By Sue McMurray, Carson College of Business
PULLMAN, Wash. – Scholars seeking to improve their research practices and successfully contribute to their fields may benefit from “How to Publish High-Quality Research,” a new book by researchers Jeff Joireman, Washington State University, and Paul Van Lange, VU University Amsterdam.
“The primary goal of this book is to offer a framework and set of tools that can help readers make a contribution, fill a gap, publish high-quality research and have an impact,” said Joireman, WSU marketing professor.
Many scientists feel a “publish or perish” pressure to make a contribution and impact their field. Various motives can trigger this challenge, including wanting to make a difference, gain tenure or promotion, support departmental or university goals or advance science.
Despite these ambitions, it is not always an easy task, the authors said. For example, in the authors’ fields of marketing and social psychology, the base acceptance rate for manuscripts in top tier journals typically is 20 percent or lower.
Throughout the book’s 14 chapters, Joireman and Van Lange describe nearly 50 high quality articles and interview the authors to get their advice on the research process. The interviews resulted in a process model that walks researchers through discovering an idea, grounding it in theory and developing it into a paper that contributes to the discipline – all while maintaining rigorous ethical standards.
Strategies for impact
The authors describe eight fundamental publication strategies, such as bridging two or more disciplines or exploring the role of culture.
They suggest research that bridges disciplines can shed new light on one’s own discipline and contribute new insights to a related discipline, leading to progress in both. For example, using a social psychological framework could help researchers better understand motives that encourage green consumer behaviors.
The authors also share tips for writing, revising and responding constructively to peer review feedback. When it comes to writing, they advise researchers to strive for perfection, reflect objectively on their writing, gather input from other scholars and keep the language concise and straightforward.
And when revising one’s manuscript following peer review, the authors recommend that researchers take the “3R approach”—be respectful, rational and reflective—taking each reviewer’s comments seriously and writing a clear and respectful response.
Transparency reinforces ethics
Paying attention to ethical issues throughout the entire process is of utmost importance, the authors said.
“The fields of marketing and social psychology are now wrestling with challenging ethical issues involving the publication process,” Joireman said. “Within this context, the most important principle we suggest is to maintain transparency in the collection, screening and analysis of data.”
He said the idea for the book was born as he and Van Lange taught graduate seminars and realized there was no book that captured the precise ideas they wanted to get across to students.
The 294-page book is published by the American Psychological Association and is available for preorder on Amazon.com.