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Stephen Brammer: Publishing Business and Society Research in Top Journals (March 2013)
Sponsored by o Sustainable BusinessWarwick Business School Initiative
Aims Talk a bit about the challenges of publishing business and society research Examine the counter factual Suggestions for how to overcome barriers to publishing in top journals Some of these lessons are specific to B&S, others are more generalWarwick Business School
All publishing is hard & gettingrejected is the norm Publishing in “top” (4*, “A”, etc) journals is HARD and TIME CONSUMING Expect to spend more time in the preparation stage (pre-submission) than for lower level hits, and expect processes of revision to take longer and be more protracted (though turn around times for review can be very good) Expect to experience a volume-quality trade-off in your attempts to publish in top journalsWarwick Business School
Challenges in publishing business &society research Widespread distaste for evangelical, tree-hugging, sandal-wearing, politicised, band-wagonning, bearded, soap-box moralising Lack of a “natural home” among top tier journals for B&S work Inherently inter- and cross-disciplinary nature of research often leads to multi-theoretic framing Inherent complexity to phenomena typically leads to multi-level, non-linear and complex narrativesWarwick Business School
Challenges in publishing business &society research Many B&S scholars aren’t natural business school stock, experience challenge in translating skills to B-school outlets Value-sensitivity of many topics can make gaining engagement/access among potential research subjects/venues more difficult “Community” issues – lack of a strong reviewer/mentor senior community? Is B&S “zeitgeisty” any more?Warwick Business School
What can we learn from exampleslike these? Motivating /Selling your work - Instead of reflecting on what you find interesting or important about your work, ask “what might someone coming from a mainstream literature recognise as interesting in my work?” Ask “what more general conversation might my paper make a contribution to?” Concentrate on what your data actually say, rather than what you want them to say, be open and transparent about your evidence, use neutral language in your framingWarwick Business School
What can we learn from exampleslike these? Establishing/identify a strong link between your contribution and a stream of work in your target journal – especially in theoretical terms Be explicit about what your contributions are to that wider literature Try to strip (most but not all) complexity from your narrative – multi-theoretic contributions are difficult to find homes for If you can’t summarise your paper in two clear sentences, reviewers won’t be able to see your contribution clearlyWarwick Business School
What can we learn from exampleslike these? Harness your specific advantages – coming from a different discipline can help you make distinctive contribution, but try not to be “too different” Do your market research - all journals are idiosyncratic, you need to unpack house style and mirror that in your approach Construct neutral research questions, and relate these to issues of interest to participants to encourage engagement among participantsWarwick Business School
Conclusions ALL PUBLISHING in respectable outlets is very challenging – getting expectations right is a good start Giving sufficient to the DEMAND-SIDE of the publishing experience is an important activity This doesn’t mean that you have to sell your soul, it just means that you have to see work through others’ eyesWarwick Business School