Posted by: Dorianne Cotter-Lockard | 11 February 2010

Learning from conducting peer reviews

Last year, I posted a piece on how to conduct a peer review.  I revisit the topic now as I’ve just concluded reviewing six submissions to the 2010 Academy of Management conference.  As a post-script to my blog post a year ago, I received a “best reviewer” award from the Organizational Behavior division (one of 80 recipients – over 1200 people reviewed OB division submissions).

This year, I reviewed four paper submissions and two symposium submissions.  While the papers are blind-reviewed, the symposiums are not.  The format of symposium submissions are different.  The submission contains a description of the symposium and approach to presentation, along with a justification that indicates with divisions would benefit from the symposium topic.  Each presenter includes 3-5 pages that describes their paper.  I welcomed the opportunity to review this different format.

This year, I also submitted a paper….the AOM Management, Spirituality and Religion special interest group has a “best dissertation” competition.  They encourage early-stage dissertation concept papers or proposals as submissions.  I submitted my draft concept paper.  Unfortunately, the submission deadline was January 14th, the same date of my first committee meeting.  Had the deadline been a week later, I would have submitted a more complete concept paper, with a research question.

Even so, my submission really benefited from my experience of reviewing papers last year.  I had a much better understanding of what the Academy looks for in a submission, as well as examples of the formats for papers.  This year, I felt more qualified to comment on research methodology and to question claims and arguments as I reviewed the paper submissions.  I am encouraged through this process of becoming a scholar – the Academy of Management needs doctoral students to continue the cycle – I’m glad I’m one of them.

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