We try to treat authors like we want to be treated ourselves. (Obviously, this cannot mean that we accept too many papers.)
Quick Submission Checklist
The CFR seeks top finance papers, just like the JF, JFE, RFS, and JFQA. It differs in that it prefers controversial, unusual, and critical papers. It can take chances. The types of paper that maximize the distance between the CFR and the other journals are
- papers that point out that previous papers and/or literatures are wrong;
- papers that are considered correct but obvious by half of the profession and obviously incorrect by the other half.
Due to its goals, the CFR is somewhat different. First, its focus is relatively more tilted towards empirical papers. Second, it is not difficult to write a straightforward paper that has a good chance to be accepted into the CFR. The CFR would welcome good and competent critiques of papers from this document.
Pre-Submission Editorial Interest Indication
If you email me (Ivo Welch, the editor) a 200-400 word abstract for a paper that you are thinking of submitting, I will try to give you same-week feedback about my generic level of interest in your paper. Make sure that your abstract explains your findings—a generic statement such as "our paper considers evidence" is not useful. My quick-read opinion is not subject to debate; it is not a final opinion about your paper; and it is definitely not a commitment of any form. However, my feedback can help you gauge whether you are likely to find me an eager editor, neutral, or reluctant editor.
I never get into details in these previews. I am just contemplating the broad ideas and findings of the paper, and ask myself whether I would want to publish it if the paper is well executed, if it meets the smell test, and if the findings are not already published elsewhere. (This does not mean the paper is flawless—no paper is.) Referees can tell me what is wrong, but not whether the results are interesting to them or not.
Do not complain if you get a quick desk-reject on a regular submission (and no fee refund) if you have not previously taken advantage of this pre-screen option. You have no right to a review or feedback. If I do not think the paper is not suitable, then this is all that you are learning for your $250. Most of the time, the abstract option above would have told you this, too.
The CFR is not obsessed with keeping turn-around time. In fact, our average turn-around time is about 50% higher than that of the top journals. There are multiple reasons for this: First, when told by referees whether they can get an extension, I often grant it. I care more about asking the right referees (and to think about a paper) than to get the wrong referees (and get a quick half-thought knee-jerk rejection). Second, as editor, I often ask the referees more questions, especially when their perspective is more negative than my own. (I have also sometimes consulted a second referee and once even a third referee, especially when the original referee views my editorial perspective as different but viable, too.)
I believe this to be in the interest of submitting authors. However, if you face a strong time-related deadline (e.g., a tenure case), the CFR may not be the right journal for you.
The main submission website is
Papers may or may not be submitted double-blind. These days, google will reveal author identity within about 5 seconds to any interested referee even when the author is not named on the paper.
The CFR does not follow ordinary no-repeat-submission jeopardy rules. It even welcomes papers that it has previously rejected. However, the CFR is also more likely to reject these papers again. The threshold increases. It better be much better!
The submission fee is $250.
Style and Copyright Guidelines
Do not bother much with style guidelines before your receive an R&R. Instead, make your paper as easy to read as possible.
The style guideline is still evolving. Do not expect it to be perfect.
The most unusual aspect of the CFR (compared to the JF or RFS) is that we want most exhibits (tables and figures) to have a "description" section followed by an "interpretation" sentence or two. What should an interested reader looking primarily (only) at this exhibit learn from and remember about it? Look at the recent issues of the journal.
If possible, name your manuscript's pdf file the same way google scholar names papers in bibtex entries: lastnamefirstauthor-year-firsttitleworld (excepting articles). For example, Google names A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change as Informational CascadesAuthor(s): Sushil Bikhchandani, David Hirshleifer, Ivo Welch, Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 100, No. 5 (Oct., 1992), pp. 992-1026 in bikhchandani1992theory.
Papers should always have a date and an abstract.
We are now switching to prefer descriptive titles. For example, "The Empire destroyed the Rebels" to "Empire and Rebels" or ("Is there a relation between Empire and Rebels"). When someone does a Google search, the title should signal what the paper finds, not just what it is looking at.
Especially (but not only) if you use latex, please look at style.html. It contains non-LaTeX-specific English guidelines, too. If you use and follow the latex formatting guidelines, you will substantially reduce the likelihood that we will have to come back to you and ask you to change your paper. See, if you format the tables the way we would have to do this for you later, you will notice when it won't fit, too. Using our styles will save both you and us a lot of time.
Please look at the first section of style.html. You can ignore the subsequent LaTeX-specific aspects.
Making data and/or programs available is prima-facie evidence of good faith.
The data policy of the journal requires replicability of studies that are published in the journal. Authors are required to make available, upon request or by posting, data snippets [examples] and programs in order to facilitate third-party replication. They are not obliged to provide end-user support for inquiries from the general public. They are required to respond to appropriate inquiries from the journal if it becomes clear that the public data and programs cannot be easily used to replicate the data.
- Open Distributable Data:
- Please include all distributable data. Note that CRSP and Compustat will allow distribution of non-systematic data sets. (That is, you cannot include all of Compustat's "total assets" variables for all firms, but they will not object to including, say, total assets of 10 firms in 20 years. CRSP will allow you to include a few stocks or the market return, but not all returns. Make sure to attribute the data to the vendor.)
- Distributable Non-Open Data:
- You can create data sets with all total assets used. You just cannot share it with researchers that do not have a full Compustat license.
- Placebo Support:
- In lieue of distributable non-open data, authors should provide just a few sample points in open format (to make it possible for a readers to check their own variables) and a placebo data set used to illustrate the functioning of the code.
- Code must be provided to take the data from the data sets to the key findings in the paper. If the data cannot be shared, see the placebo support
- Confidential Data:
- The CFR does not publish research that depends on truly confidential data that cannot be shared even in an anonymized manner.
More details can be found here.
The data policy applies even though we do not collect the data at the time of final acceptance. You must agree to provide it later upon request. Of course, it will take you three times as long then if you are not putting your data together in time.
Authors who do not want to agree to these terms are hereby asked not to submit to the CFR. Authors who cannot fulfill the requests later may see the journal retract the acceptance.
We apologize, but administrative limits prevent us from providing a systematic archive of data from prior publications. Eventually, we plan to provide this.
Authors must share copyright to their published article with the CFR. That is, unlike say Elsevier or Springer, both the authors and the CFR journal own non-exclusive copyrights to the published articles, and can either republish (or sell) the articles.
Authors who do not want to agree to these terms are hereby asked not to submit to the CFR.