Stephen Brammer: Publishing Business and Society Research in Top Journals (March 2013)
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  • 1. Sponsored by o Sustainable BusinessWarwick Business School Initiative
  • 2. 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
  • 3. 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
  • 4. 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
  • 5. 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
  • 6. BUTWarwick Business School
  • 7. 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
  • 8. 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
  • 9. 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
  • 10. 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
  • 11. Warwick Business School