Substance, Commentary and Compromise: JFR's New Approach to Academic Publishing

The Journal of Financial Reporting Playbook

Journal of Financial Reporting
A journal of the Financial Accounting and Reporting Section of the American Accounting Association

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Journal of Financial Reporting publishes a broad spectrum of financial reporting issues related to the production, dissemination, and analysis of information produced by a firm's financial accounting and reporting system. It publishes semi-annually in Spring and Fall, and is indexed in ESCI.

For more information on the journal and the Financial Accounting and Reporting Section, please click here. For additional journal data and citation analysis, see the Journal of Financial Reporting Journal Information Packet. 

Co-Senior Editors:

Rob Bloomfield
Journal of Financial Reporting
Cornell University

Alan Jagolinzer
Journal of Financial Reporting
University of Cambridge

Sarah McVay
Journal of Financial Reporting
University of Washington

Editorial Office:



How to Submit a Manuscript:

Step 1: Pay submission fee online (VISA, MasterCard, American Express). If you are unable to pay by credit card or have any questions, please contact the AAA Member Services Team at 941.921.7747 or You will need your payment number when submitting to the journal. See the image below to locate the payment number.

Step 2: After you receive your Order Confirmation, read the Editorial Policy and Manuscript Prep Guide to ensure your manuscript is ready for submission.

Step 3: Submit manuscript to the JFR Peer Review System.

Additional Information:

Requests for reprint permission should be directed to the Copyright Clearance Center at

Journal of Financial Reporting Editors and Editorial Board

Click here to view the Journal of Financial Reporting editorial team

About the Journal of Financial Reporting


JFR is open to research on a broad spectrum of financial reporting issues related to the production, dissemination, and analysis of information produced by a firm’s financial accounting and reporting system.

Appropriate topics include accounting standard setting, firm’s behavior related to the production and disclosure of information, the relation between financial information and firm policies such as compensation and corporate governance, the role of financial intermediaries, and analysis by decision-makers such as equity investors, creditors, and analysts.

JFR welcomes research that employs empirical archival, analytical, and experimental methods and especially encourages less traditional approaches.

The target audience is financial reporting researchers.


* Two regular issues each year, every six months

* Themed issues (maximum of one per year)

The long-term goal is to publish themed issues as pressing topics and contributors are identified.

The inaugural themed issue “Defining our Content” was published in 2016.


JFR provides an outlet for research that fills two perceived gaps in the current journals:

(1) "Innovative" research: studies that examine a novel question or develop new theory or evidence that challenges current paradigms, or research that reconciles, confirms, or refutes currently mixed or questionable results.

(2) Research using underrepresented methods such as field studies, small sample studies, and analysis of survey data.


* Original discovery research

Studies can use varied methods, including analytical models, empirical analysis of archival data or data from experiments, surveys, small sample studies, field studies, and case studies.

* Commentaries

Short Commentaries will accompany some discovery research articles to provide: 1) a balanced exposition for studies that present results or ideas that conflict with existing evidence or paradigms; 2) independent and objective insights about how the findings in an individual paper can be a meaningful contribution when viewed as part of the broader literature; and/or 3) emphasis on the limitations of an article.

* Perspectives and discussions

Thought-provoking articles about a new issue in financial reporting or suggested directions for future research (“Perspectives”) and summaries of lessons learned from existing research (“Discussions”).

* Comments on previously published papers

Not all four types of articles will be represented in every issue and the JFR will not have distinct sections dedicated to specific types of content.

JFR takes a different approach to the definition of “quality” in terms of contribution to a scholarly debate, but high standards for execution quality remain essential. At the same time, JFR recognizes that financial reporting is a social science and research compromises are required. Theoretical models must make simplifying assumptions. Archival researchers face constraints on the data they can observe, collect, and measure. Sometimes interesting natural experiments occur, but the statistical benefits of these settings can be accompanied by a loss of generality. Experiments in laboratories suffer from the opposite problem. While they can hone in on the consequences of specific factors to establish causality, they establish causality in a laboratory world.  JFR assesses the quality of a study by how clearly the authors convey which goals they are pursuing (and which they are not), how effectively they pursue those goals, how honestly they report the compromises they have made, and how appropriately they draw conclusions in light of those compromises.


JFR was founded based on a belief that the two perceived gaps in the current journals - innovative research and studies using certain methods - resulted from limited space in the top-tier publication outlets. The acceptance rate of financial reporting research conditional on submissions is the lowest among the fields (based on statistics for The Accounting Review).1

Studies document that as scholarly fields mature, if the number of high-quality studies outpaces journal space in top-tier outlets, innovation decreases. The peer review process is commonly blamed. Reviewers often have reasons to push back against innovation and they obtain no benefit from encouraging it. Persistent authors have a higher likelihood of publishing their articles in a top-tier journal, but the peer review process makes it a painful process and the eventual time to publication is long. A chicken and egg problem results. Researchers anticipate the difficulties of publishing a paper with a paradigm-shifting idea or one that presents results that conflict with established beliefs, so they stop working on innovative research.

In addition, when space is limited, the most popular methods are perceived as the most publishable, and again authors (rationally) pursue the traditional paths at the expense of less popular methods such as field studies, even though these studies can make a significant contribution.

JFR hopes that by coming in from the outside as a new journal and stating a specific preference for innovative research and under-represented methods, and by having editors and a peer review process that result in publications of such research, JFR can motivate and energize researchers to take on projects that inspire scholarly debate and lead to progress and advancement in the field.


In addition to JFR’s stated preference for innovative research and underrepresented methods, JFR has an editorial structure and peer review process that publication experts suggest can overcome biases that hinder innovation.

The most important feature of JFR’s editorial structure is multiple (three) coeditors. Having multiple editors allows individual editors to invest more time in each manuscript. In addition, the three coeditors can discuss controversial editorial decisions, which can overcome the inherent bias against innovative research.

Special features of JFR’s peer review process:

1) Reviewers will be asked to comment on the paper’s merits as well as its flaws/limitations and the feasibility of overcoming the limitations. Reviewers will not be asked to weight the merits against the limitations and make an editorial decision.

2) Reviewers (and editors) will be asked to consider whether an alternative presentation style is appropriate, considering the optimal length for conveying the main idea in a paper as weighed against the paper’s perceived contribution. JFR will provide electronic space for supplemental analysis (e.g., additional tests, data).

3) Reviewers may have opportunities to write Commentaries on the manuscript. Given the nature ofJFR’s content, alternative views are beneficial. In addition, Commentaries are a tool to help mitigate some of the problems with the peer review process that research suggests stifle innovation. Time constraints make it impossible for reviewers to devote significant time to every submission they review and a reject decision is the path of least resistance. The opportunity to write a published Commentary is expected to better align referees’ incentives with those of JFR.

1 Table 3 Panel A of the 2014 "Annual Report and Editorial Commentary for The Accounting Review."


Editorial Board

President's Letter

Dear FARS Members and Visitors,

The Financial Accounting and Reporting Section represents a diverse group of academics who, using a variety of research and teaching approaches, deepen our understanding of how financial reporting shapes the business world. We aim to advance research, education and professional practice of financial reporting and analysis.

Our Steering Board is responsible for the stewardship of the section. In these uncertain times, FARS’s leadership and its Steering Board are committed to meeting our members’ needs and maintaining the vibrancy of the section. However, to do that, we rely crucially on volunteers. For example, the research coordination of the annual meeting earlier this month reflected the outstanding voluntary efforts of Gauri Bhat and Urooj Khan—our sincere thanks to both of them. That meeting, as well as the very successful midyear meeting in Nashville on January 23–25, 2020, also reflected the combined efforts of hundreds of members, who submitted papers, reviewed submissions, organized sessions, moderated, and presented. Please consider volunteering for the section when our “call for volunteers” comes out later this year.

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Journal of Financial Reporting

The Journal of Financial Reporting (JFR) is the academic journal of the Financial Accounting and Reporting Section of the American Accounting Association. JFR’s target audience is financial reporting researchers. JFR will publish two regular issues each year. JFR will also occasionally publish themed issues dedicated to studies that launch a new question or move the literature forward in an existing area.

Learn More


Call for Papers

FARS and Journal of Financial Reporting Research Methods Virtual Mini-Conference

January 21, 2021

Submission Deadline: October 15, 2020

Accounting Organizations & Society

Conference on Accounting for Sustainability and Climate Change

Fall 2022 - Chicago

Submission Deadline: June 15, 2022

Midyear Meeting

PowerPoint Slides from FASB Update at 2021 FARS Midyear Meeting

Research Objectives:

  • A. to encourage, facilitate, and publicize research in financial accounting and reporting.
  • B. to communicate interests, intentions, and actual work-in-process in the area.
  • C. to identify areas in need of research.
  • D. to provide opportunities for public exposure of research results through AAA meetings (annual, regional, and special meetings devoted solely to financial accounting and reporting) and publications (including working papers and a separate journal for financial accounting and reporting, if warranted).