All quiet on the cmeforum front

Shorter contributions to the journal are always welcomed. One thing that really puzzles me is why it seems difficult to write short communications. I imagine that academics in our field are keen to voice their concerns and feelings about the current state of academic research as represented by this archival research journal. We encourage the submission of Letters to the Editor and Notes (papers of less than 2000 words).

I am hoping that this forum will provide a platform for voicing these thoughts. Some years ago, we introduced Notes into CM&E to provide an opportunity for readers to comment on published papers, and to offer short publications (up to 2000 words) on interesting observations, insights or comments. At the time, this was seen as an excellent opportunity to encourage people to write more frequently, and more tersely. More recently, we invited Letters to the Editor as a means for enabling unrefereed contributions on wider issues, but still connected to the research agenda.

These opportunities have met with some success but we have not been overwhelmed. It seems that the news of seeking longer, more discursive papers was greeted with much more enthusiasm than the news that shorter contributions were welcomed.

Over the years, we have been able to publish some Letters, I am glad to say, but the list is rather short (let me know if I have missed any from this list):

  • Wood, Gerard and Keel, David – Letter to the Editor. 26(3), 207-8.
  • Green, Stuart and Liu, Anita – Letter to the editor. 26(3), 205-7.
  • Wood, Gerard and Keel, David – Theory and practice in value management: in response to Green’s (2007) reply to Ellis et al (2005). 25(11), 1103-5.
  • Bon, Ranko – In response to the Festschrift. 25(4), 341-3.
  • Gruneberg, Stephen – Performance Based Contracting: an alternative approach to transacting in construction. 25(2), 111-2.
  • Tombesi – The reality of construction. 24(11), 1111
  • Lingard, Helen and Rowlinson, Steve – Use and abuse of factor analysis. 24(11), 1107-9.
  • Hillebrandt, Patricia – Letter to the Editor. 24(6), 669-70.
  • Levitt, Raymond – Obituary: Boyd C. Paulson. 24(5), 453-5.
  • Khosrowshaihi, Farzad – Obituary: Rodney Howes. 24(3), 227-8.
  • Bernold, Leonhard – Have you noticed? Teaching is a Skilled Profession! 23(9), 889-90.
  • Zdyb, Marek – Polish construction companies. 23(7), 671-672.
  • Kirkham, Richard – Academic futures. 23(1), 7-8.
  • Kim Ju-Hyung – Classifying construction work. 23(1), 7.
  • Langford, David – Academic freedom. 22(1), 5.

I have not made a list of past Notes, yet, but I shall. And all of this bring me to the point. Why is that we are so unwilling to write short contributions to journals? Of course, you may be new to this journal, and you may not have noticed that we like to publish Notes and Letters. If you are ready to write something, drop me a line! And, if you have any thoughts to share with the CM&E community that you would prefer to share less formally, please post them into this forum. Let’s see if we can get some discussions going, as well as some embryonic contributions for the Journal.


About Will

Professor of Construction Management and Economics, University of Reading, UK. Editor-in-Chief, Construction Management and Economics (1992-2016). Programme Director, MSc Construction Management. School Director of Postgraduate Teaching Programmes.
This entry was posted in CM&E forum, Letters, Notes, Writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to All quiet on the cmeforum front

  1. Torbjorn Stenbeck says:

    I am curious to hear if I am the only one prefering to keep state-of-the-art and literature reviews short in the journals to instead leave more room for the researcher’s own contribution, and perhaps his or her self-critical discussion at the end which there is now very seldom any room for or at least not practiced.

  2. Tim Lee says:

    I can see two limitations to letters and notes being more widely used:
    Firstly, paper copies of journals are largely redundant (or at least they are as far as I’m concerned). Instead one searches for relevant articles or sets up automagic notification of new articles, and therefore one merely reads (hopefully useful) articles rather than leafing through a physical copy of a journal.
    Secondly, there is the issue of brownie points. If someone can produce 2,000 words on a subject for a note, would it not be better for their career to find a way to expand that out into a full paper?

  3. Dear Will,

    Would there be value in making these letters available on the web, in a format which would invite further comment in the same way as your own postings?
    Kind regards

  4. Will says:

    Joe – yes, good idea – I am on to it. I shall see if the publishers are interested in this idea…

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