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Why papers are rejected and how to get yours accepted: Advice on the construction of interpretive consumer research articles

Eileen Fischer (Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto, Canada)
Ahir Gopaldas (Gabelli School of Business, Fordham University, New York, USA)
Daiane Scaraboto (School of Administration, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, Chile)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Article publication date: 9 January 2017




Interpretive consumer researchers frequently devote months, if not years, to writing a new paper. Despite their best efforts, the vast majority of these papers are rejected by top academic journals. This paper aims to explain some of the key reasons that scholarly articles are rejected and illuminate how to reduce the likelihood of rejection.


This paper is a dialogical collaboration between a co-editor of the Journal of Consumer Research and two junior scholars who represent the intended audience of this paper. Each common reason for rejecting papers, labeled as Problems 1-8, is followed by precautionary measures and detailed examples, labeled as solutions.


The paper offers eight pieces of advice on the construction of interpretive consumer research articles: (1) Clearly indicate which theoretical conversation your paper is joining as early as possible. (2) Join a conversation that belongs in your target journal. (3) Conclude your review of the conversation with gaps, problems and questions. (4) Only ask research questions that your data can answer. (5) Build your descriptive observations about contexts into theoretical claims about concepts. (6) Explain both how things are and why things are the way that they are. (7) Illustrate your theoretical claims with data and support them with theoretical argumentation. (8) Advance the theoretical conversation in a novel and radical way.


The goal of this paper is to help interpretive consumer researchers, especially junior scholars, publish more papers in top academic journals such as the Journal of Consumer Research.



Fischer, E., Gopaldas, A. and Scaraboto, D. (2017), "Why papers are rejected and how to get yours accepted: Advice on the construction of interpretive consumer research articles", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 60-67.



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