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  • Writer's pictureLina Altenburg

1-on-1 with the IJRM team: Introducing Area Editor Anocha Aribarg

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

Want to learn about the recipe for a good paper and how to get the best out of your review process? Read the key insights from the interview with Anocha Aribarg, one of our area editors!


Who is Anocha Aribarg?


Since 2020, Anocha is one of the Area Editors of IJRM. She often gets assigned to papers on advertising, social influence or consumer choice. Given her research that often employs a multi-method approach, she reviews papers involving different methodologies.


Even though I could not visit Anocha in person at the University of Michigan, I had a great time talking with her online. She is a very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and extremely passionate researcher and her optimism and high spirits are contagious!

Her research

Anocha’s research mostly focuses on fusing consumer and psychology theories to better understand consumer decision processes and responses to marketing mix. She uses different kinds of methodologies, including lab, field and eye-tracking experiments, Bayesian statistical modelling and machine learning, often in combination.

“I tend to work on a limited number of papers that I am very passionate about” Anocha Aribarg

Although she has developed from a trained Bayesian modeller to a senior professor of marketing who now focuses more on the positioning and contributions of a paper, she still likes to be involved in all components (e.g., developing the conceptual framework, analyzing data, write-up) of the paper. She is very keen on making sure that she also understands what her co-authors are doing.


The recipe for a good paper

A good paper, explains Anocha, can make three types of contribution: conceptual, substantive and methodological. While she points out that most papers published at IJRM are not methodological, the other two types of contribution often play a very important role. Substantive contributions are important to provide relevant insights to managers, policymakers or other stakeholders, however, they have to be backed up by strong conceptual contributions. The conceptual contribution is important to ensure that research aiming to test hypotheses is grounded in a strong theoretical framework and that, for example, the selection of variables to be included in a model is not random.

“If a paper solely focuses on a substantive contribution, it can often come across as a fishing expedition – you should be careful and make sure that there are some theoretical frameworks in which the paper resides” Anocha Aribarg

Of course, the common issues of endogeneity and heterogeneity have to also be sufficiently addressed. And in the end, it often comes down to good storytelling. In the paper, the authors need to effectively convince the reader that what they are about to read is worth their time.

How to get the best out of the review process

Probably one of the most common remarks that Anocha gives to authors is “please get a copyeditor”. Good writing is a key issue with many manuscripts that she receives.

“If your writing is unclear, it is impossible for the review team to tell you how to improve your paper” Anocha Aribarg

She has the feeling that there is a common belief that perfect writing is secondary, as the paper will get copyedited by the journal before publication. However, if a paper is not readable, it will probably not get very far in the review process. Using a copyeditor before submitting a manuscript to a journal is something that she can recommend to anyone, even native speakers!

“I also use a copyeditor myself; many good researchers I know (even the native speakers) use a copyeditor because writing is so crucial!” Anocha Aribarg

Another aspect that she (and probably many other reviewers) appreciates, are responsive authors. She recommends authors to not only put effort into revising the manuscript but also into writing the response letter to the review team. The response should be elaborate and point out what the authors adjusted in the manuscript. Also, for her, the authors do not have to agree with everything she asks for, but they should provide a thoughtful and convincing counterargument if they do not agree with a reviewer’s remark.

 

Meet Anocha Aribarg

 

Professor of Marketing at Michigan Ross (Michigan, United States of America) and Area Editor of IJRM since October 2020.

What drives you to do the research/work you do?

My favourite thing in this career is the opportunity to learn and discover new things all the time. Not just from papers but also from the smart academic fellows around me! It is so exciting that someone pays me to learn.


If you were not an academic, what would you be?

Honestly, this career is a dream come true for me, I could not imagine myself doing anything else. But if this career was not an option for me, I would probably be a consultant. Because I like to work on projects, so for me, a consultant is probably the closest to what I do in academia.


 

This article was written by

Lina Altenburg

Ph.D. candidate at the KU Leuven (Belgium)




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