[AISWorld] Fw: Sound conference desk rejection policy

Cecil Eng Huang Chua aeh.chua at auckland.ac.nz
Wed Mar 1 02:57:29 EST 2017

Hi all,

I just got permission to distribute some comments that were initially privately sent to me.  I believe having the conversation is important, so I am reproducing the email in full, with attribution.

Cecil Chua

2017-02-25 21:00 GMT+01:00 Peter Trkman <peter.trkman at ef.uni-lj.si<mailto:peter.trkman at ef.uni-lj.si>>:
Dear Cecil
very interesting question, it got me thinking. Just my random
ramblings regarding desk rejects:

1. I think it depends on the type of the conference: for conferences
like ICIS & ECIS where the review process is similar as for journals
and the acceptance rate is between 10-40%, desk rejects are the only
sensible way (I totally agree with your reasoning).
Or as the AE of AMR wrote to me in a recent rejection letter: "I felt
that it is best to return the manuscript to you and without any
further delay rather than send it out for review. It is highly likely
that our reviewers would have identified the same issues of style and

In some other fields though (operations management is a typical
example; I've attended several of them like INFORMS or POMS in the
past) they have a different model: they accept 95% of the papers,
often only abstracts are needed (and only those totally out-of-scope
or quality are rejected).  The idea: allow all authors to participate
at the conference & get feedback through live discussions without
burdening both the authors & reviewers.

A middle way: desk reject the worst 10%. Accept others already at the
editor level. Then ask the reviewers not for rejection/acceptance
recommendations but just for 5-10 bullet points with suggestions for
authors. Allow/encourage reviewers to identify themselves to enable
further live discussions during the conference. Could be highly
benefical for authors without too much burden for reviewers.

2A. obiously, your email opens a broader question regarding reviewing
- it is hard to get reviewers for journal papers as well. Even those
that accept review, often do not perform it. A possible way out:
charge submission fee & then pay the reviewers (e.g. 400$ submission
fee for a journal, 100$ for each reviewer, 100$ for the editor). The
editor needs to approve every payment to make sure the reviewer put
sufficient effort to warrant payment.
Reviewers could use the earned money as 'vouchers' for their own submissions.

2B Alternatively, experiment with totally different ways of reviewing.
Open peer review is one way.
Another way: accept papers with B,C,D ranks. Namely, today, if a paper
is rejected from MISQ, the authors will resubmit it to JAIS. Then
maybe DSS. Then maybe I&M before final publication in X. So, the same
paper is reviewed 5 times at 5 different journals. Not only that: many
of the efforts of reviewers are lost in this process (the authors can
decide not to consider excellent suggestions as they would require too
much extra work).
Then, e.g. MISQ could accept a good (but not top-notch paper) with a C
rank - good enough to warrant publication but not quite top (C rank
would be clearly stated on the paper along with the explanation for a
slightly lower rank).

Obviously, I understand 2B would require a major changes in
publishing/ranking/promotion /tenure procedures. Suggestion 2A can be
done relatively easily. It also does not discriminate against authors
from low-income countries

Best regards and thank you for raising an interesting question - as
you can see it got me thinking :-),

Peter Trkman, Ph. D.
associate professor
Department for information and logistics management
Head of business logistics/supply chain management program
Vice-head of committee for research and doctoral studies
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics
SI-1000 Ljubljana

More information about the AISWorld mailing list