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Inside CSULB
Vol 58 No. 3 : March, 2006
Vol 58 No. 3 : March, 2006
Journal Garners Worldwide Recognition

Journal Garners Worldwide Recognition

In 1999, Information Systems’ Chair/Professor Robert Chi decided the timing was just right for a journal encompassing the topic of electronic commerce (commonly referred to as e-commerce). Developing a journal, any journal, from scratch is not an easy undertaking, but he decided to forge ahead nonetheless. And so, the Journal of Electronic Commerce Research (JECR) was born.

“The idea came about because at that time e-commerce was very popular, but there was no such journal in which to publish articles about it, so we took advantage of that and it’s worked out extremely well,” said Chi. “I thought maybe this would be a good application to review everything online and at that time we were the only ones to do the online review and it turned out to be very popular as well as efficient.”

The intent of the journal is to provide an international forum for researchers and professionals to share their knowledge and report new advances on all topics related to electronic commerce theories and applications. The journal focuses on electronic commerce including its theoretical foundations, infrastructure and enabling technologies.

What exactly is e-commerce? As Chi explained it, e-commerce occurs anytime a business transaction takes place electronically. Examples of e-commerce would be using your cell phone for business, or buying stocks, paying bills and purchasing airline tickets through the Internet.
JECR is a peer-reviewed journal published both on paper and electronically. It is published electronically on a quarterly basis and then those online articles are combined to create an annual hard copy. Chi says only 200 copies of JECR are printed and cost $100, with libraries and other researchers being the main audience when it comes to purchasing a hard copy version. Otherwise, it’s free online (www.jecr.org).

In the beginning, Chi said he had a tough time getting individuals to submit papers for publication in the new journal, with as few as five papers submitted quarterly. Now, they have to sift through 20-30 every quarter.

“In 1999 we nearly had to beg individuals to submit papers for publication,” said Chi, who quickly added that Computer Information Systems Professor Melody Kiang carries out most of the day-to-day duties concerning the journal. “Today, we turn people away.”

They agree that the welcomed increase in the number of submissions has also greatly improved the overall quality of the journal, having received manuscript submissions from top research schools worldwide such as the University of Pennsylvania (Walton School); Case Western Reserve University; Indian Institute of Management; University of Maryland; Thammasat University, Thailand; McMaster University, Canada; University of South Carolina, Kingston University, United Kingdom; University of Frankfurt; Naval Postgraduate School; The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Syracuse University; University of Queensland, Australia; Purdue University, and University of British Columbia, Canada.

The journal has been so successful, in fact, that in the most recently published study “Global Perceptions of Journals Publishing E-commerce Research” it was ranked No. 4 in overall quality and No. 9 in appropriateness in publishing e-commerce research. Those rankings, based on input given by 360 Information Systems scholars worldwide, made JECR the No. 1 online journal in e-commerce research.

Journal Cover“We are very happy with the rankings,” said Kiang of the study conducted by Bharati and Tarasewich at the University of Massachusetts and Northeastern University. They should be since their journal was ranked above those put out by such notable institutions as the Harvard Business Review, IBM Systems Journal, MIS Quarterly, ISR, and Management Science, a journal put out by Northwestern University.

Chi and Kiang strongly encourage electronic submissions in order to expedite the entire process from submission to review to publication. The acceleration of the overall process has no doubt been another key as to why the number of submissions has increased.

“By doing everything electronically we can advise authors of their paper’s status within a target turnaround time of three to four months,” said Kiang. “When the review process was by having authors submit a hard copy manuscript, it took about one year to get through the process. Now, by doing it electronically, we need about only three months to get accepted papers published in our online journal.

“We get an electronic manuscript and we assign an associate editor to handle the review of that article,” added Kiang, who noted that JECR’s advisory board and associate editors are located throughout the world. “Each manuscript is reviewed by at least three anonymous reviewers. The reviewers enter the review online and the system will send an e-mail notice to both the author and our office when a review is available.”

Once that process is completed, the article can either be turned down or accepted. If accepted, it is posted in one of JECR’s quarterly online issues and then published in the year-end hardcopy version, which has grown to more than 300 pages in length.

Chi and Kiang, who credit Dean Luis Calingo for being extremely supportive of this project, say the process is getting a little easier for them since they now have a huge database of reviewers to draw from. Still, they point out, it consumes more than 20 hours of work time during the week, and even more when publication time nears.
“Our goal is to make this a very reputable journal that is very well recognized in the IS community,” said Chi. “It takes a while to be well thought of and our goal is to be the No. 1 journal in the area of e-commerce in the world.”

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