Contemporary Accounting Research (CAR) has expanded substantially in scope over the past two decades. This paper provides an overview of these trends using both quantitative techniques from statistics and exploratory data analysis (EDA). Articles in CAR are classified into taxonomies and the literature tracked over 22 years.

Analysis focuses on four taxonomies: foundation discipline, school of thought, research method and mode of reasoning. The paper first examines journals vis-a-vis article publication frequency and dominant taxonomies. Secondly, three assertions concerning the relative posture of the Journal of Accounting Research and the literature are examined. Next the context of the literature is examined through major taxonomies and a crosstabulation of research method vs school of thought. The last part of the analysis focuses on trends within the taxonomies in the 1963–1984 period.

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