From M&SOM Journal Editor

Scientific findings are based on reproducible evidence because fragile results cannot support general findings and so are of little interest. That‘s why a recent article published in Science “Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science” (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/349/6251/aac4716.full) has caused such a stir.

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Most of us use the word “insight” in virtually the research article or reviewer report. However, when I use the word insight, I wonder about my intended meaning. As I now involve with the review process more intensively, some authors ask me this very question: what is insight? If we do not have a clear understanding what “insight” is, how can we keep on using this word in our writings?

I am fully aware of my English writing is not good, and I know nothing about philosophy or psychology. How can I even dare to write anything about this? Because I am always curious like a cat, I have been digging around to learn more about this particular word. Therefore, this blog is meant to reflect my own understanding of the word “insight” in the context of OM research. I am sharing this with you so that we can generate a dialogue to facilitate a mutual understanding about this word. Someone has to make the first move, why not me?

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Over the years, rigorous technical analysis has been the corner stone of the research in the area of Operations Management (OM) and of theM&SOMjournal. We write this blog to emphasize that this is still the case.

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M&SOM is the premier journal for the OM research community in which each member plays multiple roles: author, reviewer, reader, and educator (influencing students and practitioners). At the same time, the mission of M&SOM is to develop enduring knowledge that can lead to more efficient and effective processes for the creation and delivery of goods and services. Therefore, when we review a paper for M&SOM, we should keep the mission of M&SOM and the OM research community in mind. As I reflected upon on different types of referee reports that I received as an author or as an editorial board member, I find one type of report tends to be most constructive.

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There is no correct answer: some journals publish technical notes and others don't. Based on what I learned from the letter written by Steve Graves (Graves (2009)), he did not think we should publish technical notes. I agree with his view for two simple reasons.

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The former executive editor of Review of Financial Studies Matthew Spiegel argued that "No published article is good enough to publish" (Spiegel (2012)). I agree with him. In my opinion, a journal serves the purpose of disseminating knowledge by publishing articles that contain new knowledge created by researchers. To save our readers' precious time, the peer review process serves as a screening mechanism. To ensure each published article is "perfect," the review team spends a lot of time on making various improvement suggestions. Unless there is a clear direction provided by the review team, some authors may abandon the process with disappointments.

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Do you require "unexpected" results as an acceptance criterion for M&SOM? This is a common question I received from colleagues and some editorial members over the last few months.

To educate myself, I asked my colleagues why they asked me this question to begin with. Apparently, there is a perception that publishable OM papers must contain surprising results. This perception is not exactly baseless: many OM researchers now claim their papers contain results that are surprising, unexpected, counter-intuitive, unanticipated, etc.

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As the fifth editor of M&SOM, I am grateful to all previous EICs (Leroy Schwarz, Garrett van Ryzin, Gérard Cachon, and my predecessor Stephen Graves), who laid the foundation, paved the path, and led M&SOM to become a premier journal of the OM research community.

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Reviewers (or “referees”) are the foundation of its peer-review process. Reviewers are a sample of the specialized target-audience for a paper and the primary subject-matter experts in evaluating research results. As such, their opinions are vital in guiding the decisions of editors in evaluating a paper for publication. The M&SOM Editor and Associate Editors rely on referees to evaluate a paper on four primary dimensions:

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