As the new editor of the Journal of Marketing Research, School of Management professor Dick Wittink is streamlining operations at a publication read widely by both academics and corporate leaders.
Wittink was selected as editor of the JMR last July, but the first issue officially under his editorship was published last week. He said he has already made significant changes in how the journal runs, particularly with respect to its board and the review process for submissions.
“The Journal of Marketing Research is one of the two or three most prestigious journals in marketing,” SOM Deputy Dean Stan Garstka said. “It shows how one of our faculty in that area is basically globally respected as a leader in marketing research. We couldn’t be more pleased with Dick’s appointment and his willingness to do this.”
Wittink said one of his main goals for the journal is to make it more interdisciplinary, incorporating more psychology-based studies in addition to the statistical research for which the journal has become known.
“I’m trying to broaden the positioning of the journal to reach out to an audience that might have felt a little bit abandoned in the past,” he said.
Submissions to the JMR have already increased as a result of his efforts, Wittink said. He said the journal received approximately 240 submissions annually when he was named editor. But in the last two months alone, the journal has received 70 papers, he said.
Another facet of Wittink’s changes to the JMR involves what he called a “more efficient” publication process. Under his new system, he said, he uses two reviewers — a relatively small number –Êfor each paper and asks these editors to write no more than two pages evaluating each submission.
Wittink said he considers each paper and its reviews, then responds personally to the authors.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if two years from now I’m going to be pretty darn tired,” he said.
In addition to changing the review procedure, Wittink said he wanted to “rejuvenate” the JMR’s editorial board upon his arrival. After terminating approximately half the 80-member board, he then added about 20 new members, mostly younger researchers.
“When you do this kind of thing, you don’t do it because you want to make lots of friends,” Wittink said. “You have to do it because you believe that you have ideas that are worth pushing, and you have to be able to take a certain amount of criticism.”
He said he thinks the journal will benefit from having younger researchers on its board because of their exposure to the latest theories in research.
Wittink, who has been involved with the JMR editorial board for approximately 10 years, said he will serve a three-year term as editor.
Garstka said the SOM will benefit from Wittink’s high-profile position.
“[The JMR] has a great balance between technical academic rigor and technical problems, and because of that it has credibility in the real world,” Garstka said. “Not just academics read this journal. Basically, anyone doing marketing research in major corporations is likely to read this as well.”