The Accounting Historians Journal Vol. 13, No. 1 Spring 1986
Guest Editorial ON WRITING FOR THE JOURNAL
Reading and assessing a large number of manuscripts, essays, papers and dissertations over a considerable number of years, I have formed a few notions of what I regard as their desirable and undesirable features. These I offer here in the hope that they may help authors to attract the goodwill and gratitude of the editors to whom they submit their efforts.
Members of the Academy understand and appreciate the need to maintain a high standard for published articles. We do not want to have our products exhibited in a medium that does not com-mand respect, and the way a journal commands respect is for its editor to require a consistently high standard in the papers that are published. I hope I speak for all of us when I say that I feel it is an honour to have an article published in The Accounting Historians Journal.
Even with the assistance of referees or the advice of an editorai board, an editor's job is difficult; authors have an opportunity to help by taking care with work that is submitted for consideration. This is a learned journal, and seeks to advance the level of scholar-ship in the field of accounting history. The field is interesting and it is worthy of good quality writing. If an author has something to say which (s)he considers to be of interest to others, it is surely worth taking pains to try to make it interesting to read.
The essential characteristic of an article submitted for publi-cation here is not that it is an exercise in self-expression; it is an instrument of communication. As such, it should be viewed as a means of bringing together, in a partnership of understanding, the minds of writer and reader.
The writer is the initiator of a series of communicative statements, each of which carries a message, and the envisaged reader is the potential recipient of that message. It is part of the writer's task to make the transmitted message as clear as possible.
A lecture, a seminar, a symposium or other discussion group may also operate as an instrument of communication, but there is a very significant difference between these oral presentations and