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Addressing Common Questions Surrounding Intellectual Contributions

Q: Must intellectual contributions be published as peer-reviewed journal articles?

As Standard 2 of the AACSB Business Accreditation Standards describes, intellectual contributions made by faculty will be evaluated based on two primary criteria:

1) Do the works exist in public and in written form?

2) Have the works been subject to scrutiny by academic peers or practitioners prior to publication?

Intellectual contributions may take many forms and a non-exhaustive list of examples can be found within the interpretive materials of Standard 2. The concern is whether or not contributions are subject to peer-review processes and available to the public in written form. For example, intellectual contributions may include research monographs, scholarly books, textbooks, papers presented at academic or professional events, faculty research seminars, trade journals, book reviews, published cases, technical reports, instructional software, and materials describing curricula or course design. If one of these channels is not reviewed by peers, a school must provide substantive support as to why these contributions should qualify to be included in the portfolio.

The intellectual contributions portfolio's variety should be developed in alignment with a school's mission. Schools may define their intellectual contribution expectations narrowly or broadly based on mission and degree program portfolio. For instance, schools with a mission devoted to extensive executive education programs may consider allocating a proportion of intellectual resources to publishing in trade journals or developing tools that are specifically for practitioners. Additional conditions regarding intellectual contributions are that they should emanate from a "substantial cross-section of faculty in each discipline" and include a significant proportion of peer-reviewed journal publications.

Q: Is there a list of acceptable journals or channels in which intellectual contributions must appear?

No, there is no official list of acceptable channels for publishing intellectual contributions. In recent years, AACSB has found that there are more than 4,000 journals worldwide that publish business research in a variety of languages. Schools should develop their own criteria with regard to the quality of the publications in which they interact with. The criteria (to name a few) may define quality according to peer-review processes made by journals, the audiences that journals reach, or the quality of contributed articles to the journals.

Q: Are intellectual contributions the only method for faculty to maintain their academically qualified (AQ) status?

No. A school's AQ maintenance requirements should include a variety of activities that support the currency and relevancy of faculty credentials that are related to its mission and teaching objectives. Standard 10 provides a non-exhaustive list of examples of activities for AQ maintenance. However, school choice is the key. A school may choose to limit its focus to intellectual contributions as the only basis for maintaining AQ status, or broaden the approach to allow for other activities. One caveat is that schools should be careful in creating AQ/PQ criteria. An appropriate focus on intellectual contributions should be present to ensure the school demonstrates alignment with the Standard 2 expectation regarding intellectual contributions.