Postprint version. Published in Journal of Business and Psychology, Volume 24, Issue 2, May 24, 2009, pages 117-121.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author David Askay was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1007/s10869-009-9116-2.
Having good data is simply not enough to assure publication in a high quality academic journal. The data must be sold, justified, described, and packaged in a compelling way. In this paper, we focus on how to prepare a quality manuscript. To do so, we content analyzed reviewer comments from nearly 100 manuscripts that were submitted to the Journal of Business and Psychology over a 4-month time period (November 2008–April 2009). This yielded 131 reviews. The goal was to identify areas of concern commonly expressed by manuscript reviewers. By doing so, it is our hope that we can better educate authors on the key elements of a successful manuscript, increase manuscript impact, and in general help data reach their potential. The reviews were analyzed and common themes were identified. Illustrative comments were provided under each theme listed below. The themes were then organized into the following categories: (1) introduction section, (2) methods and results section, (3) discussion section, and (4) writing. It is important to note that not all of the themes and illustrative comments are universal—some may be more applicable to particular research designs and approaches (e.g., quantitative versus qualitative designs).