related to entry modes. Please note that these are only the 30-odd most cited papers. To be certain that there are no other relevant papers you would need to work down the entire list of results as even papers that are not highly cited might be relevant to your own work.

Key words

Key words within a specific journal

Although this process is much quicker than searching through the journals table of contents, it might still lead you to pursue quite a lot of blind alleys. If your time is scarce and you are fairly confident that you have already done a rigorous literature review, you can speed up the process by searching for keywords within the journal. In order to do this, you will need to use the General Citation Search tab of Publish or Perish. For further information on the mechanics of General Citation Searches, see Chapter 5.

Sticking with our paper on entry modes in Japanese multinational companies, I now search for the term entry mode in the “The phrase” field of the General Citation Search with “Journal of International Business Studies” in the Publication field. This will provide any articles in which the words entry mode appear in that particular order. You will get the same results by including the search term entry mode in quotes (“entry mode”) in the “All the words” field. If you include the search term entry mode without quotes it will provide slightly more matches as it matches the words in any order. The screenshot below reports the results of this query, sorted by the number of citations.

It shows many of the same titles as the earlier search, indicating that entry mode is a topic that features in many articles published in Journal of International Business Studies. However, it also showed that one of the articles I had singled out for further study (Towards Theory of International New Ventures) does not include the word entry mode. Hence, it is probably safe to remove this from our list.

Journal-specific key words

On the other hand, it shows that articles I had not initially marked as including relevant information do refer to entry modes. For instance there are several articles referring to culture or cultural distance. These articles discuss the role of culture in entry mode choice as one of their topics. In the case of Explaining the national culture distance paradox, it is even the main topic of the paper, providing an update to the most highly-cited papers on entry mode choice (see below).

Using the “title words only” box to further refine results

If you feel that the second search still provides you with too many results to cope with, you can narrow down your search even further by repeating the last search, but clicking the “Title words only” box. As the number of matches will be much smaller, I have now removed the “last ten years” condition. The screenshot below provides all articles that have been published in Journal of International Business Studies since its inception in 1970 that have entry mode in their title, sorted by number of citations. As you can see the topic of entry modes has generated continued interest from international business scholars in the last 20 years.

Title words only

This is a very quick and easy way to ensure that you havent missed any papers that might be crucial to your topic. However, it does not allow you to find papers that might provide important insights on entry mode choice, but do not list the words in their title. In the previous section, I saw an example of that: the article Explaining the national culture distance paradox, which provides an update to the 1988 article that tops the list above. Hence, you might wish to do a less restrictive search as well and at least eyeball the results.