How do I publish lots of papers?

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Before answering this question, you need to decide what is your research strategy. Different professors have different opinions on what is the best research strategy, talking to several different professors will help you decide what is best for you. The two dominant research strategies are to try and publish as much as possible or to try and publish as high of quality as research as possible (the strategies are not mutually exclusive).

Before adopting either strategy it is important to realize what your school values. Some schools care more about the total number of articles published and other schools care more about the "quality" of the published articles. Adopting a strategy opposite that of your school's mission will make it much more difficult to earn tenure. Generally speaking, the top ranked research schools prefer quality of articles (and usually a high quantity of these articles) and lower ranked research schools prefer a greater quantity of articles.

Publish as Much as Possible

Some individuals believe that "any publication is a good publication" and you should attempt to publish as many publications as possible. Many times, professors who adopt this strategy will publish less in the top tier journals instead trying to publish a greater quantity of articles in lower tier journals. Several ways of increasing your ability to be successful at this strategy are to find high publishing coauthors, be the first to examine new issues in accounting, publish practitioner oriented articles, and focus on working on projects that you can use to publish multiple similar articles.

Publish High Quality Articles

Some individuals believe that you are wasting your time as a Ph.D. by working on articles that cannot be published in the top ranked accounting journals. Some go so far as to view publications in low journals as a negative. This group of individuals believe that you should select what articles you work on carefully and seek to publish articles that make a "big" contribution. A "big" contribution is often measured by how many others cite your work, whether the work becomes the de facto standard for work in an area, whether you win research awards, or whether you significantly change how people view an area of accounting research.

To be successful at publishing high quality articles it is important to understand where the research is at and forecast where it is going. Talking with thought leaders (e.g., editors, respected senior faculty, etc.) can help guide you on trying to find a high quality idea. Often times, high quality ideas are borrowed from other disciplines and introduced into accounting for the first time.


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