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J PROD INNOV MANAG 2013;30(4):606

2013 Product Development & Management Association


DOI: 10.1111/jpim.12029

From the Editor

s Im writing this, I have been Editor of JPIM


for about fourteen weeks. Obviously, thats not
a very long time yet several impressions have
taken hold in my mind which I thought I would share
with you. First, there is a lot of research being undertaken in new product and service development and innovation management. This may sound nave as I have been
doing research in the field for about 25 years. However,
as I now read 8 to 10 papers per week, I have been struck
by the sheer quantity of research, illustrating its importance and interest to academics and presumably, new
product professionals. Second, papers are being submitted from around the world and by authors from a number
of functional perspectives including operations, engineering, supply chain, technology management, design,
strategy, and marketing. This provides clear evidence
that the effort that Tom, Abbie, and Tony put into
expanding the reach and scope of the journal was effective. Third, I find myself wishing that I had more time to
read some of the articles cited in various papers. As I
look through the references, I sometimes take note of a
particular article so that I can be sure to get a copy of it
to read at some other point in time. Other articles I find
cited repeatedly in papers focusing on the same topic;
clearly these are key articles to read to be familiar with
research in that field. Fourth, some of the authors are
obviously submitting their papers to JPIM for the first
time, which is great. We encourage submissions from
doctoral students, junior faculty and senior facultyboth
new and previous contributors. Unfortunately, however,
many of these first time submitters are having their
papers desk rejected.
How do you avoid a desk reject? First, the paper needs
to fit the focus of the journal. As noted in a previous
editorial, the aims and scope of JPIM have been revised
and are now consistent across all venuesJPIM online
site, PDMA site, and in-print. JPIMs scope is broad;
however, papers submitted still need to focus on product/
service innovation management. Sometimes, the decision
to reject a paper on the basis of fit is easy. Other times, it
is more difficult as it begs the question: how expansive do
we want the journal to be? I am learning that this is a
question an editor faces regularly. For authors, it is recommended that you carefully review articles published in

the journal as well as ask colleagues familiar with JPIM


to see if they think your paper fits the mission.
A second reason for a desk reject is that the manuscript
does not provide a clear or sufficient contribution to the
literature and/or to practice. Authors may have an interesting topic they have chosen to study but without clear
articulation of what gap is being addressed in the literature
and why it is important to study this gap, the contribution
can be difficult to ascertain. Saying that an issue has not
been examined before is not adequate justification for
undertaking a particular research study. In addition to
theoretical contributions, manuscripts submitted to JPIM
must also contribute new knowledge to new product professionals. Our guidelines for authors clearly indicate that
managerial implications need to be included in the manuscript. These discussions should not be perfunctory; rather
they should be thoughtful and as detailed as possible.
Finally, a manuscript can be desk rejected because the
research contains a major flaw or flaws that cannot be
fixed. Generally, these flaws are a result of the research
methodology and construct measures. These cannot be
changed unless the author wishes to undertake a new
study. Sometimes, the flaws are numerous and are evident
in many aspects of the manuscript, which results in the
paper falling below the quality standards of JPIM. One
way to potentially avoid having a paper desk rejected is to
have one or more colleagues read your paper. Such feedback can be helpful in identifying weaknesses and ways,
if any, in which the paper can be improved before submitting to a particular journal.
In summary, I am enjoying this new challenge as editor
of JPIM and am certainly learning a lot. As an editor, I
dont take pleasure in desk rejecting a paper. However, the
onus is on authors to do all they can to ensure that their
paper does not end up as a desk reject. So, if you havent
already, please read the recently revised Author Guidelines available on the journal web site and use them as a
guide when writing up your manuscript.
As always, we encourage you to submit your papers to
JPIM and we will do our best to provide you with quick
and helpful feedback.
Gloria Barczak
Northeastern University