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Horn, Sierk A. (2016): The Social and Psychological Costs of Peer Review: Stress and Coping With Manuscript Rejection. In: Journal of management inquiry, Vol. 25, No. 1: pp. 11-26


Research has evolved into a high-stake competition for journal space. This study examines the effects of peer rejections on individual scholars. I propose a transactional framework that organizes experiences with peer rejections into identity-related appraisal and coping phases. I consider two types of response options: peer rejections either as a threat or as a challenge to scholarly identities. I develop research proposition specific to socio-demographic, socio-linguistic, and social-cognitive antecedents of scholarly engagement. I test for main and interaction effects of peer rejections on data collected from 411 International Business scholars. Broadly supportive of my propositions, the findings highlight extensive social and psychological costs of peer-review mechanisms, most notably living with professional failure, resultant cognitive dissonance, and awareness of discriminatory clues. The systematic exploration of bifurcating scholarly work into "valued" and "less valued" contributions invites us to reconsider the way we interact as scholars, create knowledge, and build disciplinary capacities.