Journal of Accounting and Management Information Systems (JAMIS)

Is publishing a fair game?

20/2007 ,  


Keywords:   accounting academic journals, methodology, research, publication

Publishing in international journals is an objective for most accounting scholars, irrespective of their geographical location. In a competitive environment, such publications are crucial for academics and their employers. For academics, they are synonym of profitable career opportunities since hiring and promotion criteria are for a large part based on the number of publications. In private institutions, academics compensation itself is more and more a function of research output. The same evolution is taking form in public universities, particularly in Spain where scholars already receive gratifications based on their number and quality of publications. For universities, being recognised as an institution highly productive in research may help attract the best students and increase public or private financial resources. As soon as 1988, the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) was implemented in the UK with the aim to evaluate the research productivity of British universities and allocate resources to the most prolific institutions. Since then, the British example has been imitated by several countries, in particular the Netherlands, Italy, and Spain.
As noted by Loft et al. (2002), research quality is generally determined by reference to the journal that published the research. Most studies that have investigated the perceptions of academics on the quality of research journals show considerable uniformity in the ranking of top accounting journals [Brinn et al. (1996), Ballas and Theoharakis (2003), Bonner et al. (2006)]. This raises the question of whether publishing is a fair game, i.e. whether all high-quality papers have an equal chance of being published in highly-ranked journals, irrespective of their domain, methodology and the origin of their authors.