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Reviewing journal rankings and revisiting peer reviews : editorial perspectives.

Clark, T. and Wright, M. (2007) 'Reviewing journal rankings and revisiting peer reviews : editorial perspectives.', Journal of management studies., 44 (4). pp. 612-621.


In this article we respond to the key points made by Macdonald and Kam (2007) in relation to journal quality and the peer review process. Whilst we appreciate that their tone is intentionally provocative, the picture they present is one of unremitting gloom and reluctant acquiescence to a system out of control. It is as if the publication process has a series of self-supporting logics that separate it from any notion of publishing in order to benefit the discipline through the advance of knowledge and understanding. From this perspective the publishing process and the consequent content of management journals are presented as the outcome of a series of ‘games’ that put more emphasis on where someone publishes than on what they publish and its subsequent impact. Such criticisms are not new in that they have been vigorously discussed for decades across a range of disciplines. Furthermore, many of these issues are raised whenever academics get together and discuss their experiences of journal publishing. Given the frustrations and vagaries of the review and publication process, such complaints are understandable. But they deserve further scrutiny. We write this article as two of the General Editors of Journal of Management Studies. This is considered by the broad management studies community to be a ‘quality journal’ and during our time as General Editors, so far, we have overseen the reviewing of 1463 articles. We are therefore insiders. Our broad purpose is to show how journal editors need to intervene in order build and maintain a journal's reputation since it is not as impervious to change as Macdonald and Kam (2007) imply, and to mitigate some of the problems associated with peer review (see also Bedeian, 2004; Campanario, 1998; Miller, 2006; Starbuck, 2003, 2005). In doing so, we demonstrate that journal editors have actively to engage with these issues if they are to ensure that their journal continues to create value for the community at large. Macdonald and Kam's critique therefore reminds us why we have instituted certain practices at JMS. We begin with some general comments about journal quality before turning to the peer review process.

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Record Created:03 Jun 2011 14:50
Last Modified:09 Jun 2011 11:20

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