How to publish in top Management journals

In the Department of Management’s second Meet the Editor session, attendees heard from four inspiring academic speakers on how to publish in prestigious journals and the key pitfalls to avoid.

Editors of the top journals are tasked with reviewing thousands of papers, so how can you ensure that yours makes it past initial review and has a higher chance of getting published?

At the second of the Department of Management’s Meet the Editor sessions – chaired by Dr Muthu De Silva, Director of Research – Dr Geoff Walters, Executive Dean, School of Business Economics and Informatics welcomed Dr Dermot Breslin (International Journal of Management and Essex Business School), Professor Martyna Sliwa (Management Learning and Essex Business School), Professor Savvas Papagiannidis (Technological Forecasting and Social Change and Newcastle University Business School) and Dr Mohammad Faisal Ahammad (British Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies and Leeds University Business School) to share their insight.

This session was very well attended by 75 scholars around the world.

Through this interactive session, a number of key considerations for authors were discussed:

Tailor your article to the journal and never resubmit to a different journal without revising substantially

It goes without saying that articles should be tailored for a specific journal, but all presenters were in agreement that a quick way to get your submission rejected is to make it obvious that it has been submitted elsewhere first. Speakers emphasised that even if authors are resubmitting a paper to a different journal, it is essential to ensure that the article is tailored for this resubmission, as it is obvious when this is not the case.

Understand the scope of your chosen journal

To make it less likely that you will need to resubmit your article, it is important to understand the scope of different journals. For example, does your chosen journal publish literature reviews? Does your article ‘fit’ with the type of content that the journal has published in the past? Does it offer a new perspective on these issues? Taking the time to effectively target and understand your chosen journal will lead to a more successful submission.

Address any issues raised by editors and reviewers

Dr Mohammad Faisal Ahammad shared some useful insights from his experience of having papers reviewed, accepted, revised, and rejected. He noted that taking the time to respond to reviewer comments in detail led to a much greater acceptance rate. Use this response as an opportunity to highlight the contribution made by your paper and take the time to address concerns raised by reviewers in a way that makes the process as easy as possible for them. He -using a few examples-, clearly outlined strategies to adopt to successfully address common comments made by reviewers (e.g. motivation, common method bias and endogeneity issues etc)

Support journals by becoming a reviewer

Several speakers commented on the value of becoming a reviewer as a way to support journals and gain insight into this process. Becoming a reviewer is often a stepping stone to membership of an editorial board, so it is well worth considering the commitment.

We would like to thank Dr Breslin, Professor Sliwa, Professor Papagiannidis and Dr Ahammad for their time during this highly informative session. All are welcome to join us for our upcoming Meet the Editor events:

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Department of Management Welcomes Professor Vijay Pereira for first Meet the Editor Session

The Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of Business Research and Global Real Impact Editor for the Journal of Knowledge Management joined the Department for a virtual presentation on how to publish in top management journals.

Meet-the-Editor Sessions are free for anyone to join.

Screenshot of the group meeting for the Meet the Editor session

Dr Muthu De Silva (top left) and Dr Geoff Walters (top right) introduced this presentation by Professor Vijay Pereira (bottom left).

Dr Muthu De Silva, Director of Research and session chair opened the discussion by sharing the objective of the Meet the Editor series: to motivate and support our community of excellent scholars to thrive in research, during this difficult time.

While we are all missing face to face contact with colleagues across Birkbeck and beyond, it has to be said that lockdown has presented opportunities to be more creative and geographically ambitious with events in the School of Business, Economics and Informatics, as Dr Geoff Walters, Executive Dean reminded the audience during the welcome speech. Around fifty researchers in the field of Management tuned in to this online talk by Professor Vijay Pereira of NEOMA Business School, France, designed to provide greater insight into the types of research that top management journals are looking to publish.

As Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of Business Research and Global Real Impact Editor for the Journal of Knowledge Management, as well as a member of the editorial board for a number of other journals (e.g. Journal of Management Studies), Professor Pereira has extensive knowledge of prestigious publications, commenting on the ‘outside the box’ thinking that he brings to academia and the journals on which he works.

In this session, Professor Pereira provided a detailed introduction to the ethos and outlook of the Journal of Business Research and the Journal of Knowledge Management, along with his advice for those looking to publish in these journals.

Journal of Business Research

The Journal of Business Research (JoBR) is a UK ABS 3* and ABDC ‘A’ journal. Firstly, Professor Pereira highlights the importance of understanding the scope of the journal in which you wish to publish. In the case of JoBR, in addition to the theoretical rigour, the journal aids the application of empirical research to practical situations and theoretical findings to the reality of the business world. This practical underpinning is reflected by JoBR’s broad target audience, which includes executives alongside scholars and researchers.

JoBR has a somewhat unique organisational structure, with two Editors-in-Chief, three to four Deputy Editors-in-Chief, five Special Issue Editors and 65 Associate Editors covering sixteen discipline areas – this number is large but unsurprising considering that JoBR receives 4,500 -5,000 submissions a year! While publication is competitive, the journal’s 6% acceptance rate represents a significant number of papers, so Professor Pereira warns not to be discouraged from applying.

There are three key points to consider when submitting to JoBR:

  1. The quality of the theory
  2. Robust data or concepts
  3. Real-world implications for business or management situations

There are also three key points to consider in terms of the journal’s positioning:

  1. JoBR is international in scope, looking for work from new contexts and new scholars and continuing to grow globally
  2. The journal has moved from being marketing focused to being interdisciplinary covering a wider range of management disciplines, such as international business and innovation
  3. JoBR has a key focus on impact – it is the number one cited marketing journal according to Google Scholar’s H Index

Keeping the three I’s of international, interdisciplinary and impactful in scope is key for researchers submitting to this journal.

Journal of Knowledge Management

In the second part of this presentation, Professor Pereira discussed the Journal of Knowledge Management, a leading journal in this field with an ABS 2* and ABDC ‘A’ rating.

To Professor Pereira’s knowledge, the Journal of Knowledge Management is the first journal to have a Global Real Impact Editor and has also recently appointed Regional Real Impact Editors.

Putting impact at the front and centre of the work it looks to publish, the Journal of Knowledge Management invites pieces by scholars, academics and individuals from industry. It is similarly international in scope, with articles from China, India, Brazil, France and the UK in the pipeline. The journal looks to maximise the diversity of its output without compromising on quality, and a focus on impact from the beginning of the process enables it to do this.

A focus on the practical impact and applicability of research is therefore key when submitting to this journal.

We would like to thank Professor Pereira for his time and for an insightful and informative start to our Meet the Editor Series. All are welcome to join us for our upcoming Meet the Editor events:

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