Here’s another featured editorial that will be of interest to new authors as it gives the perspective of the screening editors — what they look for and why papers get desk rejected from a journal.
Given the increasing competitive environment for academic publications, editorial teams devote considerable time and effort to develop the mission of the journal they manage. To be successful, the mission should emphasize a unique positioning of the journal in the academic arena and should be clear and simple for submitters.
The mission of Corporate Governance: An International Review (CGIR) is “to publish cutting-edge research on the phenomena of comparative corporate governance throughout the global economy. CGIR acts as a forum for the exchange of information, insights, and knowledge based on both theoretical development and practical experience. It is committed to publishing rigorous and relevant research on corporate governance, so that the practice of corporate governance can be influenced and improved throughout the world” (CGIR website). In extreme synthesis, the aim of the journal is challenging as CGIR aims at developing “a global theory of corporate governance that is parsimonious, accurate, and generalizable to any economy of the world” (Judge, 2010b: 85).
To address this ambitious mission, the journal encourages the submission of good quality articles exploring governance issues from an international perspective and from different academic disciplines (e.g., finance, accounting, management, law, sociology, and economics). As CGIR is competing with both other generalist journals of different disciplines that also consider publishing articles on corporate governance and journals that cover specific corporate governance topics, in 2008 the editorial team decided to improve the value for submitters through a set of decisions. For example, the editorial team decided to provide authors with a quick (i.e., within three weeks) and good quality feedback from reviewers so as to stimulate an increasing number of submissions of scholarly works in the field. Moreover, in order to enhance both the review and eventual reading process of published manuscripts, CGIR asks submitters to provide a structured abstract (i.e., an abstract that highlights the key features of the manuscript: type, research question, research findings, theoretical implications, and practitioner implications) for each submission.
These decisions – together with other decisions taken by the editorial team – were very effective and led to a large increase of both the impact factor of CGIR and the number of articles submitted to the journal. In order to properly manage this flow of submissions, without increasing the time to return feedback and/or reducing the quality of the review process, the editorial team decided to appoint two screening editors in September 2008. The decision to have two screening editors instead of one was taken in order to reduce both the workload needed to accomplish the task in a short time period (i.e., initially one week and recently only three days), and the variety of disciplines included in the journal’s aims and scope. So one screening editor is devoted to screen manuscripts in the management and sociology tradition, and the other one to screen manuscripts in the finance and accounting tradition. The two screening editors work in close collaboration, and have continuous feedback and interactions with the editor-in-chief of the journal.
The screening process aims at determining the overall fit between the potential publication and the mission of the journal (Judge, 2008d). More specifically, the screening procedure accomplishes the following tasks: (1) to make manageable the increasing number of submissions to the journal; (2) to provide a quick and useful feedback to all submitters; (3) to follow consistent criteria of desk rejection; and (4) to contribute to publishing rigorous and relevant international corporate governance research.