Reviewing our review practices

Following up on Steven’s posts about reviewing, I wanted to pitch in with my thoughts about reviewing.

Conferences like AOM allow us to start reviewing academic literature fairly early in our academic careers (which is great and we should all definitely participate in this!! refer to Steven’s post). But the catch with reviewing this early in the game is that there is a high probability that we ourselves have not been at the receiving end of any reviews. And then the chances are high that we don’t know how reviews can hurt!! Hell, even good reviews can! In fact, whenever I get a review back, I put it under lock and key for several days before I have the courage to look at it. So, when a review is written insensitively, it can be especially damaging. And this problem of bad review writing is not just restricted to us novices – I have seen some good, reasonable, esteemed people write the most barbed reviews.

Whenever I write a review, I always think about what I would think if this were my paper and if I were to be receiving this review (I dont know if I use this simple rule that my parents taught me in my everyday life but I definitely try and abide by this when I review :)). There are some great articles on good reviewing that I read during my class on academic communication with JoAnne Yates. You may not strive for the ‘Best Reviewer’ award that OCIS confers, but definitely go read some of the articles that JoAnne had on her syllabus:

AMJ Reviewer Guidelines,

Allen Lee, “Reviewing a Manuscript for Publication,”

Allen Lee, Editor’s Comments, MISQ, Vol. 23, No. 4,


Call for Reviewers

Did you ever wonder how senior editors of top journals got started in this important academic endeavor?  The odds are good the first review they wrote was for a conference.

Yes, you too can follow in the footsteps of the greats of our field! With a goal of at least three reviews per conference submission, there are ample opportunities to include doctoral students as reviewers. Sign up now to be a reviewer for the OCIS track of the AOM Conference. For more information visit:

One hint: there is a new step in the reviewer registration process this year. After you select all of your keywords you rank order them. Keep keywords down to a reasonable amount (a couple dozen?) to keep the ranking process manageable!

Why review? There’s lots of good reasons:

  • When you submit a paper you will receive 2 or 3 reviews. You can reciprocate in advance by agreeing to be a reviewer.
  • The act of reviewing forces you to externalize your knowledge. Providing constructive feedback to others is a great teacher for your own work.
  • Typically you’ll get to read an interesting paper on a topic of interest to you. The process of actively engaging with a manuscript by writing a review has given me insights into my own research topics in surprising ways. Quite frequently I learn of citations that I might otherwise miss out on, too.

Did I convince you yet? Good, go sign up. Visit: Do it now.

Any questions about the OCIS review process or reviewing in general? Ask away…

Planning (Far) Ahead

2009 is a short 3 years away. Only 26 1/2 months and it’ll be upon us.

Any guesses on what projects you’ll be busy with the first two weeks of January 2009? How about February 2009? Any idea where you’ll be on August 11, 2009?

Surprisingly, I can already answer these questions with a high degree of certainty. In fact, I can give similar answers for years 2007, 2008, 2010 and the foreseeable future beyond even then!

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