PURPOSE– The purpose of this paper is to examine the construction of articles published in three
highly ranked interdisciplinary accounting journals.
DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH – The analysis is based on articles published during 2010 in
Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal (AAAJ), Accounting, Organizations and Society (AOS)
and Critical Perspectives on Accounting (CPA). The authors develop a framework and examine
characteristics of the published articles, including the prose.
FINDINGS – Based on the construction of accounting academic articles in the highly ranked
interdisciplinary journals, the authors introduce a simplified concept of the five distinct major parts of
an article, make some taken-for-granted aspects of article construction explicit and conclude that
alternatives, if used effectively, can add to the quality of an article. Finally, there is a discussion of, and
a reflection on, how the taken-for-granted rules of academic publishing can be challenged.
REASEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS – This article is limited by the authors’ own analysis and
interpretations of AAAJ, AOS and CPA articles published during 2010.
ORIGINALITY/VALUE– As far as can be ascertained, the authors are the first to examine the
construction of research articles published in high ranking interdisciplinary accounting journals. The
paper can assist emerging scholars in the process of planning and writing their own articles. For
seasoned researchers, the paper’s insights may serve to reaffirm or help further develop their
approach. The paper also contributes to the ongoing debate around the pressure to publish, the
measurement of publications, and the difficulties of getting published.