An Examination of the Peer Review Process in Accounting

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An anonymous survey of university accounting faculty was conducted to assess current perceptions of the peer review process in accounting journals. The responses revealed that (a) most respondents are fairly positive about the peer review process, especially the process being fair/unbiased and improving the quality of research; (b) the most serious perceived threats to review process integrity involve reviewer misconduct (e.g., delaying reviews for self-interest or rejecting papers for revenge); (c) editors allowing excessive delays in the process and institutional favoritism by editors are seen as the most prevalent issues; (d) editors/associate editors of high-level or top-tier journals are most positive about the review process, while assistant professors, those at doctoral-granting institutions, and those submitting to top-tier journals are least positive; and (e) respondents’ suggestions for improving the review process emphasize improving timeliness, reducing favoritism, and reconsidering the notion of blind reviews (some consider blind reviews to be impossible, but others want to ensure that reviews are blind). Based on the results and other sources, we offer a proposed starting point for a peer review code of conduct for accounting journals.