The Rigors of Publishing Academic Research

To be successful at research, you not only have to use robust methodology and study an important topic that makes a contribution to the field but you also have to be able to hook your reviewers by telling a good story, explained Dr. Jan Jindra, Assistant Professor of Finance. “Otherwise, you might lose the reader’s interest.” Dr. Jindra 
and Dr. Soumen De, Professor of Finance were discussing the challenges of getting published. 

“It takes two years from inception to get a finance paper published,” explained De. “It is three to four months to hear if you’ve made it to the “revise and resubmit” stage, a challenging aspect of the process,” added Jindra. Professors must determine how to respond to the anonymous referees (those who review and critique their papers), and to make their papers more acceptable to a particular journal when they resubmit their research. You may have to resubmit your paper three or four rounds before it is finally accepted.

Getting published is a requirement for every full-time professor at Menlo College. In order for the College to maintain AACSB accreditation, Menlo professors must publish 2 papers every 5 years. If the College were to establish an MBA Program, the professors who teach in it would need to publish 4 papers every 5 years. The journals must be Cabell listed. Cabell Publishing, Inc. is a professional organization that was founded to help professors, graduate students, and researchers publish their manuscripts in rated academic journals.

A professor at Menlo must teach at least 4 courses a semester. If he/she publishes a paper, the professor is allowed to reduce the course-load by one class per semester. Both professors agreed that a reduction in teaching load by one course hardly matches the time and effort that goes into publishing a paper in a reputable academic journal.

Faculty use many resources to increase the likelihood of publishing a paper. For example, presentations at conferences where wide audiences offer comments are very helpful: “Thanks to the support of Menlo College, I was able to present my banking paper at the Financial Management Association and not only received great suggestions on improving the paper but the paper was also recognized as the Best Paper in Financial Institutions Research at that conference,” notes Jindra. Feedback from colleagues during Menlo College Seminar Series, presenting at other institutions, and having an objective colleague carefully review your paper are indispensable resources as well. “After all of this help, a professor still has to apply his/her best editorial and authoring skills to get published,” said De. 

After the paper is submitted to a journal, a faculty member waits for a reply:

  • Accept: Never received for an initial submission.
  • Accept with revision: “Just make some minor changes.”
  • Revise and resubmit: “They’re still interested in you!”
  • Reject and resubmit: Though not as good as revise and resubmit, “they still want the paper!”
  • Reject: Time to regroup and revise the paper for submission to another journal.

Jindra published five articles since 2012 in the following journals: Financial Management, The Quarterly Journal of Finance, American Politics Research, and two articles in Journal of Banking and Finance.

De published four articles since 2012 in the following journals: International Journal of Finance, Contemporary Studies in Economic and Financial Analysis, and two articles in Journal of Banking and Finance.

“Who has time to celebrate,” the two professors laughed. “We’re both focused on what to publish next year!”