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Editorial Guidelines | Journal of Marketing

The Journal of Marketing (JM) develops and disseminates knowledge about real-world marketing questions useful to scholars, educators, managers, policy makers, consumers, and other societal stakeholders around the world. It is the premier outlet for substantive marketing scholarship. Since its founding in 1936, JM has played a significant role in shaping the content and boundaries of the marketing discipline.

Editorial Objective
The fundamental editorial objective of JM is to publish the most impactful, thought-leading substantive research in the marketing discipline. This is expressed by the journal’s founding objectives: (1) to advance the science and practice of marketing (to make a difference by adding to what we know about marketing phenomena and changing how we study and practice marketing); and (2) to serve as a bridge between the scholarly and the practical, each of which has a vital stake in what is happening on the other side. JM is committed to publishing the highest quality articles that have the potential to advance marketing theory and practice regardless of topic, theory, method, or level of analysis.

What Types of Research Does JM Publish? 
JM publishes a broad range of articles that vary markedly in their objectives, approach, nature of contribution to the field, and target audience. While there are many different types of articles, the two main types published by JM are conceptual articles and empirical articles, as described next. JM is open to other types of research as well, as long as they offer theoretical and empirical contributions into important marketing questions.

Conceptual articles: These types of articles make their contributions through theoretical arguments that introduce new topics, new constructs, new relationships, new theories, and even new paradigms for the field. While they may be informed by empirical observations in the real-world, data are not used to test the ideas. These conceptual articles may have various objectives, such as: 

  • ​To provide critical syntheses, reviews, and research agendas designed to alter the nature and extend the scope of the marketing discipline. 
  • To critically reexamine existing concepts and theories in marketing with new perspectives and ideas that extend the literature and practice in important ways. 
  • To advance new concepts, relationships, and topics for the field.
  • To offer new, integrative and/or challenging viewpoints on facets of marketing as observed in the real world or as studied in the marketing discipline.

Conceptual articles may take the form of a new and testable theory, a new conceptual framework to capture the elements of a (new) marketing phenomenon, and/or a set of specific areas worthy of new scholarly research. Some conceptual articles integrate concepts from allied disciplines such as economics, strategic management, finance, accounting, organizational behavior, sociology, psychology, and anthropology into marketing. Others develop “home-grown” (Rust 2006), or “organic” (Kohli 2009​) theories specific to the marketing discipline. All types of conceptual articles are welcome at JM

By offering compelling new perspectives, these conceptual articles go beyond a literature review. While conceptual articles do not analyze empirical data, they are often driven by insightful observations of marketing in the real world. The key criterion for a conceptual article to be publishable in JM is that it should be able to lead marketing in new directions by challenging conventional thinking.

Empirical articles: Empirical articles use organized observations about marketing-relevant data of any type to offer important insights to the marketing discipline. Given JM’s big tent stance, these data can range from primary data including interview and observational data, experiments, field studies, and surveys to secondary data of customers, competitors, firms, or any entity engaged with marketing. These types of articles may take many different forms:

  • ​Constructs are defined and hypotheses are offered that structure the relationships between variables in the paper. Data are collected, organized, and used to test these predictions. 
  • An important research area or substantive issue in marketing is described and research questions are raised without specific predictions being offered. Data are collected, organized, and used to offer insights into these questions.
  • A new metric, model, or scale is developed that offers important marketing insights. It is important to show the advantages of these tools for the marketing literature and/or practice. 
  • A systematic review or meta-analysis of published findings in the marketing literature offers insights into important conditions under which findings for an important topic do or do not hold. 
  • A discovery-oriented approach uses data from multiple case studies to develop new theories for marketing. 

Empirical articles should develop generalizable insights that have implications for consumers, firms, organizations, industries, sectors, or countries, although in-depth investigations of substantively important subdomains or cases are also welcome. When research focuses on a particular organization as the basis for fieldwork or depth interviews, authors should seek a broader set of ideas and implications that have the ability to generalize beyond the focal organization.

Like any other article published in JM, consumer research articles need to offer a strong substantive treatment of this topic. Specifically, the key marketing question addressed in the paper should be one that examines individuals or organizations involved in the acquisition, consumption, or disposition of products, services, or experiences. Additionally, any dependent measures used in lab studies need to be durable enough to hold up under less controlled conditions to increase the generalizability of the research. To do so, these measures should capture participants’ reactions to marketing-relevant stimuli such as real behaviors (e.g., a consequential choice such as the investment of time, money, and/or effort, actual word-of-mouth), real emotions, or other real-world reactions that have important downstream marketing consequences.

The key threshold for an empirical article to be published in JM is that it should offer compelling new insights into substantively important marketing questions.

 What Types of Research Does JM Not Publish? 

  • ​​Articles with a primary focus on general management issues, rather than marketing management or marketing strategy issues, will not be considered for publication in JM
  • Articles with a primary focus on mathematics, econometrics, and/or statistics will not be considered at JM. These tools are appropriate when they are used to make a substantive contribution that is broadly accessible to JM’s academic and/or nonacademic stakeholders. However, the model should not be the primary focus of the paper; instead it should be in the service of the marketing question.
  • Articles that do not examine marketing problems and questions, but instead focus on contributions to allied social science disciplines are not appropriate for JM
  • Articles with a primary or sole focus on (new) marketing research methods will not be considered for publication in JM. Authors are encouraged to submit such articles to Journal of Marketing Research
  • Articles with a primary focus on replicating existing theory or findings or applying an existing set of findings to a new context. While replication does build confidence in the robustness of a set of findings, such papers do not offer sufficiently new insight to JM’s stakeholders and hence will not be considered for publication. 
  • Articles that report on the experiences of one or a small set of organizations and that do not offer a strong theoretical foundation with new insights for the discipline. Articles need to offer new insights that go beyond the focal organization(s) or industry.
  • Articles that report on consumer research that does not offer sufficient insights into real-world marketing ideas or problems.

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