The Journal of Consumer Research (JCR) publishes empirical, theoretical, and methodological papers of the highest quality on topics in consumer research. The overriding criterion for publication in JCR is that the paper should advance understanding of consumer behavior or the conduct of consumer research. As a multi-disciplinary journal, JCR encourages a variety of disciplinary perspectives, methods, theoretical approaches, and substantive problem areas.
In general, there are three evaluation criteria to assess whether a paper fits the mission and quality standards of the journal. Those criteria are:
- Rigor: Does the paper fulfill high standards of theoretical, methodological, and empirical soundness?
- Relevance: Does the paper address an important aspect of consumer behavior, and may stakeholders of consumer research benefit from the paper?
- Contribution: Does the paper add in a significant way to prior knowledge?
There is no template for the ideal JCR paper. However, one can distinguish five types of papers, and each type requires a slightly different focus and mindset for evaluation:
- Conceptual papers
- Theory-driven empirical papers
- Substantive phenomena papers
- Consumer culture research papers
- (Multi-)methods and empirical quant papers
To be transparent and fair to authors, it is important that consistent guidelines be established and practiced by the review team. To this end, the editors held multiple workshops with JCR Associate Editors in January/February 2021 to draft general evaluation guidelines for each type of paper. Above, please find these guidelines which entail a short description of each type of paper, evaluation criteria, and a range of exemplars from past JCR papers.
Manuscripts are evaluated in large measure on the relative magnitude of their contribution to the literature and it is imperative that editors be made aware of related research. Authors submitting a manuscript for review should clearly indicate the relation of the submission to any other manuscripts already published, under review, or in preparation for submission to another journal (this information is requested in Step 6 of the submission process).
It is inappropriate for authors to submit manuscripts with substantial overlap with manuscripts by one or more of the authors already published, in the review process, or in preparation for submission to another journal. Such overlap can result from the use of the same data or analyses, or the same or very similar conceptual frameworks, or when providing parallel substantive or theoretical results, or when testing already published theory without noting that it is a replication.
When there is a question about defining overlap, particularly that which arises from their own work, it is the authors’ responsibility to notify and alert the assigned editor of JCR. The editor will make a binding decision regarding whether a manuscript submitted to JCR is too similar to an article already published in JCR or elsewhere, regardless of the quality, accessibility, or language of the journal.
Failure to disclose overlapping work will be considered a breach of professional ethics.
Note: The following are examples of types of overlapping content that does not preclude consideration for publication: dissertations and theses published in educational archives, working papers, preprints, and extended abstracts published in conference proceedings. Authors should, however, disclose these publications at the time of submission.