Evolution of Research Journals in The Hospitality Field
This article provides an overview of evolution of research journals in the hospitality field. This paper argues that during the past 10 years hospitality research journals have made a significant progress in terms of publishing high quality research papers. Five hospitality journals are now included in the Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) and four of these journals have an impact factor of 1.00 or above. Several tourism and hospitality management journals have high h5-index and h5-median scores. For example, the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management (IJCHM) was accepted into the SSCI in 2010 and its first impact factor for 2011 was announced in 2012, which was 0.929. IJCHM’s impact factor for 2012 was announced in July 2013, which was 1.266. It is worth noting that for the past five years, IJCHM has been ranked 3rd in terms of downloaded articles among Emerald’s 300 journals. Given IJCHM’s strong progress and strong impact factors in recent years, the number of submissions has doubled in recent years. IJCHM received about 200 submissions in 2011, 280 submissions in 2012 and as of August 31, 2013, IJCHM has received over 395 submissions during the first eight months of 2013.The content of the research publications in hospitality journals has shown to be specific on the one hand, and diverse on the other, encompassing several subfields from business, accounting, finance,marketing, nutrition, operation, to human resources management. Research methodology was revolted from conceptual to quantitative, and from simple to sophisticated. Most published research articles in hospitality journals before 1990s were either conceptual or they employed qualitative research methods. During the 1990s, descriptive techniques were common in the articles, and nowadays advance statistical analysis techniques have been popular. As the hospitality discipline becomes mature, hospitality research journals are to progress further. In order to achieve this, researchers in the hospitality field should be able to go beyond replication studies and engage in more innovative research projects. Research journals have new duties at this turning point to promote knowledge creation. Hospitality programs/colleges emphasize the value of academic research more today compared to earlier years. It is common that hospitality and tourism journals are often strongly affiliated with their editors and with the universities where they are formally employed. For example, the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly is housed within the Cornell University’s hotel school; the International Journal of Hospitality Management and the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management are housed within the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management; and Penn State University houses the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research. Housing a top-tier academic journal is certainly advantageous to any hospitality program/college. Recognizing this, a strategic partnership was established between IJCHM and the Department of Hospitality and Service Management (DHSM) at Sun Yat-Sen University's School of Business (SYSBS) in 2012. IJCHM has now established a second editorial office at SYSBS. This is indeed an innovative mode of academic partnership, which echoes the fast development of hospitality research and practice in the Asia and Pacific region. Given the exponential developments of the hospitality industry in China for the last two decades as well as a tremendous growth potential in the Asia and Pacific region, this strategic partnership is beneficial for both parties.