Week 4 – an email & a query letter to the editor of the journal

The following is an email to the editor in order to know some supplimentary information that I could not get in the website.

Dear Sir/Madame,

I would like to submit an article to your journal, and I wonder if you could give me some information. How many submissions do you receive a year? How long does it take you to get back to authors with a decision about their manuscript? What kind of backlog do you have? Who are the readers? Will you have any special or theme issues coming up? And what are the accepted styles? (i.e. APA).

I know you are very busy, but this information would be very helpful to me.


Elodie Song

University of Ottawa, communication department

Ottawa, Canada


The following is a query letter to the editor of the journal that I selected. 

Dear Sir/Madame,

I am considering submitting my article titled ‘A transformative perspective of CSR: the ethical identity through trust and desirability’ for possible publication in your journal, journal of trust research. I noticed that your journal has published articles on general research on trust across disciplines dealing also with specific research on trust management. I am thinking in particular of the editorial article published last year, vol 7 (1). Considering “the dimension of duality-rooted approach to framing trust as a paradox” (p. 5), since there are no published studies on CSR in business ethics, my article may fill this gap and contribute to the understanding of how trust in organization plays a critical role for sustainable development in our rapidly changing society.

Hereby the abstract that shows my argument in my article:

Background: As digital technologies facilitate stakeholders to monitor corporates’ ethical activities, communicating organizations’ contribution for society’s well-being has become a crucial task. While the commercial logic is explicitly described in work identity, only the social welfare advocacy through corporate social responsibility (CSR) is used for ethical identity. Such a dismissive attitude without explaining the specific reason for CSR is often suspected as a disguise of their economic interest. Nevertheless, little research has been undertaken exploring how the ethical identity is constructed in comparison with the work identity.

Method: This study aims to compare ways in which work and ethical identities are formed. It analyses whether the commercial logic is disguised in ethical identity. Discourse analysis on external communication allows us to understand how a pharmaceutical company has successfully implemented Corporate Social Responsibility (hereon, CSR).

Findings: Work and ethical identities are formed through an interdependent synergic relationship so that a transformative perspective of CSR is created. In the first step, to bridge commercial logic and civic responsibility, organizational discourse and commitment are aligned with organizational image and culture. It creates trust through transparency. In the second step, a flexible position on the continuum between idealism and realism inspires a desirability among stakeholders. As a result, they participate with their voluntary engagement.

Conclusion: Understanding the transformative perspective of CSR allows other organizations to have a reference about the successful CSR so as to design their own appropriate continuum model in their particular contexts.

My article is about 8000 words, double-spaced including references, tables and figures. I have never published this article, nor have I submitted in to any other journal. Would such an article interest you? Please let me know if you feel that my narrow focus on CSR, would pose a problem for acceptance in your journal. As my finding on the role of trust in CSR research is quite strong, I could recast the article to focus entirely on the trust. Thank you very much. I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Elodie Song

University of Ottawa, department of Communication,

Ottawa, Canada


Week 4 – selecting journal (2)

It took for me two weeks to examine and select a right journal!

Picking the right journal is important in many reasons but it is for reducing the possibility of rejection.  There are criteria to select journals. First of all, my aim in publishing this article lies in communicating an idea to a particular audience, such as practitioners or scholars in my discipline. Among different types of academic journals new journals and electronic journals are questionable publishing outlets, there are some advantages. As new journals have fewer submissions, they are often actively searching for submissions. They are also willing to work with junior scholars. Interdisciplinary and field journals are also important elements to consider.

The evaluation process for potential journals includes first of all scrutinizing up to 10 journals that look like good places for my work. My co-author recommended two of them. Since I can only send my work to one journal, it is good to select one journal best for my article. According to the evaluation process, I filtered journals. I examined them using fifteen criteraia:

1) peer reviewed, 2) journals with US-based, 3) journals with a reputable publisher, 4) carefully produced, 5) the regular frequency of issue (on time), 6) the editorial board (if only famous scholars, it is hard to break into), 7) time to get published, 8) the readers, 9) the upcoming theme related to my topic, 10) page length limits, 11) match of the style to my article, and 12) submission condition. In addition, I checked 13) a trend of recent articles, 14) if my article may fill some gap, 15) if the articles are similar or different from mine.

As a result, I chose ‘Journal of trust research’ is my best for getting my article published. Almost all criteria to choose a journal are satisfied after examination and findings of my article fits their aim and scope: The journal influences these levels by providing the most relevant research regarding to trust-related management. This journal, peer reviewed, international, and 2 issues per year since 2011, relatively very new journal, but the publisher has a solid reputation (Publisher Taylor & Francis). This journal considers trust is imperative to constructive social interaction and cooperation so it aims to provide novel ideas for scholars and practitioners. The journal inquires different scopes of trust such as nature, form, base and role of trust and trust building across personal, group, organizational, and community levels so as to facilitate dialogue and debate toward an integrative body of knowledge via theory building and theory testing. The journal influences these levels by providing the most relevant research regarding to trust-related management. The journal supports inter-disciplinary and cross-cultural studies. Instructions for authors seem quite standard and they offer templates to follow. Other minor reasons to choose lie in personal impressions: The journal’s website information is clear and easy to consult for new article contributors. Editors and peer review members are composed in a very cross-cultural way. Editors and review board are from universities in Australia, Europe, US, and Asia.

Week 4 – selecting journals (1)

October 1, 2018

This week, it is important to select journals that can be good fits for the subject, the methodology, and the findings of my article. I have three possibilities to deal with this task. Firstly, my co-author recommended me to search some journals that deal with the same theme or subject of my article. Through analysing them, I have to find their preferred structure shown in the journals so that I can consider them as models to follow. Secondly, I contacted a librarian by chat. He sent to me a link with which I can find many journal names who deal with the key word of ‘business ethics’. They are so numerous that I have to filter some of them. They seem to fall in a category of field journals. However, I don’t have any idea how I can find newer journals. The last possibility to search journals lies in I using the reference list that is made of my literature that has been used to write the article. As my literature articles are chosen according to the key word and related topics, it must provide relevant journals’ names that have already accepted articles regarding to the subject which I focus on. The next step is to understand how I can evaluate each selected journal in order to decide to which journals I will submit my article.

Week 3 – diagnosis of the article

September 26, 2018

Considering criteria for diagnosis, suggested by the book which helps publish articles, I find that my article is not over presented topic. My article is sufficiently original because its novelty lies in a new approach by bridging old concept and a strong finding that creates a new perspective. But, my article seems to have problems with defensiveness and articulation of argument.

Firstly, in order to avoid looking homework, I have to reduce extensive quotations, being preoccupied with citing famous authors, excessive documenting, and monotonous and long list of ideas of others. In addition, I have to avoid convincing with absolute dogma, instead, including evidences that contradict my thesis will make my argument stronger.

Secondly, strong findings should be clearly stated, identifying related field. So, I have to articulate significance: for example, few researchers have adopted my approach. Hence, this analysis may provide a solution to some problem or open up a new path for the field. Another example: the transformative perspective that this research suggests must add a new category of CSR to existing ones and its practical implication can be a good reference to other organizations.

For this aim, firstly, I’m going to revise it by collecting some opposing arguments to my thesis. Secondly, I have to try to synthesize and articulate my arguments. Finally, I can write up a updated abstract and a list of argument in order to be shared with my co-author. Back and forth through peer reviewing, the abstract and the argument will get more refined forms.

Week 3 – revised abstract

While work identity is known as a construct by institutional logic, ethical identity promoted in CSR is often viewed as hegemonic and disguised institutional legitimization because taken-for-granted notion is forced by social welfare advocacy discourse. Nevertheless, little research has been undertaken concerning how the ethical identity is constructed by discourse in comparison with the work identity. This study aims to compare ways in which work and ethical identities are formed so as to confirm whether they are promoted with different strategies in which ethical identity is disguising the commercial logic. In this case study, external communication of a pharmaceutical company, which has successfully implemented CSR, is analyzed through qualitative content analysis. Findings show that work and ethical identities are formed through interdependent synergic relationship: On the one hand, to bridge commercial logic in work and civic responsibility in ethics, organizational discourse and commitment coherently aligned with organizational image and culture create trust via transparency. On the other hand, a flexible position on the continuum between idealism and realism inspires a desirability so as to generate a voluntary engagement of all stakeholders. Hence, a new transformative perspective of CSR that demonstrates a flexible negotiation between business and ethics on the continuum can be best supported by generating trust that genuinely convinces stakeholders during the process of intertwining work and ethical identities formation.


Week 3 – diagnosis before starting a new week

Actually, my writing goals are achieved. I wrote everyday according to the suggested schedule of the book. But in the end of the second week, I was stuck in revising my abstract because my coauthor did not give me her feedback. So, I switched it with a task of summarizing a book, which I need to do anyway. I can say that a challenging part is to keep the schedule that is suggested by the book – especially, we write as coauthors.

In the beginning of this week, I have an appointment with my co-author, so it will make my writing schedule advance. My writing goal to publish an article is not clearly defined yet because I did not sort out what parts of my draft I have to revise. This weekend, I’m going to re-read my draft article in order to analyze what should be kept, modified, deleted, and reinforced. Overall, keeping writing everyday, at least 15 minutes, and settling priorities on each task are the most important lessons from the week 2.

When I will have finished all steps suggested in this book, I must feel more confident and I can make my own writing schedule more realistic. One positive lesson that I would like to mention is making one’s writing social. So, I showed my writings to my ESL professor and to a person who works for the  writing center. Both of them gave me feedbacks that are more encouraging than what I was expecting. This makes me feel good! If I continue to write and to make my writing social, I will not need any more an editor in the future. Becoming an independent writer is such an empowering event!

Week 2: writing workshop – Abstract (2)

The gap between the discourse of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the practical reality should be taken into account. While work identity is known as a construct by institutional logic, ethical identity promoted in CSR is often considered as a taken-for-granted notion backed up by social welfare advocacy. This study aims for exploring CSR’s ethical identity formation through analyzing organizations’ discourses during the process of organizational identity formation. A case study is conducted adopting document analysis which allows to examine published external communication during the active CSR development of a pharmaceutical company. The results show that transformative perspective of CSR composed of reasonable idealism in transparency allowed the company to justify the negotiation between business and ethics in order to get trust from stakeholders