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Barriers to entry: heterodox publishing in mainstream journals

Jack Reardon (Department of Management and Economics, School of Business, Hamline University, St Paul, Minnesota, USA)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 26 September 2008




The purpose of this paper is to empirically ascertain whether an ideological barrier to entry exists, preventing heterodox economists from publishing in mainstream journals.


The empirical results were obtained from a questionnaire asked of heterodox economists. The ten questions include where respondents submitted their research; their treatment by editors and referees; and whether an ideological barrier to publication exists.


The evidence overwhelmingly supports the existence of an ideological entry barrier. This barrier goes beyond the normal competitive nature of journal publishing, that is limited journal pages constricting the number of “good papers” that can be published, suggesting that there is an insidious ideological entry barrier preventing heterodox ideas from being published.


Based on this evidence, the last section proffers several research suggestions, including more sophisticated models predicting the likelihood of a heterodox economist submitting to a mainstream journal and the likelihood of acceptance. And, finally, several reforms are suggested including the adoption of a universal code of conduct for referees.



Reardon, J. (2008), "Barriers to entry: heterodox publishing in mainstream journals", On the Horizon, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 185-197.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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