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IJOPM editorial update

Dear IJOPM community:


As you hopefully have recognized, a new editorial team has been providing leadership for
IJOPM and has been aiming to drive IJOPM to the next level. After five months of service,
we wanted to give a quick update on where things are heading and what – we believe – we
have achieved so far.


Our strategy for the journal included four pillars:


A. Proactive solicitation of authors and submissions: We have been popularizing the Journal
at conferences and organized workshops that were geared to elevate the recognition of
IJOPM, increasing the attention it receives from scholarly communities, with the aim to
increase the number of submissions (e.g. Brazil, DSI conference in USA). Further activities
at IPSERA, POMS, but also in Shanghai, are scheduled. IJOPM presentations at targeted
schools in the USA, France and the UK are scheduled. If you would like us to present
IJOPM at your school, or you want to represent IJOPM on our behalf, please get in touch
with us. We will support you with material, talking points, recent achievements, etc. We
are also offering e-features through Skype for doctoral programs and other stakeholders
or interested parties.


B. Enhanced operational excellence in the review and publishing process: This was our main
focus for the first months, but still a lot more can be done. We on-boarded 40 Associate
Editors (AEs) and are grateful for their time and experience they offer IJOPM. We also
radically changed the reviewer base, clearly focusing on quality, constructive
development and timeliness in the review process. We can still do much better here, but
considering that we changed the reviewer base by literally hundreds of scholars, we are
happy with the result. We also introduced an Editorial Review Board and have
implemented a clear procedure with which ad-hoc reviewers can be promoted to a
member of the Editorial Review Board; this is done in combination with a wider
performance-based selection of best reviewers.


Of course, when change happens, not everybody will be happy with the process. Since
we might have different preferences compared to the previous editorial team, some
friction here and there was inevitable. We want to make the Journal stronger, and push
it to new heights, and in order to do so, we believe, we need to challenge prior
assumptions and ways of doing business. We do not claim to have the recipe for success,
but believe that we are going in the right direction in the pursuit of our objectives of
developing an even better Journal. This is evidenced in some of the early statistics we
recorded for our tenure, and we are very close to already achieve our turnover targets.

The average turnaround time for original submission – including desk rejects though – is
under 8 days, without desk rejects. Without desk rejects we achieve now a 29 day first
round revision cycle which is far lower than our initial target of 60 days. The average
time from resubmission to decision for a revision is roughly 24 days. Of course,
introducing this new strategy makes it more difficult to publish in IJOPM from a numbers
game, but we try to keep an open mind as much it is possible with respect to topics and
methodology when assessing the papers’ fit within the scope of IJOPM. In addition, we
paid great attention to the need to focus on manuscripts that have a good chance to be
meeting the IJOPM criteria eventually. This has led to a far greater desk rejection rate
(65%), which however also means that once your paper is sent out for review, your
chance of getting through the process has improved significantly. And in cases in which
the manuscript is desk rejected, it will be typically done within 48 hours. And it will
include a commentary why it was desk rejected and what can be done to improve the
paper.

C. Continued and expanded purposeful efforts to disseminate work in IJOPM to
international operations and supply chain management entities, stakeholders in other
related disciplines, and practitioner constituencies. For example, we already reached out
to other conferences (e.g. DSI, AOM, IPSERA) and set up workshops. However, one of our
focus areas in this domain—practitioner publications—has yet still to materialize. Stay
tuned for what we plan here!


D. Improved impact and influence factors, and improved ranking of the Journal in researchactive
markets: Of course, Impact Factors for IJOPM look golden and we will do our best
to improve those, but at the same time drive the quality of the Journal. As such, the aim
is to drive up factors without accepting manuscript that do not develop our discipline
further (e.g. descriptive literature reviews, conceptual work that does not develop solid
theory, but rather uses buzzwords). The main focus is on the unique contribution to the
literature based on solid theoretical and methodological grounds. We strongly believe in
the fact that high quality will lead to improved factors and ranking. We will ensure though
that by targeting various rankings per region, IJOPM will receive the best perception in
the ABS journal ranking, which it already does. As a side note, one thing that hopefully
helps here is that all accepted papers are now visible in a month’s time. The time for
waiting a long time until papers are published and proofs are available is gone!


Overall, we have been busy with transforming the Journal substantially and setting the stage
for the next developments. Please encourage your peers to submit their manuscripts. We
make sure that they will receive professional reviews with a fast turnaround time. We also
ensure that the Editorial Board of IJOPM can focus and concentrate on good work, and will
be rewarded for it. Occasionally, we will push for certain research topics in special issues and
do everything necessary to make the Journal successful, but most important for us is that we
see ourselves as service providers to the profession, with the belief in mind that we all will
benefit from an internationally highly regarded Journal.


Our first editorial will appear over the summer, since it will then be that most of the papers
from the previous editorial team will have been published, and thus a clearer cut will be
possible. From then onwards, handling AEs will also be acknowledged on accepted
manuscripts, to provide credit for their oftentimes significant effort in constructively guiding
the paper through the review process.


Finally, all of this would not be possible without the great help of the Editorial Assistant,
Martin Schleper (University of Nottingham) and Claire Jackson (Emerald), to whom we owe
great thanks.


We promise that we will do our best to address the next pillars of our strategy soon and in
the usual dedicated manner.


Thank you for your continued support of IJOPM.
Constantin Blome, Tobias Schoenherr, Cristina Gimenez

- ENDS -

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