The History of SCR
SCR was founded on the principles of "facilitat[ing] the exchange of ideas leading to the improvement of case research, writing, and teaching; assist[ing] in the publication of written cases or case research and other scholarly work; and provid[ing] recognition for excellence in case research, writing, and teaching", and it has never lost that focus. Members of the Society are dedicated to helping "scholars bring reality to the classroom" in the form of fact-based, descriptive and decision cases. To that end, the
Society hosts two annual conferences to bring together dedicated scholars in an atmosphere steeped in a history of collegiality.
The first conference is held each spring in conjunction with MBAA International in Chicago and provides scholars with opportunities in two tracks. One track is devoted to the presentation of papers and panels on case research, writing, and teaching. The other track is devoted to the presentation of critical incidents and embryo cases. The location of the second conference, the Summer Case-Writing Workshop, varies according to the location of the sponsoring college or university. "Through à tremendous amount of individual effort on the part of organizers and participants, each of these programs has created (and continues to create) an environment where we can all learn and grow professionally"
From SCR's humble beginnings, the Society has evolved from a small, regional organization to a world leader in case publishing. When Thomas Hailstones of DePaul University initially "hatched" the idea of bringing together case writers for self-improvement in 1970, he ushered in a legacy of future leaders from colleges and universities, both large and small. SCR now publishes three blind, peer-reviewed case journals that serve case writers, textbook publishers, researchers, and those searching for cases to meet their classroom needs around the world.
The Society's original journal, the Journal of Case Studies (formerly Annual Advances in Business Cases) was launched to provide authors with a quality outlet to showcase case research and writing that was enhanced through participation in SCR's summer workshop sessions. The journal still serves the same purpose, but it has evolved into a bi-annual format to provide for a wider, timelier publication of scholarly works. The next journal to be launched was SCR's flagship journal, the Business Case Journal (BCJ). The BCJ is SCR's premier case journal and is dedicated to publishing the very best in classroom-tested case research from authors around the world.
Consistent with its position of being at the cutting edge of case research and writing, SCR recently launched its third journal. "[I]n response to the demand for shorter cases and to differentiate this new type of research and intellectual contribution from traditional cases, a decision was made by SCR to provide a presentation format and begin vetting a new type of scholarly research referred to as 'critical incidents'" (Berger, et. al. 2011/2012). The popularity of this new genre soon led to publication of the Society's third journal. The Journal of Critical Incidents (JCI).
Both in its conferences and in its journals, the Society's culture sets it apart from most other organizations. The Society for Case Research promotes a culture of success, where successes for both the organization and the individual case writers are very important.
Meeting the Needs of Researchers, Writers, and Teachers
The culture of success that pervades both the Chicago conference and the summer workshop has been zealously guarded by the officers and members of the Society with one goal in mind: Having authors achieve success in publication. The formats of both conferences have been designed to provide a nurturing experience. Both are aimed at helping authors refine and focus their case or critical incident, thereby increasing the probability that their efforts will lead to publication in one of the Society's three blind, peer-reviewed journals or other case-publication outlets.
Receipt of constructive feedback for improvement comes with an implicit commitment to help others by cordially providing constructive criticism on their conference submissions. Review sessions at Society meetings often catch first-time participants "off guard." These sessions are not opportunities to put down someone else's work, show other participants how "smart" one is or how "important" one is, but a time to listen and learn. All participants quickly learn that they need to "check their egos at the door." No one is any more important than the person sitting next to him/her, regardless of academic discipline, whether he/she is a new or a long-time member, from a large university or small college, hold a doctorate or master's degree, have been teaching for years or just starting an academic career as a graduate student. We all grow and improve our work from the thoughts and comments of those who provide thoughtful constructive criticism of our cases and critical incidents.
However, a word of caution is warranted at this time. Do not mistakenly infer that the Society's collégial attitude towards the publication process means that getting published will be easy. SCR publications average acceptance rates range from 10% - 30%, so attendance and presentation at an SCR conference are not a guarantee of eventual publication.
Though not mandatory to publish in the Business Case Journal, attendance and participation at one of the Society's conferences are both important and necessary for publishing in either the Journal of Critical Incidents or the Journal of Case Studies. But, conference attendance and participation alone are not sufficient for possible publication.
Receipt of conference feedback by scholars starts the running of a two-year clock. Within that time frame, authors must revise their cases and submit them for publication in accordance with SCR's posted guidelines. These submissions are then subjected to the journal's blind-review process. If an author's journal submission is based upon presentation at the summer workshop or the spring conference, it is mandatory that the author responds (see below) to the constructive conference feedback recorded by their scribe as "must do'' items; however, it is at the author's discretion as to whether or not he/she will alter his/her "case" regarding the scribe's "recommended" items. A list of both "must do'' and "recommended" items are e-mailed to the author(s) shortly after the conference concludes. Most of the time, the author(s) will modify (rewrite) the "work" to incorporate the noted "must do" items. However, the "final product" is still the author's work, and on rare occasions, the author(s) may choose to provide a well-reasoned, defensible explanation as to why modifications were not incorporated even for a "must do'' item.
Without exception, unless based 100% on secondary research, publication in all of the Society's journals requires written permission to publish the case or critical incident fi-om the appropriate responsible party. Many good cases have not been published because the author(s) failed to obtain the necessary written permission. All authors are encouraged to save stress and heartache by getting written permission to publish the case from the appropriate party (e.g. business owner) before making a huge time investment in writing a "case." However, teaching notes do not require permission for publication.
Case submissions are a two-part package — the case and the teaching note. The case is simply the story regardless of whether it was the result of primary or secondary research. The teaching notes are considered the research portion of the work. This is where the case writer adds to the literature. Whether your case supports current theory, opposes current theory, or proposes new theory, the theory portion of the teaching note is essential. SCR has lobbied long and hard to have case research recognized as legitimate research, and case research has been accepted as legitimate by many schools because theory is essential to the teaching notes.
Occasionally, even though SCR prides itself on providing constructive feedback to help authors publish, feedback may be perceived as negative or come across as harsh. At times, case writers may also be overwhelmed by the volume of feedback they receive on their "work." Although rare, these situations sometimes lead authors to "feel attacked" or they just "give up"; hence, good cases sometimes do not get published. At other times, cases with good potential end up not being published because authors misconstrue a caring environment for a lax environment and fail to make the necessary changes or fail to follow publication guidelines or comply with deadlines. SCR encourages perseverance! When well-written cases are carefully shepherded through the publication process, interesting cases that will enhance student learning get published.
Novice case writers may find it beneficial to take on a co-author (e.g. a willing SCR veteran); someone who will help direct him/her in knowing "the ropes to skip and the ropes to jump." Case writers who want the assistance of a co-author are encouraged to seek out an SCR officer, journal editor, or assistant editor to help identify an appropriate co-author. Even "seasoned" case writers must pay attention to details and follow the suggestions of the journal editors found below:
Roadmap to Case Publication Success
- Develop as complete a case and teaching note as possible for the initial presentation at a conference or workshop. Proofread it, and then get someone else to proofread it.
- In your case, include an effective hook (1st paragraph), logical presentation of facts, and a reinforcing conclusion "catch" (last paragraph).
- When writing the teaching notes, follow the standard format presented on the SCR web site ("Society for Case Research: Manuscript Guidelines for Authors").
- After receiving conference feedback and revising the case and teaching notes, submit them to the appropriate journal editor along with a written memo responding to the scribe's recorded comments. Collectively, these will be used as a basis for the first round of reviews of the submitted case. Consider the reader when writing this memo to make their job as easy as possible when reviewing the case and teaching notes.
- After receiving the journal reviewers' comments, again rewrite your case and teaching notes and submit them with another memo responding to the reviewers' comments; all three will be used as a basis for the second round of reviews.
- Once again, respond directly through a written memo to the reviewers' second round comments and submit it along with the revised case and teaching notes to the journal editor to make a final publication decision. Be sure that the final version of the case and teaching notes are in compliance with APA (American Psychological Association) and SCR guidelines.
- Comply with deadlines.
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