This study explores the uninvestigated area of research agenda setting, which has considerable influence on the societal impact of accounting academia, which the paying-off mentality stemming from a "publish or perish" culture risks jeopardizing. More specifically, it investigates the research topic choice of accounting researchers to ascertain whether and how the "publishing game" pressures induced by the governance principles of new public management influence this crucial decision. Survey evidence shows that European accounting researchers choose their research topics by considering (i) explicit research requests, (ii) short-term publishing opportunities, (iii) practical and educational needs, and (iv) the intellectual needs of the academic community. In this respect, researchers seem to form a heterogeneous community that places varying importance on these factors, suggesting different effects of "publishing game" pressures. The three clusters aim at societal impact through diverse avenues, while the probability of rapid publishing seems to be the primary driver of another cluster, thus revealing a substantial risk of goal displacement. This study contributes to the debate on publishing pressures in accounting academia by complementing the contextualized reflections of previous literature with evidence documenting their effects on what (in addition to how) accounting researchers study. These findings have policy and practical implications that can help policymakers, university managers, gatekeepers of the publishing process, and our entire academic community.

Can “publishing game” pressures affect the research topic choice? A survey of European accounting researchers

Paola Ramassa;Francesco Avallone;Alberto Quagli
2023-01-01

Abstract

This study explores the uninvestigated area of research agenda setting, which has considerable influence on the societal impact of accounting academia, which the paying-off mentality stemming from a "publish or perish" culture risks jeopardizing. More specifically, it investigates the research topic choice of accounting researchers to ascertain whether and how the "publishing game" pressures induced by the governance principles of new public management influence this crucial decision. Survey evidence shows that European accounting researchers choose their research topics by considering (i) explicit research requests, (ii) short-term publishing opportunities, (iii) practical and educational needs, and (iv) the intellectual needs of the academic community. In this respect, researchers seem to form a heterogeneous community that places varying importance on these factors, suggesting different effects of "publishing game" pressures. The three clusters aim at societal impact through diverse avenues, while the probability of rapid publishing seems to be the primary driver of another cluster, thus revealing a substantial risk of goal displacement. This study contributes to the debate on publishing pressures in accounting academia by complementing the contextualized reflections of previous literature with evidence documenting their effects on what (in addition to how) accounting researchers study. These findings have policy and practical implications that can help policymakers, university managers, gatekeepers of the publishing process, and our entire academic community.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1139055
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