Most 10 Common Fatal Mistakes by benbenzhou


									Ten Common Mistakes for
Research Articles

          Dr. Binshan Lin

           August 2007

             Dr Binshan Lin   1
                                                       comments and
                                                       recommendation        Reviewers
           final decision
           & comments
                                                                      review materials
final manuscript                     Manage

              aggregate comments  final
              & recommendations manuscript                  final decision

                                           Dr Binshan Lin                                2
      SCI/SSCI Journal:
      Peer Review Process

      Quantitative                                   Evaluation
                                                     Score (1-5)
            Filter                                                    Published
                          Peer, Open,            Reject
                          Machine                Revise
                                                  with respect to XYZ standards
                         elsewhere               Comments
                                                 to Author

                                        Dr Binshan Lin                            3
      Who are Buyers?

   Reviewers
   Editors
   Subscribers/Readers to Journals
   Publishers
   How am I presenting my research to
    them so that they would “buy” it?

                 Dr Binshan Lin          4
        Peer Review Process

   Peer-Review Process: “A scholarly
    process used to screen submissions for
   Quality Control
   Gatekeeper
   First Impression in 1st five minutes!

                    Dr Binshan Lin           5
        Peer Review Process

   As always, the quality of the peer
    review report will ultimately
    determine the quality of the journal.

                     Dr Binshan Lin         6
Big Push

   Colleagues who want to publish a research
    paper should remember that the most
    SCI/SSCI journals accept only a very small
    proportion of research articles.
   Authors can improve those odds, however,
    by understanding the factors that help push
    strategically a paper into the "accepted''
   Trivial mistakes are easily made, and
    can be fatal.
                      Dr Binshan Lin              7
Fatal Flaws
   “For me, when I reject a manuscript, it has
    problems (obviously) but the issue is: are these
    problems that can be fixed or are they "fatal flaws"?
    If a manuscript has a fatal flaw, I never want to see
    it again, and no amount of cajoling, sweet talk, or
    threatening will get me to change my mind. In the
    rejection letter, I make it clear. In my experience,
    authors of "fatal flaw" manuscripts take that
    decision as final and do not try the "revise/resubmit
    even though it was rejected ploy.”
    Dr. Leslie H. Nicoll
    Editor-in-Chief, CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing and
    JHPN: The Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing

                             Dr Binshan Lin                     8
    # 1 Fatal Mistake
   The theoretical development of the model still needs work and updating
    based on already established models in the information systems and
    marketing literatures (see Palmer, 2002; Torkzadeh and Dhillon, 2002;
    Zeithaml et al., 2005).
   Unfortunately, the methodology of the paper is now well suited for an
    academic journal and is well below standards established for website
    evaluation in business school literature. The methodology is “explained”
    in Table 2 but without providing any details on why the specific evaluation
    questions were selected (i.e. a definition of the constructs, their reflective
    or formative type, and their measurement instruments, how construct
    validity was established), and how exactly the websites were ranked
    (multiple investigators or clients ranking the websites are the norm).
   Clearly, because the data was not collected with a statistical analysis in
    mind. An example of accepted methodology can be found in Torkzadeh
    and Dhillon (2002) and more details on how website service quality can
    be assessed can be found in Zeithaml et al. (2005) and Palmer (2002).
    Since many other scholarly articles on website evaluation exist, the
    methodology used by this article is inappropriate for publication.

                                      Dr Binshan Lin                             9
    # 2 Fatal Mistake
   Unfortunately, I am not sure that JCIS is the
    appropriate audience for this paper. In looking at the
    citations used in this paper, the author(s) did include 5
    cites from JCIS but these were all in the introduction
    section of the paper.
   In the other sections of the paper, the cites were either
    masters’ theses, conference proceedings, or a few
    academic journals. This represents a problem because
    it is common for papers to be submitted to a SCI/SSCI
    journal that is commonly cited in the paper. Since there
    aren’t many cites in the main part of this paper, it is
    tough to decide where the paper would naturally “fit.” I
    would suggest sending this paper to perhaps a
    computer-related magazine since a couple of articles
    were cited from this source.
                             Dr Binshan Lin                 10
# 3 Fatal Mistake
   The biggest negative impression is the article goes nowhere
    new. It is basically a review of old literature that may or may
    not be relevant to today’s KM issues.
   I did not find the figures/tables particularly useful, nor did I
    find the material particularly interesting or useful in KM. As I
    read the manuscript I was looking for something that I could
    apply to KM in my own circumstances, and woefully I found
    nothing. I do teach in a graduate KM program.
   The overall impression is immediately negative because of
    serious grammar and structure problems from the very
    beginning of the manuscript. For this article to be considered
    by any SCI journal publication, it needs to have a very careful
    and thorough edit.

                              Dr Binshan Lin                       11
    # 4 Fatal Mistake
    The author(s) say “This research employs case study to
     achieve research purposes and focuses on large-scale IS,
     not on SME’s (small and medium enterprise) IS.” What
     does this mean? Be merciful to readers/reviewers.
    The lack of thorough explanation of the instruments is
     necessary to make sense of the results and consequently
     the conclusions drawn from the results. The author(s)
     should not assume that readers can guess what types of
     close-ended questions were asked of the subjects. This is
     extremely important (especially for this reviewer) to assess
     the strength of the study.
    There are several related articles published in IMDS and the
     author(s) should build upon these studies in their
     references. It seems that the authors did not understand
     the current trend.

                              Dr Binshan Lin                   12
# 5 Fatal Mistake

   Although the authors must have spent lots of time writing this
    thirty-nine-page article, the presentation of the material is
    somewhat piecemeal and the focus is blurred.
   Another crucial point that leads to this confusion and
    vagueness is that this research really does not have a clear
    research question.
   The extension to TAM is very odd. It adds all possible
    factors as antecedents of PU and PEU without a strong
    justification and the survey had no particular target systems.
   If I answered the questionnaires, I would have difficulty in
    figuring out how to reply because DSS is not a system but a
    family of systems.

                              Dr Binshan Lin                         13
    # 6 Fatal Mistake
   It was a very low level descriptive study that appeared to be
    directed to a practitioner audience. This piece is not appropriate
    for our academic audience.
   No theory base or research questions driving appropriate empirical
    analysis were provided.
   The manuscript was not organized as a research paper. I suspect
    this occurred because the author(s) did not research questions to
    guide their analysis/write up. Rather, it was organized by the
    "issues" studied, giving very simplistic descriptive data tables that
    did not add much useful value. The authors may want to consult a
    more seasoned researcher to seek direction.
   The various sections of the paper did not have transitions to
    enhance the flow of reading. Discussion and interpretation of the
    "results"/data were sparse.

                                 Dr Binshan Lin                       14
# 7 Fatal Mistake
   The literature review is probably the weakest of the three
    topics. It treats two separate subjects: (1) the evolution of
    HIS and the differentiating characteristics of HIS over
    traditional MIS, and (2) approaches to measuring successful
    HIS. Neither subject is examined in adequate depth.
   Secondary sources such as textbooks are used rather than
    primary sources such as journal articles (e.g. Laudon &
    Laudon, p. 5). As background material for the survey section,
    the literature review does not provide the necessary grounding
    for the survey instrument.
   Rather, the author adopts the Alj-Alawi instrument with only
    minor revisions. There doesn’t seem to be any linkage
    between the lit. review evaluation dimensions and the

                             Dr Binshan Lin                     15
    # 8 Fatal Mistake
   The survey research is perhaps the topic with the most potential
    for future publication. It compares survey data from 1991 to the
    present on a number of dimensions (levels of computerization,
    MIS development approaches, corporate needs, management
    commitment, user attitudes and expectations, user involvement,
    MIS performance).
   Unfortunately, the research hypotheses are never clearly stated.
   Frequency analysis is performed but statistical analysis of the
    significant differences between the two data sets is missing.
   Further, much of the frequency analysis is presented as
    narrative without corresponding tables. Reader access to the
    key findings is difficult. Without the statistical analysis of
    differences, the reader is never sure if the variances in the data
    sets are statistically significant or if the research hypotheses
    have been met.

                                Dr Binshan Lin                       16
    # 9 Fatal Mistake
   The weakness of this submission is inherent in its content and the
    lack of fit with the readership of JCIS. The primary references where
    the body of knowledge is derived from is actually in other fields. For
    this reason, this submission should have been sent to journals in one
    of those disciplines that are more relevant.
   Theoretical frameworks should have heavy implications for actual
    applications that can be assessed. This submission has potential, as
    the authors pointed out. However, it stopped short of delivering the
    real substance. Bottom line, how can the algorithm postulated or
    DEA classification framework be applied to a real data set? How can
    it benefit a real multi-dimensional database extraction or in the
    development of future Web enterprise portals? Apart from the
    algorithm and the mathematical formulations, the authors did not
    really appear to say much about its relevance to data mining, culture,
    farming and extraction. In other words, the argument about its
    applicability to database concepts and data mining in particular, is 17
                                      Dr Binshan Lin

    terribly unconvincing.
# 10 Fatal Mistake

   The biggest concern I have regards the
   When I finished reading the paper, I was left
    wondering what value would be added to
    the IS/IT literature by publishing this paper.
   Certainly the author collected lots of data,
    but their just isn’t a story in the paper yet.

                       Dr Binshan Lin            18
Impact Factor Studies

   One major assumption: a citation is an
    objective indicator of influence
   Sample size matters: For example, the
    number of healthcare journals covered by
    the SCI/SSCI index is extremely limited.
   Many editors made judgments on the basis
    of whether a paper will attract citations.

                     Dr Binshan Lin              19
Impact Factor Studies
   Authors usually cite paper that will enhance the
    likelihood of acceptance (or reduce the likelihood of
    rejection), such as those authored by potential
    referees and/or journal editors.
   Citations may be biased in favor of: popular
    authors who enjoy a halo effect or established
   A list of the journals with the highest impact factors
    reveals one of the measurement’s quirk: Because
    review articles tend to get cited more than original
    research articles do, 7 of the top 15 journals are
    review publications (Monastersky, 2005).

                          Dr Binshan Lin                 20
    Two Major Forces
   Reviewers have become more selective in the
    manuscripts they recommend for publication;
    the expectations and demands of scientists
    who serve as reviewers is the major
    determinant of the standing of a journal.
   And authors are submitting higher quality
    manuscripts. These two variables become
    interlocked in a positive feedback loop.
    Authors submit their best manuscripts to the
    most prestigious journal they think might
    accept them. Higher quality manuscripts in
    turn lead to further increases in a journal's
    impact factor.

                       Dr Binshan Lin           21
Rising in the East
   “Research fronts are sets of highly cited papers that are linked
    together by patterns of co-citation. Co-citation is when a paper
    cites two earlier papers in its reference list, and we look for
    frequent occurrences of this. For example, if Einstein and
    Planck were cited together often, by later scientists, they
    would be frequently co-cited. To find research fronts we group
    together highly cited papers that are co-cited. This results in
    groups of papers on specialized topics such as carbon
    nanotubes, SARS, or embryonic stem cells, to mention just a
    few examples.”

                              Dr Binshan Lin                       22
Cited Each Other
           Journal Pharmaceutical Sciences

         360                 522
                                           International Journal
 Pharmaceutical Research                   of Pharmaceutics


               327                                 284

                     Journal of Controlled Release

                              Dr Binshan Lin                       23
    An Invitation…
   Editor-in-Chief, Industrial Management and Data Systems
   Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Mobile Communications
   Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Innovation and Learning
   Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Management and
    Enterprise Development
   Editor-in-Chief, Electronic Government: An International Journal
   Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Electronic Healthcare
   Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Services and Standards
   Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Electronic Finance
   Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Management in Education
                                Dr Binshan Lin                      24
    Instructor Profile
   Dr. Binshan Lin is the BellSouth Corporation Professor at College of Business
    Administration, Louisiana State University in Shreveport. He received his Ph.D. from
    the Louisiana State University in 1988. He is an eight-time recipient of the
    Outstanding Faculty Award at LSUS. Dr. Lin receives the Computer Educator of the
    Year by the International Association for Computer Information Systems (IACIS) in
    2005, Ben Bauman Award for Excellence in IACIS 2003, Distinguished Service
    Award at the Southwest Decision Sciences Institute (SWDSI) in 2007, Outstanding
    Educator Award at the SWDSI in 2004, and Emerald Literati Club Awards for
    Excellence in 2003. He has published over 160 articles in refereed journals, and
    currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of the following nine academic journals: Industrial
    Management and Data Systems, International Journal of Mobile Communications,
    International Journal of Innovation and Learning, International Journal of
    Management and Enterprise Development, Electronic Government: An International
    Journal, International Journal of Electronic Healthcare, International Journal of
    Service and Standards, International Journal of Electronic Finance, and International
    Journal of Management in Education. Dr. Lin serves as President of Southwest
    Decision Sciences Institute (2004-2005), President of Association for Chinese
    Management Educators (2003-2004), President of International Chinese Information
    Systems Association (2000), Program Chair of IACIS Pacific 2005 Conference in
    Taipei, Taiwan, Program Chair of Management International Conference (MIC) 2006
    in Slovenia, and General Chair of MIC 2007 in Slovenia. He also serves as a vice
    president (2007-2009) of Decision Sciences Institute (DSI).
                                          Dr Binshan Lin                                25

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