Editorial Statement and Journal Updates

Hello everyone

I hope you are keeping safe and are managing well in the current situation we are in. I am writing this email to update you on what we have been doing with the M&SOM (Manufacturing & Service Operations Management) journal. The new editorial team transitioned in early January. Unfortunately, like all transitions it has proven to be a bit more challenging than we anticipated. This was not only because of the pandemic, but also due to the managing editor Frances Moskwa retiring at the end of November. I am excited and grateful though to have started my term working with the new managing editor, Ms. Beatrice Allen in early January. I really appreciate your patience this past month as we all started and transitioned in our roles.

 It is a real honor and privilege to serve as the Editor-in-Chief of the M&SOM (Manufacturing & Service Operations Management) journal. This is the flagship journal in the field of Operations Management (OM). The journal has more than 25 years of distinguished history with five past Editors-in-Chief who have been among the most influential thought leaders in the field of OM in recent years. These include outgoing editor Chris Tang as well as past editors Steve Graves, Gerard Cachon, Garrett van Ryzin and Leroy Schwarz. I am grateful to all of them for bringing the journal to the stature that it has today and it is not only a real honor but also a responsibility to follow in their footsteps. Under my leadership the journal will strive to build on the quality and high standards they established.

I also want to take this chance to thank the four outgoing Department Editors (Morris Cohen, Hau Lee, Kamalini Ramdas and Brian Tomlin) for their dedication and service in the past 5 years. They have been instrumental in bringing the journal to its current stature. 

Department Structure

The field of Operations Management has broadened in several new and exciting directions in recent years. The journal is explicitly embracing some of these new directions while continuing to welcome work in traditional areas. To effectively do this, the journal has added 2 new departments and increased the scope of the three former departments of the journal. In particular, in addition to the flagship department of Manufacturing and Supply Chain Operations (with department editors Wedad Elmaghraby and Mahesh Nagarajan), the new department named Services, Platforms and Revenue Management (with department editors Mor Armony, Marcelo Olivares and Guillaume Roels) has replaced the department of Service Operations. Platforms have emerged in recent years in many areas as evident from the prominence of firms such as Amazon and Airbnb.  This department welcomes high quality papers in these three areas. The new department entitled Environment, Health and Society (with department editors Ozlem Ergun, Beril Toktay and Anita Tucker) embraces research in areas related to sustainability and the environment as well as health and healthcare. This new department also aims to publish high impact research that addresses different societal as well as public policy issues that have become central to the field of OM. The department of Innovative Operations is now renamed Operational Innovation (with department editors Francis de Vericourt and Kamalini Ramdas) to signal its receptiveness to research in innovation more broadly in different areas not only of the OM field but also beyond. These could range from rethinking the operations and introducing innovation in an R&D process or a marketing process, among others, in the non-profit or for-profit space. Finally, to reflect the big impact of data and analytics in OM, we have established a new department to showcase research related to the Analytics in OM (this is also the name of the new department) (with department editors Melvyn Sim and Huseyin Topaloglu). The area of Analytics defined as “the scientific process of transforming data into insights for making better decisions” spans many (if not all) areas of OM research. Papers in this area can embrace data, models, algorithms and computation in many diverse applications. Those can include traditional areas such as supply chains, transportation and logistics, but also less traditional areas such as online markets, health, healthcare and public policy, to name a few. Finally, the journal is starting a new initiative called Practice Platform (with department editors Jeremie Gallien, Pavithra Harsha and Ananth Raman). The goal of this initiative is to bring practitioners closer to the OM community and expose OM researchers to exciting new directions in different industries where OM research can have an impact. This initiative will not accept submissions of papers at this stage; rather, practitioners will write short papers by invitation only that describe new problems and directions that will provide new opportunities to the community for important and impactful research. Our hope in this initiative is to facilitate more interaction between academics and knowledgeable practitioners. Our long-term goal through this initiative is to bring academia and practice in the OM field closer. Readers can find details about each department in the editorial statements of each department.

DE and AE Selection Process

Each of these new departments is headed by a team of distinguished individuals. Each of them brings different expertise to the journal. Part of our goal has also been to give authors options on where they can submit their manuscripts. In making the selection of these department editors (DEs), many criteria came into play. These criteria included selecting individuals who are senior tenured faculty, research active, versatile and broad in their research, dependable, fast, organized as well as thoughtful, positive and open minded. Of course, many people in our community fit these criteria. In determining the final group of DEs, diversity also played an important role (that is, diversity in terms of gender representation, university representation, and continent and country representation). These were the additional key factors in the selection criteria. The current department editor (DE) board includes 7 females out of its 15 members (close to 50%) coming from universities in 7 countries around the world. Working closely with the DE board, we then followed a similar process for selecting the Associate Editor (AE) board. To give the opportunity to new individuals to contribute, we started with a clean slate (also following the INFORMS guidelines). We have enlarged the AE board to include 119 individuals with different expertise, representing several countries in Asia, Europe, South America and North America (US and Canada). The new AE board has a 35% female representation. We take issues of diversity very seriously and will continue to work towards improving along this dimension (together with several others) for the journal and the community as well. I want to take this chance and thank the outgoing AE board for their service. Although the new AE board changed a lot in order to give the opportunity to new people to serve, we will of course revisit and rotate the list of AEs every year as was done in the past.

Publication Criteria

Going forward, the journal plans to continue publishing high impact papers that study important and relevant questions in the field of OM. The aspiration of the journal is to be the preferred outlet for papers in the area of OM, broadly defined. Overall, the journal encourages papers that take different and diverse methodological and/or empirical approaches in OM research. In fact, the papers published in the journal can present theoretical, empirical, analytical and/or computational contributions broadly related to the OM field. Overall, the journal welcomes papers that make contributions that are descriptive, predictive and/or prescriptive as they relate to the field of OM and these can be at the strategic, tactical or operational level. Published papers can trade off the presence of data and mathematical rigor in both traditional and new problem areas in the field through traditional or new models and methods, but also should have an impact in OM practice and beyond.

In addition, we will strive for fast acceptance, preferably in two rounds of review, with two reviewers for each submitted paper. The criteria we will consider for accepting papers will trade off between the following five criteria. 

(1) Are there serious errors in the analysis that are not fixable in preferably two rounds? 

(2) Is the question/topic addressed in the paper poorly motivated about its relevance to operations management and originality? 

(3) Is the result/analysis in the paper incremental and does not have the potential to be generalizable? 

(4) Is the paper poorly executed in terms of assumptions and approaches, with insufficient depth of analysis?

(5) Is the paper poorly written in terms of structure (logical flow, transitions) and exposition (notations, grammatical errors, typos, etc.)?

I want to stress that I believe a paper accepted for publication should strive for high standards but at the same time realize that a paper is not meant to be “the last paper” written in the area it addresses. We will keep on working on being constructive, positive and thoughtful in our reports. This is important to all of us and is important for the whole community.

To provide guidance to the AEs and referees, we have revised the review forms while leaving flexibility to the AEs and referees. We attach these forms below. We have also simplified the structure of the abstract to include only three categories ((i) problem definition, (ii) methodology/results and (iii) managerial implications).

Finally, there will be more information to come in the following months, as we will announce other initiatives that will encourage new and risky research as well as speed up the publication process.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any thoughts of ideas that can improve the journal.

I am excited to take this journey with all of you!

Please stay safe

Warm wishes