SYNOPSIS

Academic research has a role in advancing and enlightening society in broad areas of study. Many forces interact to influence the directions, topics, and methodologies used in research. In this paper, we explore and discuss the relationships between the top general-interest and specialist accounting journals. We test whether top journals (e.g., “Top 3” or “Top 6”), relative to a set of high-quality, but specialist, journals, (1) are perceived to be general in what they will consider publishing, (2) have historically published diverse sets of articles, (3) have editorial board members with diverse sets of interests and skills, and (4) publish the most highly cited articles by topic area and methodology. The results suggest that some of the top journals are not as general as their mission statements suggest and that they do not publish the most highly cited articles in some topic areas and methodologies. These results may help institutions consider whether “counting” only the top journals is an appropriate measure for judging faculty scholarship. The results suggest that counting articles in the traditional top journals alone will be problematic if institutions want to promote research in a broad range of accounting topics and issues in the profession.

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