Accounting research production and evaluation: The view of the professionals

The existence of a gap between accounting research and accounting practice has been extensively described in literature. In order to be able to publish a research in a high-ranked accounting journal, it seems that methodological issues are more important than those related to the relevance of the topics covered. To improve research and accounting practice and to avoid the risk of accounting research becoming selfreferential, every effort should be made to bridge the current gap between research and accounting practice. To this end, the development of mutual knowledge of the agenda of researchers and practitioners on the one hand, and participation in joint projects on the other, could represent possible future solutions to be pursued.

Keywords: Accounting profession, accounting research, research impact, impact factor.


The usefulness of accounting research: A practitioner’s point of view

This paper represents a contribution from the point of view of a practitioner who strongly believes that it is essential to continue to invest in accounting research. The cooperation between chief financial officers, auditors and academic institutions is central not only for improving the process of accounting regulations but also for relaunching, at the same time, the industrial system (and not only it), by creating a strong feeling of trust in general economic and financial communication, thus fostering higher level of accountability.

Keywords: Accounting profession, accounting research, research impact, impact factor, accountability.


The “Real” Impact Factor: Reflections on the Impact of the Research Excellence Framework

This paper is an argument for the importance of academics undertaking some (but not only) research that relates to the practical issues faced by practitioners and policy makers and that is geared to achieving impact. It offers a normative argument informed by my experience as a practitioner and an academic and by my experiences in the assessment of impact as part of the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2014. The paper introduces the nature of the REF and how it was implemented. It also addresses the implications of the performance measurement of impact of REF for Higher Educational Institutions and the individual academics that work within them. In that respect it recognises that performance measures give extrinsic encouragement to particular behaviours. The paper argues that academics should also be intrinsically driven to research that has impact. In order to achieve impact, the paper suggests that we should not see a gap between academics and practitioners, but should instead see practice and academic endeavour as different but complementary elements of the same profession. We should seek to develop better discourses between academics and practitioners and should not attribute greater importance to the views of either party. Instead we should have an engagement that is open to the generation of disagreement as well as agreement but that nevertheless does not see disagreement as the basis for closing down communication.

Keywords: Research impact, engagement, evidence for policymakers and practitioners, Research Excellence Framework


The Real Impact Factor and the Gap between Accounting Research and Practice

This paper explores the gap between accounting research and practice with two primary objectives. First, it provides a review of the main results obtained by the impressive literature on the topic to get a comprehensive picture of this phenomenon, considering the different perspectives and research methods used so far. This review aims not only at summarizing results, but also at outlining a logical framework that could be useful for both our analysis and future studies on the topic. Against this background, our second objective is to carry out an empirical analysis on scholars’ motivations and incentives – rather neglected by prior literature – with a particular focus on their relationships with professional associations. Evidence from our survey (with 447 questionnaires completed by EAA members) suggests that there is a hierarchy of objectives informing scholars’ motivations and that the first one is to publish on highly ranked journals. In such a context, the positive attitude of academics towards practice can be sometimes in conflict with scholars’ expectation about effort, individual result and peers’ consideration. In other terms, our study supports the idea that there is a gap between research and practice, together with a risk of an increasingly closed community of scientists. Our results seem in line with studies stating that the reasons for this gap essentially lie in the current evaluation logic driving scholars’ incentives. Additionally, evidence on scholars’ incentives might be helpful in finding new solutions to bridge the gap and supporting future research sharing the same objective.

Keywords: Research-practice gap, research impact, real impact factor, accounting research, accounting practice


La valutazione della ricerca tramite indici bibliometrici: riflessioni da una prospettiva economico-aziendale

Research evaluation and bibliometrics: reflections from a business economics perspective

In dependence of the lack of resources and the consequent need to manage better the allocation process, there is a growing interest regarding the issue of research evaluation. In particular, it is possible to notice a more frequent use of bibliometrics and citation-based indexes (impact factor, h-index, eigenfactor, etc.).

The aim of this paper is to analyse to what extent citation-based indexes can be used to evaluate the research in business economics

In order to achieve the abovementioned aim, the paper proposes a review of the main indexes analyzing their pros and cons and then it tries to draw some critical conclusions with reference to the citation behavior and to the used data base. In the last section, the paper proposes some reflections regarding the use of citation-based indexes for evaluating the research in business economics


Valutare la ricerca nella prospettiva europea e internazionale: prime riflessioni

The recent commitment to an evaluation of the quality of research fostered by the ANVUR – Agenzia Nazionale di Valutazione del sistema Universitario e della Ricerca – National Agency for the Evaluation of University and Research (VQR 2004-2010) raised a number of questions about what is important to be assessed, which aspects are worthwhile (e.g. scientific quality, practical impact, internationalization etc.) and which methods and tools for measuring and evaluating are to be used (peer-reviewed journals, impact factors, journal rankings, etc.). (Coda, 2011; Palumbo, 2011; Dalli, 2012; Rebora, 2012; Sostero, 2012). Besides the quality of research strictu sensu, one of the aspects that could be considered in the evaluation is the so-called “impact” of research. Although neglected in the Italian system, this dimension is present, even if with different connotations, in some of the evaluation systems used in other countries (Palumbo, 2011; De Nicolao, 2013th, b; Sargiacomo, 2013). The purpose of this paper is to analyse and systematize the main national and international contributions dealing with the concept of “research impact” in order to propose the first critical reflections.