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Journal of Business Research 64 (2011) 150156

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Journal of Business Research

Writing and publishing important scientic articles: A reviewer's perspective


David J. Ortinau
University of South Florida, College of Business, Department of Marketing, Tampa, FL 33620-5500, USA

a r t i c l e

i n f o

a b s t r a c t
The article discusses various complex and interrelated quality issues mediating reviewers' expectations and standards. Authors must meet or exceed reviewers' and editors' expectations of providing convincing arguments and support of the importance and relevancy of the research topic and questions, evidence of scientic rigorousness, and meaningful and usefulness of the ndings making substantial and/or incremental contributions to the scientic body of marketing knowledge. Marketing scholars struggling to publish their research in high-quality marketing journals will denitely benet from the insights in this article. 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Article history: Received 1 January 2010 Received in revised form 1 January 2010 Accepted 1 February 2010 Keywords: Scientic article Writing and publishing insights Journal quality image Review process Important-relevant contributions

1. Introduction Throughout the world, university and program accreditation and scholarly research standards are rapidly changing and marketing scholars face increasing research and publishing productivity requirements governing hiring and promotion/tenure decisions as well as establishing a successful professional career. Pressures are growing for marketing scholars, particularly young assistant professors, to provide evidence that their scholarly research activities include conducting high-quality theoretical and empirical research projects which are innovative and cutting edge (Armstrong, 2003; Ladik and Stewart, 2008; Rust, 2008; Weitz, 1992), leading to the publication of important scientic articles (Armstrong and Pagell, 2003; Woodside, 2009). Scientic articles provide meaningful contributions to the body of marketing knowledge on topics interesting and relevant to a variety of constituencies and readership groups such as other academic researchers, research practitioners, managers, public policymakers, marketing educators, society at large (Brown and Dant, 2008; Levy and Grewal, 2007). Marketing scholars also face increasing pressures of publishing scientic contributions in the marketing discipline's prestigious journals with high-quality journal impact metrics. This emphasis on where marketing scholars should disseminate important scientic contributions is not new among faculty operating within research-dominant work environments. Yet, the growing pervasiveness has renewed long-standing concerns, issues, and debates of the sound logic and practicality of such a limiting dissemination focus (Armstrong, 1982a; Kupfersmind and Wonderly, 1994; Pfeffer, 2007),

E-mail address: dortinau@usf.edu. 0148-2963/$ see front matter 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2010.02.002

especially from those marketing journals that, in some minds, fall short on the prestige image criterion. Confounding this direct relationship between important scientic contributions and prestige marketing journals is empirical evidence suggesting only a small percentage (about 3%) of the articles appearing in prestige journals contain meaningful important scientic contributions concerning new innovative, important, and/or useful insights that enhance the body of marketing knowledge (Armstrong, 1997, 2004; Mort, McCollKennedy, Kiel, and Soutar, 2004). The current article is not about rehashing the issues and debates concerning the perceptions of ranking marketing journals, judging a journal's quality image or impact of marketing journals. Instead, the article discusses the issues, concerns, and elements relating to undertaking important and relevant research endeavors and writing important scientic articles that offer meaningful and useful contributions to the ever-growing marketing literature. Presenting insights (or tips) on writing journal articles is not a new endeavor. The existing literature provides numerous meaningful and useful insights on surviving journal review and publishing processes (e.g., Armstrong, 1982a; Levy and Grewal, 2007; Ortinau, 2010; Stewart, 2002). Publishing insights appear as elegantly written editorials by current and past editors of the discipline's journals (e.g., Brown and Dant, 2008; Ladik and Stewart, 2008; Stewart and Zinkhan, 2006; Weitz, 1992; Wittink, 2004). Articles invited by various journals (e.g., Babin, Hair, and Boles, 2008; Ortinau, 2010; Shugan, 2003; Summers, 2001), specialty books on the topic (e.g., Arnould, 2003; Kupfersmind and Wonderly, 1994), and through Meet the Journal Editors sessions at national/international marketing education conferences. With the existing insights on writing and publishing marketing journal articles and the discipline's rapid expansion of publishing opportunities in new U.S. and international marketing journals, one

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intuitive prediction is marketing scholars' publishing success of important scientic articles is rapidly becoming a more common occurrence. Yet, this trend prediction is perplexing and contradictive because the prestigious and top 25 ranked marketing-oriented journals consistently report annual acceptance rates ranging between 7 and 18%. The low acceptance rates suggest a disconnect gap between conducting important, relevant quality research, and ultimately publishing that research in quality journals. This article investigates and discusses issues that underlie the apparent disconnect gap between researching and publishing important scientic contributions and provides useful insights to writing scientic articles. Three main objectives guide the focus of the article. The rst objective is to enhance awareness and understanding that publication success involves a number of subjective assessment processes relating to the overall evaluation of how well an article conveys a high-quality journal image. Another objective is to provide clear and useful insights of the key elements editorial reviewers (or peer reviewers) look for in judging evidence of high quality, importance, relevancy, and contribution value of manuscript submissions for publication in prestigious and high-quality marketingoriented journals. The last objective is to validate previous research and publishing insights of past and current journal editors and academic scholars. The article's discussions and insights integrate several signicant themes. One theme is the relevancy and importance of the topic under investigation as well as the research questions that drive important scientic research endeavors (projects). Another theme is the use of double blind review processes for judging the relevancy and importance of the research ndings and contributions to the existing body of scientic marketing knowledge. The nal theme relates to the importance of using solid theory or theoretical rationale as the driver of scientic research endeavors (see support for these type of themes are found in Armstrong, 1982b; Brown and Dant, 2008; Ladik and Stewart, 2008; Levy and Grewal, 2007; Stewart and Zinkhan, 2006; Shugan, 2003; Sutton and Staw, 1995). Additionally, this article uses several unique perspectives in discussing the relevant issues within each theme. First, the comments and insights are from an editorial reviewer's (or peer reviewer's) perspective rather than current or past journal editors. Second, this article uses a cognitive image framework that incorporates many of the interconnected theoretical underpinnings of expectancy theory, expectancyperformance theory, and conrmationdisconrmation theory. The framework suggests that the overall perceived judgment of a manuscript providing solid (convincing) evidence of conveying a high journal quality image plays a critical, yet elusive, role in mediating journal editors' nal acceptance decisions. Organization of the remainder of the article is by categorical issues relevant in writing important scientic papers and the reviewing processes of the top 25 marketing journals. The discussion rst focuses on what elements constitute important scientic research endeavors and how particular environmental issues, high-quality rigorous research practices, and different marketing journals' personalities inuence the selection of research topics and endeavors. The second part focuses on the benets and limitations of using subjective and objective impact metrics as determinants of important scientic contributions to the body of marketing knowledge. Next is a discussion on who are editorial reviewers (or peer reviewers) and their responsibility in determining scientic contributions as well as developing and enhancing the body of marketing literature. The following section identies the critical elements of a scientic journal manuscript and discusses the types of concerns (or weaknesses) having negative effect on reviewers' perceptions and assessments of manuscripts' high journal quality image along with insights on avoiding these issues and concerns. Finally, a list of research reference sources offers opportunities for gaining an in-depth understanding of what high-quality, value-added journals expect in submitted scientic manuscripts.

2. Important scientic research endeavors Prior to discussing the elements and issues of writing important scientic articles, authors need to clearly understand the elements that constitute a scientic research endeavor. With no one agreedupon set of criteria, some researchers believe that a scientic research endeavor is one that focuses on creating empirical evidence that supports grounded marketing principles, which, in turn, creates useful and understandable knowledge about the principle under investigation (Armstrong and Pagell, 2003). Armstrong (2003) suggests that useful knowledge serves as evidence that contributes to better decisions than would have otherwise been made in a given situation. One problem issue with viewing a scientic endeavor simply as a research investigation that produces useful knowledge is that knowledge is veriable objective facts, whereas the usefulness tag is the outcome of someone's subjective judgment and subjectivity is not an element of a scientic process. Conducting important scientic research endeavors requires the awareness, understanding and implementation of the cornerstones (underpinnings) of the scientic method within the methodologies use to collect and analyze empirical data. These cornerstone characteristics are logic, reliability, validity, objectivity, theoretical rationale, rigorousness, comprehensible, and generalizability (Hair, Bush, and Ortinau, 2009) and serve as the fundamental foundation of important scientic inquiries. Determination of the importance of a scientic research endeavor relies on the importance and relevancy of the topic and the specic research questions. Some researchers believe important scientic endeavors lead to conducting empirical research that are innovative and cutting edge (Armstrong, 2003; Rust, 2008; Weitz, 1992). Other scholars suggest research topics must be viewed as being interesting and relevant by various constituencies and readership groups (Brown and Dant, 2008; Levy and Grewal, 2007; Shugan, 2003). A problem relating to all the above characteristics is that they are outcomes of subjective evaluative judgments. To overcome the subjectivity weakness in estimating the quality image and scientic impact of journal articles, objective metrics are available such as social science citation index, usefulness index (Armstrong, 2004; Mort et al., 2004), Thomson Reuter's Web of Science ISI Web of Knowledge (Dant and Brown, 2009), online Google Scholar, and multiple types of journal author impact metrics (Woodside, 2009). A fundamental problem with these objective citation and impact metrics is they are post facto measures following an article's acceptance and provide little value in the writing and publishing processes. 2.1. Issues that impact selecting a scientic research topic Several environmental factors inuence the selection of a meaningful research topic. Scholars must remind themselves that to achieve the goal of publishing important scientic journal articles requires attention to high-quality scientic (rigorous) research practices to ensure the opportunity of gathering high-quality data a necessity for writing a manuscript that reviewers and editors deem journal quality. On the other hand, low-quality research practices lead to low-quality data and increase the likelihood that experienced reviewers will uncover enough weaknesses to assess the manuscript submission as lacking the quality necessary for serious consideration of journal publication. Researchers must come to grip with their professional career aspirations. A researcher's scholarly identity in the minds of his/her peers is part of a self-image continuum relating to the scholarly reputation one wants to be known and recognized for in the marketing discipline (e.g., national/international reputation). Enhancement of scholarly reputation is primarily through publishing success in prestigious and high-quality journals and directly inuences potential topics of scientic signicance. The cultural orientation of the work environment affects professional career aspirations

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and the types of scholarly research endeavors and topics undertaken. An abundance of nonscientic anecdotal evidence suggests that teaching-dominant and balanced teaching/research work environments restrict the development of important scientic research programs compared to research-dominant cultural environments that place heavy emphasis on conducting and publishing important scientic research ndings in prestigious and high-quality journals. 2.2. Marketing journals' personalities Understanding the different personalities of potential targeted journals for manuscript submission is a further issue in considering a research topic. Marketing journals have unique differences in philosophy, writing style, publishing guidelines, and page/word limitations. To assume all marketing journals equally embrace all article approaches (e.g., conceptual versus empirical; new innovative versus extensions; controversial versus validating insights; and theoretical versus application) creates an unnecessary risk factor of undertaking a research endeavor with minimal appeal to a prospective journal's editor, possibly resulting in a desk rejection decision. The following examples illustrate the importance of understanding the personality differences among marketing journals. First, a topic focusing on applying a strong theory in a service marketing setting with strong managerial implications will not be a good t for the Journal of Consumer Research (JCR) but will be appealing to the Journal of Service Research (JSR), Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science (JAMS), or the Journal of Business Research (JBR). Likewise, a scientic research endeavor primarily focusing on method and measurement issues or a new modeling technique is appropriate for the Journal of Marketing Research (JMR) or Marketing Science (MS) but less attractive to journals such as Industrial Marketing Management (IMM), Journal of Retailing (JR), or Psychology and Marketing (P&M). Scholars wanting to conduct important scientic research endeavors need to be mindful of the following types of questions when selecting a meaningful research topic and formulating the research questions: How important is the proposed topic to the existing body of marketing knowledge? What is the relevancy of the topic and research questions to different constituencies or readership groups? What scientic research methodologies and measurement procedures ensure capturing high-quality data for addressing the main research questions? What are the appropriate target journals for such a scientic research endeavor? What is the meaningful story line from addressing the expressed research questions? Will the story be empirical dominant or theoreticalconceptual dominant in nature? What are the scientic contributions that the research endeavor makes to the existing literature? 3. The role of journal quality image in scientic research and publication Some marketing academics believe a direct relationship exists between marketing journals' journal quality image and publishing important scientic journal articles (Campanario, 1996; Dant and Brown, 2009; Rust, 2008; Soutar, 2007; Stewart 2002; Wittink, 2004). In contrast, other scholars provide empirical evidence suggesting that prestigious and high-quality journals' reviewing processes are less favorable toward publishing scientic articles that offer innovative but controversial ndings (Armstrong, 1997, 2003; Soper et al., 1995). The relevance and importance of topics and research questions, type and magnitude of contributions, and theoretical-based research

are three important subjective criteria used in assessing the journal quality factor of the article in the review process. In turn, post publication objective metrics (e.g., citation indices, journal familiarity, journal usage rates, acceptance rates, journal impact factor, usefulness information index, etc.) serve as appropriate indicators of the perceived quality of marketing journals. In this article, journal quality image represents someone's expression of a journal's overall worth (or value) to the marketing discipline and serves as the critical overall standard that mediates the impact of the subjective and objective quality measures on the acceptance/rejection judgments of scientic manuscripts made by editorial reviewers, editors, and ultimately the journal's and discipline's readership. Unfortunately, determination of a scientic article's true importance and impact to the body of marketing knowledge comes about using any number of surrogate citation indices or impact metrics in later times following the article's acceptance for publication. Citation indices, impact factors, and/or simple reference counting methods have weaknesses ranging from inappropriate samples of journals and survey participants, to restrictions of journal inclusion in citation counts and inabilities to capture true scholarly impact of journal articles. (See Dant and Brown (2009) and Soutar and Murphy (2009) for insightful discussions of the limitations of using subjective and objective metrics to estimate the journal quality and importance of scientic marketing knowledge.) 4. Editorial reviewer role and responsibility Journal editors and editorial reviewers are key players in the process of publishing important scientic articles in prestige and high-quality journals. Although editors and reviewers have similar reviewing expertise, main differences exist that authors need to understand about these players' positions. The rst difference is the contradicting objectives and responsibilities of each position. Journal editors are in the business of producing a certain number of highquality journal issues each year and need acceptable articles to achieve that important objective. In contrast, reviewers view and accept their main objective as ensuring articles meet the journal's required quality level and interpret their main responsibility as one of the establishing reasons for rejections (Armstrong and Pagell, 2003; Ladik and Stewart, 2008). The degree of meaningfulness of the article's contributions is another difference. Editors primarily look for and accept articles that provide relative (incremental) contributions placing main emphasis on the interest and importance of the topic (or phenomenon) under investigation. On the other hand, reviewers place stronger emphasis on empirical evidence supporting the existence of absolute (substantive) contributions that clearly illustrate an extension of current scientic knowledge or creating new (and sometimes controversial) knowledge or insights on the topic under investigation. Marketing faculty who lack journal-reviewing experience and/or who often receive rejection decisions on journal manuscript submissions tend to formulate a somewhat negative perceptual image of journal reviewers. In many cases, authors judge journal reviewers as being unenlightened people who do not understand the manuscript's story line, resulting in an unfair assessment of the manuscript's quality and the importance of the contributions made to the marketing literature (Armstrong, 1982c, 1997, 2003). Scholars struggling to publish their research can gain useful manuscript writing insights by understanding the role of editorial reviewers and their responsibilities in the publishing process. 4.1. Editorial reviewer roles Reviewers are journal editors' lifeblood in assessing manuscripts' overall quality and potential value to the marketing literature. Reviewer selection involves a number of factors, some subjective and other objective in nature. Review board members represent well-

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established, acknowledged scholars in their particular sub-eld of marketing. Reviewers have authoritative knowledge and understanding of theory, methodology-measurement, data analysis procedures, and topical expertise. With prestigious and high-quality journals, the creditability of a reviewer's school afliation has some impact on the selection decision (Ingene, 2009). Editorial reviewers have distinguishing research/publishing records of accomplishment, proven reviewing skills, and afnity for various topical domains that directly t the journal's mission, focus, and philosophy. 4.2. Editorial reviewer responsibilities Scholarly researchers must accept the reality that all journal review processes are inherently imperfect and somewhat bias in nature. Despite the good intentions and heroic efforts of journal editors and reviewers to incorporate objective-oriented rating metrics in the process, article reviews consist of sets of subjective evaluative judgments on how well a manuscript meets or exceeds predetermined editor/reviewer expectations. Another reality is the skill levels of all reviewers are not necessarily equal across all reviewing criteria (see Armstrong (1997) and Pfeffer (2007) for in-depth, insightful discussions of empirical evidence of the inherent biases of journal review processes). Journal editors perceive good reliable reviewers as a scarce resource capable of providing important and critical evaluative insights. Some scholars criticize the editorial reviewing processes as restricting dissemination of useful information in journals (Armstrong, 1997; Pfeffer, 2007). Journal reviewers function as gatekeepers in building and extending the published body of marketing knowledge. Reviewers' evaluative insights signicantly inuence what scientic ndings and information become valued parts of the literature. The vast majority of journal reviewers take very seriously their responsibility of ensuring the importance, relevance, and quality of the contributions published in the literature. To ensure a journal's quality image, reviewers provide constructive criticism through their comments, concerns, and questions often pointing out obvious and nonobvious manuscript weaknesses and aws. Whether the editor ultimately accepts a manuscript or not, excellent reviewers provide authors with understandable and directional insights for improving the initial manuscript's quality level and serve as positive enablers for authors having a constructive journey through the review process. 5. Insights to writing important scientic articles The main intention of this section is not to offer a list of do's and don'ts for writing important scientic articles but rather make authors aware of the issues that can severely limit a manuscript's chances of providing scientic value and surviving a journal review process. Since no best approach exists for providing useful insights to writing a scientic journal article, organization of the ensuing comments is by generic major section headings common in many journal manuscripts (i.e., Introduction, Literature reviewconceptualization and hypotheses, Method, Resultsndings, Discussion, Conclusions/managerial implications, and Limitations/future research opportunities). 5.1. Introduction Reviewers view this section as critical in setting up the entire story line and position of the article. The introduction section's content creates journal reviewers' baseline expectations for evaluating the remainder of the article. Reviewers look for clear communication of what topic (or phenomenon) and research questions are to be investigated. Authors must present a convincing argument to the importance of undertaking the research investigation, integrating supportive theoretical evidence from the literature relating to the problem (Smith, 2003). Reviewers look for clear concise expressions

of the research questions (or problems) and the objective(s), or purpose, of conducting the scientic inquiry. Building a solid, convincing argument is what creates readership interest and relevancy/importance of the investigation that reviewers require. Another key component of the introduction section is clear expression of the study's potential contributions to the literature. Reviewers expect clear and concise statements representing the substantive (or absolute) contributions to the body of scientic knowledge and empirical evidence supporting the meaningfulness of each contribution. Some typical positioning arguments that reviewers deem weak, unfavorable, and very difcult to successfully support are: The researcher nds the topic personally interesting. The construct under investigation has not received enough attention in the marketing literature. The literature does not cover the construct in a marketing context. Much is unknown about the relationships between the specied constructs. Journal reviewers evaluate these types of positioning arguments as unacceptable because they come up short in meeting or exceeding reviewers' expectations of the importance and relevancy criteria for conducting scientic research endeavors. The following examples are successful positioning approaches in building convincing arguments for the relevancy and importance of research endeavors. Example 1: Gaps in the literature suggest the need to develop an alternative, or competing methodological or measurement approach for investigating a particular construct, relationship, or phenomenon. This positioning strategy requires authors to clearly identify and theoretically support the weaknesses (or problems) of the existing methodology or measurement approach. Authors must present clear and convincing discussions explaining why the weaknesses must be resolved as well as the importance of correcting the weaknesses. When the construct of interest has been previously measured using different methods, reviewers look for a concise discussion of the meaning of those differences and their implications. Example 2: The marketing literature portrays the existence of empirical controversy regarding the true relationship(s) between the constructs under investigation. This positioning approach requires authors to clearly identify and empirically support the controversial relationship(s) and provide explanation of why the controversy needs to be resolved, including a concise discussion of the competing theoretical rationale underlying the differences. Example 3: Empirical evidence suggests a denite need to expand a particular current theory or paradigm. Here, authors must clearly identify the weaknesses of the existing theory (or paradigm) as well as specically explain and illustrate how the proposed expansion will improve that theory or paradigm. Reviewers evaluate how the expansion will add value to understanding that theory (paradigm) as well as the contributions to the body of marketing knowledge. 5.2. Literature reviewhypotheses Labeling of this section of a scientic research article can be a number of ways depending on the overall focus of the research. The function of a literature review section is to provide further detail and clarity to the story line of the research endeavor or the convincing argument of the selected positioning approach. Important scientic research investigations can involve the creation of conceptual frameworks or theoretical models that illustrate the expected relationships between two or more constructs under investigation. Authors must provide clear discussions of the literature-based insights for each of the key constructs as well as any known relationships between them. A critical element to important scientic investigations is the generation of testable hypotheses that accurately identify the directionality of the relationships between constructs. Researchers

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will formulate and test either dominant hypotheses (DH) or competing hypotheses (CH). Armstrong, Brodie, and Parsons (2001) indicate researchers use dominant hypotheses signicantly more in scientic research endeavors than competing hypotheses, for the following types of reasons: DH provides researchers with a structure for collecting and analyzing specic data under different conditions. DH builds cumulative amounts of knowledge through existing theoretical rationale and/or summarized empirical evidence from previous research endeavors. DH rules out acceptance of null hypothesized relationships. Dominant hypotheses are not without some drawbacks. DH encourages researchers to primarily look for and emphasize conrming evidence, increasing the possibility of misinterpreting data results in order to conrm the hypothesized relationships. Prior expectations of testable relationships can negatively affect conclusions by forcing researchers to create and report speculative outcomes. Armstrong et al. (2001) conclude that dominant hypotheses do not promote researcher objectivity but rather increase the probability of creating conrmation bias. Generating and testing competing hypotheses lead to researcher objectivity, discovery of true hypothesized relationships, and focus on providing disconrming empirical evidence. (See Armstrong et al. (2001) for further discussions of the benets and limitations of using dominant and competing hypotheses in a scientic research investigation.) No matter the type of hypothesis in scientic research investigations, reviewers evaluate how well existing literature insights and theoretical rationale support identifying and justifying each hypothesized relationship and under what conditions. Authors need to remember that providing only literature review insights in building justication of hypothesized relationships is not the same as using known theoretical (or scientic) rationale. Reviewers look for integration of solid theoretical rationale being able to explain how relationships work and under what conditions, not just what methodological, measurement, and ndings previous researchers report. 5.3. Method The focus of the method section is to discuss fully the specic data and collection procedures use for investigating and validating hypothesized relationships, as well as describing the tangible elements that affect the data collection processes. Reviewers interpret the detailedness of the information in the method section as being very important in assessing not only the quality of the data used in testing hypothesized relationships but also in judging the strength of the scientic rigorousness in conducting the investigation. The end goal of the research endeavor (i.e., construct development and renement of a new measurement approach or prediction of a specic behavioral phenomenon) partially determines the actual extent of scientic rigorousness. Complete disclosures of the methodological components, procedures, and processes are imperative because reviewers use this information to evaluate the execution of the scientic method and uncover weaknesses that dilute the substantive contributions and limit the value of expanding knowledge to existing literature insights. 5.3.1. Type of research and respondent base Authors need to describe clearly and concisely the type of research approach executed to capture high-quality data for testing the study's hypotheses. Reviewers look for answers to the following questions: Does the research involve just one main study, a main study with multiple stages (or phases), multiple studies, a single experiment, or multiple experiments? Is the method qualitative, quantitative, or mixed?

Is the investigation survey or experimental dominant? Is the data cross-sectional or longitudinal in nature? What specic procedures does the study implement for data collection? Another topic that requires clear detailed discussions is the specication of the respondents in the investigation. Reviewers will seek insight to these types of questions: From whom and when are the data collected? Why are the selected respondents or subjects appropriate? What type of sampling procedure is employed (i.e., probabilistic or nonprobabilistic)? How many respondents or subjects does the study sample? How many respondents or subjects actually participated? What is the nal response rate? How does the study assess nonresponse bias? 5.3.2. Constructs and measurements Other important method subsections reviewers use to evaluate the scientic rigorousness of the investigation and the quality of data are the discussions providing insights to the study's constructs and measurements. The focus is on not only identifying and dening each construct in the investigation but also clarity in discussing how each construct is actually measured, including the different reliability and validity assessments (i.e., discriminant, convergent, and nomological) as well as overall construct validity. Reviewers look for clear, concise discussions including a description of the exact type of scale design (i.e., nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio, graphic rating, ordinal ranking, Likert, semantic differential, etc.), number of items in the scale, and sets of specic scale point descriptors. When authors' use previously established scales, measurement discussions must provide information that answers these questions: Who is the original author of the scale? What are the reported scale's reliability and validity assessments? Are there any weaknesses to the existing scale? Why is a particular existing scale the right one to use in the current investigation? 5.3.3. Problematic concerns with adopting and adapting previously published scales Authors' justifying the reliability and validity of the article's current construct measures by stating that the measures are either adopted or adapted from previously published scales in the literature is a problem for journal reviewers. The problem lies in the confusion of what adopting and adapting means from a scale developmentmeasurement perspective. The following examples offer points of clarity. When authors use an existing published scale in a new investigation, adopting means the current scale measure design is exactly as in its original form with no modications and the current construct is viewable conceptually as originally intended. When researchers selectively use only a portion of an original scale design or make modications to t the current investigation better, the measurement, at best, is an adaptation of the original design, resulting in the creation of a new alternative scale measure. Original scales that are not fully adopted or are creatively modied (or adapted) to t a new situation have to be considered new scale measurements and must go through all the standard procedures of scale development and renement, including reliability, validity, and dimensionality determination (Churchill, 1979; Gerbing and Anderson, 1988; Hair, Black, Babin, and Anderson, 2010). Use of adopted or adapted scale measures requires providing a clear, concise discussion of the key development and renement results. Omitting such discussions will prompt reviewers, especially those with methodology and measurement expertise, to raise pointed concerns about the new scales. In important scientic articles, a poorly or vaguely written methodology section will raise more questions and concerns than provide insights, lowering the likelihood that the article will be acceptable to reviewers and more likely eliminate the manuscript from receiving serious publication consideration.

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5.4. Resultsndings This section focuses on presenting the empirical ndings. Reviewers look for straightforward discussions that simply report the acceptance and rejection decisions of the hypothesized relationships along with support from summary tables and gures displaying the data and test results. Authors must use care to display all the pertinent data structures and statistical test results and clearly labeled each summary table. Authors should not waste space by repeating verbatim what tables and gures display but rather present the key results that support either the acceptance or rejection of each tested hypothesis. Reviewers are not expecting detailed discussions about insights, implications the results are suggesting, or explanations why the results came out as they did. 5.5. Discussion The discussion section is very important in a scientic article. The focus is on precisely identifying and clearly discussing the scientic information that the data and test results provide, as well as the importance those insights have on the topic, research questions, and understanding (i.e., contributions) to the marketing literature. Authors need to avoid presenting vague or supercial self-serving insights as well as exaggerating the actual ndings and implications, if the data results cannot support the intensity. Reviewers look for clear evidence that the ndings provide new or different scientic information about the research problems (or questions) and support for the initial argument for undertaking the investigation, including precise justication of how and why the insights contribute to the literature. When the study's ndings only add empirical evidence validating (but do not expand) existing literature insights, reviewers expect a concise explanation of the empirical and theoretical importance of adding this type of support to scientic information existing in the literature. Rather than rehashing what the Introduction section reports, authors must present solid discussions on how the ndings meet or fail the research objectives or purpose of the investigation. Finally, authors should avoid overselling any contribution, if the results cannot accurately support the claim. 5.6. Conclusionsmanagerial implications

undertaking the scientic research endeavor and the theoretical (or literature) insights in the article's literature review section. Use care in making sure cited reference articles truly represents the intended support. Filling page space with irrelevant reference cites creates a negative perception by reviewers, who know the literature and those cited articles. Second, accurate reference listings serve as important information sources for other scholars holding research interests in the same (or similar) scientic research topic. Authors must carefully double-check that the listed references match the reference cites in the text of the article. Reviewers will check to make sure authors cite each reference, at least once, somewhere in the body of the article and all reference cites are properly listed in the reference source section, along with the correct year designation of the cited sources. Reviewers make inferences of sloppy work when citations and references do not corroborate, typically resulting in a negative impression of the article's journal quality factor. Finally, inaccuracies in reference listings and cites negatively impact the validity and value of the various objective impact metrics (e.g., social science citation index SSCI, usefulness index UI, author's impact index AII, journal impact index JII, journal citation report JCR, etc.). Inaccurate impact metrics can negatively inuence the worth of scholars' scientic contributions to the existing body of knowledge in the discipline and the quality impact (or scientic importance) of journals within the marketing community. Some additional words of caution concerning references in scientic articles are worthy of comment. Authors must be careful to adhere to the specic writing style of the targeted journal for listing the references in the article. Different journals have different formatting requirements and policies. Many reviewers interpret receiving a scientic manuscript not prepared according to the journal's writing style guide as an insult to the journal. When using reference sources to support opinions and facts, authors need to take the time to go over the full article. Do not cut corners by just bringing in reference cites some previous researchers use in their articles, because those cites might not be appropriate to the current manuscript's story. Authors need to remember, many reviewers are experts at identifying the misuse of cites as supportive evidence by denition, reviewers receive the manuscript to review because of their expertise in the subject matter. 7. Title and abstract

From a reviewer's perspective, the focus is on presenting the specic implications of the study's empirical ndings and their value to a multitude of individuals in the marketing community. Scientic research ndings can result in support of either managerial, theoretical, methodological implications or some combination. Authors need to discuss fully the scientic importance and relevancy of each implication. The philosophical position and mission of the journal inuence the extent to which the implications tilt stronger for managers, academic researchers, public policymakers, or some combination of stakeholders, including discussions relating to possible future research directions that can spawn from the key ndings. Reviewers realize that no empirical research is awless and expect solid coverage of all known limitations inuencing the research endeavor. The limitations must be honest and forthcoming. Discussions need to identify the real impact of the limitations on the generalizability of the study's ndings and scientic contributions to the literature as well as possible calls for future research. 6. References The reference section of scientic articles serves several important information roles worth noting. First, the accuracy of the listings directly inuences reviewers' judgments of the relevancy of the theoretical support used in justifying the opening argument for

The last two elements of a scientic article are the Title and Abstract. For the manuscript's title, authors must be creative but accurate in describing what story the article actually communicates. Authors should avoid having the title go beyond 8 to 10 words. Make sure the key constructs or topical focus is part of the title. Using a colon in the title is not a requirement. Marketing journals restrict the length of the abstract to between 100 and 200 words. Authors need to craft the abstract well in order to draw quick attention and feelings of importance, relevancy and excitement in the reader's mind. Authors need to concisely describe the importance of the problem under investigation, highlight one or two key ndings/contributions, and offer a catchy implication. 8. Some concluding thoughts The need to publish important scientic articles in prestige and high-quality marketing journals is increasing, yet acceptance rates ranging between 7 and 18% suggest that many marketing scholars (especially new ones) struggle to understand and integrate the elements it takes to produce high-quality scientic articles. Numerous published editorials and comments from current and past journal editors, books, and special invited articles provide insights on publishing in prestigious and high-quality journals, but most scientic research manuscripts fail to make it through the journal review

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D.J. Ortinau / Journal of Business Research 64 (2011) 150156 Armstrong JS, Pagell R. Reaping benets from management research: lessons from the forecasting principles project. Interfaces 2003;33(6):89-111. Armstrong JS, Brodie RJ, Parsons AG. Hypotheses in marketing science: literature and publication audit. Marketing Letters 2001;12(2):17887. Arnould EJ. Helpful tips: getting a manuscript to publication standard. University of Nebraska Press; 2003. Babin BJ, Hair Jr JF, Boles JS. Publishing research in marketing journals using structural equation modeling. J Mark Theory Pract 2008;16(4):27985. Brown JR, Dant RP. On what makes a signicant contribution to the retailing literature. J Retail 2008;84(2):1315. Campanario JM. The competition for journal space among referees, editors, and other authors and its inuence on journal's impact factors. J Am Soc Inf Sci 1996;47(3):18492. Churchill Jr GA. A paradigm for developing better measures of marketing constructs. J Mark Res 1979;16(1):6473. Dant RP, Brown JR. A journal of retailing retrospective based on ISI web of knowledge. J Retail 2009;85(4):52731. Gerbing DW, Anderson JC. An updated paradigm for scale development incorporating unidimensionality and its assessment. J Market Res 1988;25(2):18692. Hair Jr JF, Bush RP, Ortinau DJ. Marketing research. Digital information environment. 4th edition. Chicago, IL: McGraw-Hill/Irwin Publisher; 2009. Hair Jr JF, Black WC, Babin BJ, Anderson RE. Multivariate data analysis. 7th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson-Prentice Hall Publisher; 2010. Ingene CA. From the beginning to beyond the ending: reections on the past, present and future of the Journal of Retailing. J Retail 2009;85(4):5108. Kupfersmind J, Wonderly DM. An authors' guide to publishing better articles in better journals in behavioral sciences. Brandon, VT: Clinical Psychology Publishing Company; 1994. Ladik DM, Stewart DW. The contribution continuum. J Acad Mark Sci 2008;36(2):15765. Levy M, Grewal D. Publishing perspectives from the editors. J Retail 2007;83(3):24752. Mort GS, McColl-Kennedy JR, Kiel G, Soutar GN. Perceptions of marketing journals by senior academics in Australia and New Zealand. Aust Mark J 2004;12(2):5161. Ortinau DJ. Primer for new authors: on the fundamentals of publishing in marketing journals. J Mark Theory Pract 2010;18(1):91-100. Pfeffer J. A modest proposal: how we might change the process and product of managerial research. Acad Manag J 2007;50(6):133445. Rust RT. From the editor: the state of the journal. J Mark 2008;72(6):12. Shugan SM. Editorial: dening interesting research problems. Marketing Science 2003;22:1-15 Winter. Smith DC. The importance and challenges of being interesting. J Acad Mark Sci 2003;31 (2):31922. Soper B, Milford GE, Rosenthal GT. Belief when evidence does not support theory. Psychol Mark 1995;12(3):41522. Soutar GN. Citation benchmarks for articles published by Australian marketing academics. Proceedings of the ANZMAC conference; 2007. p. 51520. Soutar GN, Murphy J. Journal quality: Google scholar analysis. Aust Mark J 2009;17:1503. Stewart DW. Getting published: reections of an old editor. J Mark 2002;66(4):16. Stewart DW, Zinkhan GM. Enhancing marketing theory in academic research. J Acad Mark Sci 2006;34(4):47780. Summers JO. Guidelines for conducting research and publishing in marketing: from conceptualization through the review process. J Acad Mark Sci 2001;29(4):40510. Sutton RI, Staw BM. What theory is not. Adm Sci Q 1995;40(3):37184. Weitz BA. Editorial. J Mark 1992;29(1):1. Wittink DR. JMR: 2 P's. J Mark Res 2004;41(1):16. Woodside AG. Journal and author impact metrics: an editorial. J Bus Res 2009;62(1):14.

processes. Using a journal reviewer perspective, this article contributes in creating awareness and understanding of the requirements of writing important scientic articles in several signicant ways. First, researchers must understand writing important scientic articles for prestigious and high-quality marketing journals entails a variety of complex and interrelated journal quality image issues which mediate journal reviewers' judgments of the article's importance and value to the literature and ultimately editors' acceptance/ rejection decisions. Second, awareness and understanding of the key coverage issues relevant to the main sections of important scientic manuscripts, from the reviewer perspective, provide insight and knowledge about the expectations and standards authors must meet or exceed in order to maximize the likelihood of an acceptance decision. Understanding that the journal review processes are not perfect and include reviewer subjectivity, authors are responsible for providing the convincing argument and support that lead reviewers to positive evaluative judgments of the importance and relevancy of the research topic and questions driving the research endeavor and the existence of scientic rigorousness in the methodology, measurements and analysis procedures. Authors must also convince reviewers and editors that the empirical ndings make substantial (absolute) and/or relative (incremental) contributions that are meaningful and useful to the literature. Finally, the reference sources at the end of this article provide readers with additional opportunities to gain writing and publishing insights as well as providing corroboration (validation) of many of the ideas and insights in the article. Acknowledgments The author appreciates comments by Barry J. Babin (Louisiana Tech University), Barbara Lafferty (University of South Florida), and Arch Woodside (Boston College) on earlier drafts of this article. References
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