Decision Sciences Journal
Decision Sciences Journal: An Update
by Asoo J. Vakharia, Editor
It has been an outstanding year for the Decision Sciences Journal (DSJ). The journal has received extensive support from the Board of Directors of the Decision Sciences Institute, the publisher Wiley-Blackwell, and the Warrington College of Business Administration at the University of Florida. In addition, with the strong support of the senior and associate editors, we have been able to continue to build and maintain the journal as an outlet of choice for leading researchers in operations/supply chain management (O/SCM) and information systems/technology (IS/T). One of the many factors which can be used to validate this contention is the impact factor (IF) of a journal (published by the ISI Web of Knowledge and based on the journal citation reports). Although we all recognize that measures of quality based on citations are subject to debate, this IF is frequently used within business schools as an indicator of journal quality. In this context, given below in Table 1 is the IF for the last three years based on the JCR Social Science Edition.
Table 1. Impact factor of leading O/SCM and IS/T journals.
The IF for DSJ did drop slightly for 2010 as compared to 2009. On the other hand, it is obvious that on a relative basis, DSJ is still within the top five journals based on the IF (second in O/SCM; and fourth in IS/T).
The remainder of this article will provide the reader with an update of the journal activities for the past year. This will be followed by some concluding thoughts on new initiatives for the next year and as always, I encourage members of the Institute to share with me their thoughts and suggestions for moving the journal forward.
2010-2011: An Update
The transition between the previous editorial offices at Arizona State University (ASU) and the current editorial office at the University of Florida is complete. Journal submissions prior to March 23, 2010, are being handled offline by the previous editor (Professor Vicki Smith-Daniels, firstname.lastname@example.org) and according to author requests and information we have available, there are approximately 18 papers in this category. A recent update from the previous editor mentions that by the end of August 2011, 2 of these 18 papers will still be in the pipeline and the authors of the other 16 submissions will be receiving a decision letter from her. Although submissions between March 23, 2010, and June 14, 2010, were uploaded through the ASU manuscript processing system, these were jointly handled by both editors and all such submissions have been completely processed.
Current Manuscript Submission System
Initially, beginning June 15, 2010, manuscripts were processed through e-mail. The primary reason for this was that although we had been offered the use of Manuscript Central by Wiley-Blackwell, it required significant training effort for the entire editorial team. The system was set up for testing in September 2010 and training was completed in January 2011. Effective January 15, 2011, the system is handling the submission, review, and feedback process for all papers. Not only does this system allow us to generate detailed reports on the review process for each manuscript, it will also be very useful for editorial transitions since the system can be seamlessly adopted by a new team and technical support and training are always available.
If you are interested in submitting a manuscript to DSJ, the link is: mc.manuscriptcentral.com/dsj. However, prior to submitting a manuscript, it is critical that a submitting author review the following information:
Finally, those interested in serving as potential reviewers for the journal are welcome to create a new user account using the new user link on the login page (mc.manuscriptcentral.com/dsj). Please remember that you will be required to provide information on your topic/methodological interests which will be maintained in our database of potential reviewers.
As you may recall, in a previous article in Decision Line (Vol. 41, No. 3, July 2010, pp. 24-26), changes to the editorial board structure were outlined that would be implemented effective July 1, 2010. For 2010-2011, we operated with a team of four senior editors: Kurt Bretthauer (Indiana University); Paulo Goes (University of Arizona); K.K. Sinha (University of Minnesota); and Cheri Speier (Michigan State University). In addition to these individuals, we expanded the team of associate editors to include other eminent researchers (Table 2 lists each AE who served in 2010-2011 and their affiliation). It is only through the support and dedication of these individuals that we have been able to maintain and enhance the quality of the review process for the journal and at the same time provide detailed and constructive feedback for each paper reviewed by the editorial team. Finally, the service of reviewers to the journal has been outstanding and it will be recognized in the last issue of each calendar year (i.e., all reviewers for all papers submitted between March 23, 2010, and June 30, 2011, will be recognized in Volume 42, No. 4, of the DSJ, to be published in November 2011).
Table 2. Associate Editors who served in 2010-11 and their affiliations.
Journal Submissions and Outcomes
Between June 15, 2010, and July 22, 2011, there were a total of 369 submissions to the journal. As of July 22, 2011, the statistics of relevance related to these submissions are as follows:
The number of rejected papers includes papers which were rejected without a complete review. The most typical reasons for such a rejection decision are a lack of fit with the mission of the journal, a lack of substantive contribution, or methodological shortcomings.
Review Process and Cycle Time
Our initial target was to provide first-round feedback on a submission within 65 days. For the 369 submissions received through July 22, 2011, the cycle time for first-round feedback is as follows:
Although we have been unable to meet the target turnaround times overall, more recent data is encouraging. For papers submitted using Manuscript Central, our average cycle time is 48 days and the percentage of papers processed within 100 days is 91%. The journal will continue to prioritize a reasonable review cycle time, and I am sure that with the support of the editorial team and the DSI community, we will achieve our targets.
Focused Issues of DSJ
At this point in time, we are planning to publish two focused issues:
At the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Decision Sciences Institute (held in San Diego, CA), the following individuals were recognized:
The focus of the DSJ will continue to be the publication of exemplary and rigorous research addressing business decisions primarily in the areas of IS/T and O/SCM. At this point in time, I do not see any reason to implement major editorial changes for the journal. Of course, there have been minor changes in the group of associate editors since a few did make the decision to take a break from their duties to DSJ. We were able to recruit additional AE's to replace these individuals effective July 1 and the revised list of AE's is available at decisionsciencesjournal.org/team.asp.
Another priority of the journal is to continue to expand the reach of DSJ internationally. As editor, I have already represented the journal at the 11th Annual International Meeting of the Decision Sciences Institute in Taiwan held in July 2011 and also participated in journal-related panel discussions at another international conference. Obviously, other relevant information for the journal was disseminated at both these international meetings, and I was also able to recruit additional international scholars to serve as Associate Editors for the journal. I will continue with these initiatives and will share the outcomes in my journal update next year.
I look forward to sharing more information on the journal with the DSI community at the upcoming DSI Annual Meeting in Boston. I do hope you will continue to provide the strong support to the journal not only by submitting your best work but also by helping to referee submitted manuscripts. DSJ continues to be an excellent outlet for disseminating both theoretical and practical research, and I hope that we can work together to maintain and enhance its reputation within our community.