New Accounting Scholars' Publications in Accounting and Nonaccounting Journals
Christensen, Anne L., Finger, Catherine A., Latham, Claire K., Issues in Accounting Education
Publications in nonaccounting journals are commonly omitted in accounting faculty productivity studies, and we examine whether that omission matters. We use samples consisting of two groups of new scholars who received an accounting Ph.D. (1987/88 and 1977/78 graduates) and took tenure-track positions at U.S. universities. We combine data from multiple databases to obtain an extensive list of research publications pertaining to these individuals.
During the first seven employment years, the 87/88 (77/78) Ph.D. sample published, on average, 1.95 (1.55) total research articles per scholar, including 1.38 (1.15) articles appearing in accounting journals. These findings suggest that new scholars commonly use nonaccounting journals as publication outlets, and that publication counts increase substantially when publications in both nonaccounting and accounting journals are considered. In addition, the 87/88 scholars published in nonaccounting journals more often than did the 77/78 scholars. Finally, publications in nonaccounting journals occur somewhat later in accounting scholars' careers.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that accounting scholars frequently publish in nonaccounting journals. A reader can infer from Hagerman and Hagerman (1989) that this activity may be a significant component of research portfolios, but prior studies on research productivity have not focused explicitly on the frequency of accounting scholars' publications in business-related nonaccounting journals. (1) In fact, authors of many prior productivity studies used databases that excluded publications in nonaccounting journals. Thus, prior productivity measures may differ from more inclusive measures if scholars often publish in nonaccounting journals.
This paper provides evidence on the research productivity of new scholars when publications in nonaccounting journals are considered, on how productivity measures are affected by the inclusion of these publications, on whether the tendency to publish in nonaccounting journals has changed, and on the number and timing of these publications in new scholars' research portfolios. This study contributes to the accounting research productivity literature by providing measures that are broader than those provided in most prior studies. (2) We include a more comprehensive list of publications in nonaccounting journals to develop benchmarks that may prove more useful in assessing faculty research productivity. (3)
We examine publication data from two samples of scholars who received an accounting Ph.D. and then took tenure-track positions at U.S. universities. The "77/78" sample contains 1977 and 1978 graduates and the "87/88" sample contains 1987 and 1988 graduates. We exclude publications in education journals because nonaccounting education journals are underrepresented in the databases we use, and thus induce bias. We differentiate between publications in academic and practitioner journals (based on primary readership) to be consistent with prior productivity research. We discuss productivity measures excluding practitioner publications in the main text, and provide practitioner publication results in footnotes. Thus, the primary results are based on publications in academic, noneducation journals. We classify these journals as either accounting or nonaccounting and, ignoring topic, give the publications in those journals the same classification. In addition, we focus on new scholar portfolios by considering public ations starting before graduation and ending six years after graduation.
We find that the 87/88 scholars published, on average, 1.97 total research articles per scholar when publications in both accounting and nonaccounting journals are considered, and 1.38 articles when publications in nonaccounting journals are excluded. The comparable numbers for the 77/78 scholars are 1. …