Ripco evolves
Revue Internationale de Psychosociologie et de Gestion des Comportements Organisationnels (RIPCO)
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From Yesterday to Tomorrow:
The Evolution of RIPCO in the Academic Journal Landscape.

In early 2019, the new editorial team started making major changes to increase the scientific quality of the journal, internationalize it, and make all procedures related to its operation fully transparent. From the outset, the work of the editorial team has been guided by observations made in previous evaluations by the economics branch of the French national committee for scientific research, CNRS. Their recommendations included making the submission process more open, ensuring the diversity and transparency of submitted articles, reducing thematic issues, and establishing clear ethical rules. In compliance with these recommendations, the team has succeeded in making RIPCO an academic journal of high scientific quality that is open, fully transparent, state-of-the-art and very committed to the international scene.

I am very pleased to have the opportunity to present the results of these first three years and to outline the priorities for the coming years. This medium-term plan will prove decisive for RIPCO, whose ambition is to become the reference journal in the field of organizational behavior (OB) in the French-speaking world. The changes implemented over the past three years, involving both the processes and tools used for manuscript management, have enabled RIPCO to respond positively to legitimate expectations from academic journals, in particular: scientific integrity, double-blind proofreading, guarantees of reviewer competence, reasonable response time to authors, and selective publication. The following paragraphs briefly describe the most notable advances made during the editorial team's first term.


Original, legitimate positioning

RIPCO, as a management science journal, has set itself the goal of becoming a reference publication entirely dedicated to organizational behavior (OB) research. The journal's objective is to describe, understand, explain and predict individual and collective attitudes and behaviors at work. It deals with a wide range of aspects, including learning, expectations, change, trust, social conflict, psychological contract, culture, decision-making, diversity, emotion, identity, social interaction, image, involvement, judgment, organizational justice, leadership, motivation, perception, personality, power, quality of work life, satisfaction, socialization, etc. The articles published in the journal aim to support researchers in their reflections and to enlighten the practices of consultants and managers in both private and public sectors. The literature on OB mainly comes from the English-speaking world. It is published in non-specialized journals and English-language journals specializing in the field. The absence of a French-speaking publication exclusively dedicated to OB justified the request to include RIPCO in the CNRS list. For many years now, this scientific field has been autonomous from HRM within the world's largest community for scholars of management, the Academy of Management. RIPCO is part of this trend. Although the main focus is on academic research, the journal also accepts articles for scientific discussion and debate. It considers this input necessary for the advancement of knowledge. All proposals submitted, whatever their subject matter, must demonstrate significant new findings. RIPCO asks its authors to clearly highlight the originality of their manuscripts.


Governance in line with its ambitions

In order to ensure top scientific quality, we decided to evolve governance by adopting the best practices of the highest-ranking journals. For the past three years, RIPCO has relied on two governing bodies: the Editorial Board and the Scientific Advisory Board. The Editorial Board consists of the Publication Director, an Editor-in-Chief and several Associate Editors. This committee ensures the editorial management and provides its expertise to select articles based on the opinions formulated by the reviewers and the editors. In this capacity, the editorial committee steers the entire evaluation process. More generally, it participates in the definition of the journal's strategic guidelines, which it is responsible for implementing. It also promotes the journal and guarantees its quality and works under the joint authority of the editor-in-chief for the editorial side and the publication director for the logistical and management sides. The Publication Director is the legal representative of the journal. The Editor-in-Chief is appointed by the Publication Director for a three-year term, which may be renewed (maximum two terms). Associate Editors are appointed jointly by the Editor-in-Chief and the Publication Director for a period of three years, renewable once, mainly through an open call for applications. RIPCO tracks and lists the affiliations of the members of the Editorial Board and the Scientific Advisory Board on the journal's website. The Scientific Advisory Board advises on the major research directions of the journal. Thirty percent of its members are renewed every three years.


Active journal in its field of research

To support its development, in 2019 RIPCO created a research day open to academics from around the world. The objective is to offer a place for exchange and debate on the major themes of organizational behavior. The proposed papers are situated at the different traditional levels of OB analysis: the individual, groups, organizations, and the links within and between these different levels. Theoretical work is encouraged as well as empirical research, which may adopt qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Prizes are awarded for the best papers selected by the journal's Editorial Board. Each year, in addition to offering the possibility to contribute to any theme in the field, the event focuses on a particular subject.

The 2019 edition was dedicated to emerging trends in OB, including, in particular, neuroscience, humanistic management, emotional intelligence, artificial intelligence, and time. The event was also an opportunity to celebrate the 25th anniversary of RIPCO with a ceremony to reward the articles that have had the biggest impact on the scientific community since the journal's inception. These articles were republished in a special "25th anniversary" issue. The figures for this first day of face-to-face research, which took place at the CNIT de La Défense in Paris, were very encouraging: 60 participants, 30 papers presented, with 54 contributors from 10 countries and 35 academic institutions. They reveal concrete expectations in the specific field of OB. After the success of this first edition, on June 15, 2021 RIPCO organized its second research day online, with a more specific focus on positive organizational behaviors. Forty-four submissions were selected and presented, made by 85 researchers from 10 countries and 62 different academic institutions.  They were listened to by 235 participants.

The editorial team is currently working on a proposal for the third event, which will take place during 2022. The focus will be on organizational behavior in the face of health challenges: a new post-Covid era.


Multidisciplinary international editorial team

RIPCO has completely renewed its editorial team since 2018. At the end of 2020, the team was composed of seven people: a coordinator (Séverine KOEHL) and an Editorial Assistant (Appoline ROMANENS and then Gabriela TORRES-RAMOS), five French and international teacher-researchers speaking French and English. They are Silvester IVANAJ (ICN Business School, Nancy), Franck BIÉTRY (IAE Caen), Corinne GENDRON (UQAM, Canada), Loris GUÉRY (University of Lorraine) and David WASIELESKI (Duquesne University, USA). This geographical and institutional variety has allowed us to progressively welcome a greater number of articles in English. To cope with the growth and maintain the journal's quality, the Editorial Board launched an open call for applications in autumn 2019 to strengthen the team of Associate Editors. We were pleasantly surprised to receive some forty applications. This response clearly reflects the recognition that RIPCO now enjoys within the academic community. After analyzing the candidates' profiles, the Editorial Team unanimously selected three new associate editors:  Anne-Laure GATIGNON TURNAU from Paul Sabatier University Toulouse III and a member of the Governance and Organizational Control Laboratory (LGCO), Jean-Luc MORICEAU from the Mines-Telecom Business School, and Elen RIOT from the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne and a member of the REGARDS laboratory. All three are now fully involved in the life and evolution of the journal alongside the original editorial team. The main missions of this reinforced team are to pursue the strategic deployment, manage the manuscript review process, enrich the corpus of reviewers, and more globally, promote the journal.


International, multidisciplinary body of reviewers

In addition to upgrading the quality of submissions, the new editorial team has invested in building an international, multidisciplinary body of ad hoc reviewers. At the time of writing, the list includes 954 reviewers from over 150 academic institutions and 36 countries. Reviewers are solicited by the editorial board on the basis of their areas of expertise. They are systematically reminded of the need to be constructive in their evaluation, in order to provide effective support, particularly for submissions with real academic potential. The quality of the reviewers' reports is evaluated by the associate editors on a 5-point Likert scale: poor, average, good, very good and excellent. The quality of the proofreading performed has been assessed in this way since 2018 with the following results: excellent in 46.2% of cases; very good - 29.1%; good - 14.6%; average - 5.1%; and poor - 5.1%. This evaluation, together with other indicators, has enabled RIPCO to gradually build a large team of high-level reviewers to match its ambitions.

Ethical charter worthy of a leading journal

With the new editorial team committed since 2018 to publishing and widely disseminating high-quality content, it has become essential to promote high ethical standards that are both transparent and fair in all the journal's activities. For this reason, a new ethical charter has been published on the RIPCO website. It is designed to provide a set of standards that all journal stakeholders must adhere to. The charter is closely aligned with the practices of the best national and international journals and clearly identifies the following: the quality of the journal, the functioning of the Editorial Board and the Scientific Council, the manuscript review process, the resolution of conflicts of interest and impartiality, respect for confidentiality and privacy, access to publications and archiving, a commitment to original manuscripts, control of plagiarism, identification of references and respect of copyright, possible reports of misconduct, and the policy on retractions and errata. Consideration is still being given to the obligation for authors to make their primary data available as now required by the best journals in the world.

State-of-the-art tools

Since 2018, the journal has operated a manuscript management platform (Manuscript Manager). Thanks to this platform, authors can submit their proposals online, the editorial team can carry out and guarantee a double-blind review process (the names and affiliations of authors and reviewers are not disclosed), and benefit from a database of reviewers accessible using a keyword system by area of expertise. The platform allows associate editors to assess the quality of reviews and provides valuable indicators on the functioning of the journal: number of submissions, rejection rates at different stages of the review process, response times to authors, etc. In addition, the journal now has its own bilingual website (French/English). The site mainly features abstracts of articles published in all issues of the journal since its creation in 1994, bibliographic data useful to increase the visibility of published research, latest news about the journal, and detailed explanations of the submission and evaluation processes.

Increased visibility in the scientific community

The articles published in RIPCO have received a large number of hits on the Cairn website where they are available. These rapidly growing rates  show that the journal's development strategy implemented since 2018 has paid off. The article consultation rate increased by 46.5% in 2018, 76% in 2019, and over 100% in 2020 compared to 2015. The abstract consultation rate has evolved even more favorably: +46% in 2018, +176% in 2019, and +193% in 2020, again compared to the same period in 2015.


Effective support for young researchers

Given the current rankings of the journal (rank 4 CNRS, rank 4 FNEGE and rank C HCERES), the quality of submissions is often far from the level required by the journal. To address this problem, the journal has adopted an efficient support approach, particularly for submissions with real academic potential. This means that the reviewers and the editorial team must first identify manuscripts with potential for development (to avoid desk reject), and then support the submissions with constructive remarks following several rounds of review. In addition, the editorial team has increased its efforts to offer contributor tools and methodological guides to help authors better prepare the content and form of their submissions. These include very detailed indications accessible on the journal's website and on the manuscript management platform, but also methodological articles such as the one published in this issue. Finally, the editorial team has designed an online form that allows contributors to check that their manuscript is ready for submission. 

An increasingly selective review

The increase in the academic quality of RIPCO can also be seen in the evolution of the rejection rate since the new team took office in 2018. Over the entire period, the journal rejected an average of 65 out of 100 manuscripts despite the fact that a portion of them in the late stages had been inherited from the previous team. This rate only considers the number of final decisions. It is calculated from the ratio between the number of rejection decisions and the total number of final decisions (rejections + acceptances). The trend is constantly increasing. The objective is to eventually reach a rejection rate of 80%. These figures do not consider articles withdrawn by authors who do not follow up on requests for modifications made, mainly because of the significant effort involved. It is also important to note that the share of intermediate decisions represents 47% of all decisions, which indirectly means that, on average, more than two rounds of review are required before a final decision is taken.


Increasingly selective review

The increase in the academic quality of RIPCO can also be seen in the evolution of the rejection rate since the new team took office in 2018. Over the entire period, the journal rejected an average 65 out of 100 manuscripts, despite the fact that some of them in the late stages had been inherited from the previous team. This rate only considers the number of final decisions. It is calculated from the ratio between the number of rejection decisions and the total number of final decisions (rejections + acceptances). The trend is constantly increasing. The objective is to eventually reach a rejection rate of 80%. These figures do not consider articles withdrawn by authors who do not follow up on requests for modifications made, mainly because of the significant effort involved. It is also important to note that the share of intermediate decisions represents 47% of all decisions, which indirectly means that, on average, more than two rounds of review are required before a final decision is taken.


Significant progress in rankings and referencing

Prior to 2018, the journal was only included in the following academic rankings: FNEGE (rank 4), HCERES (rank C). Thanks to the progress made since, RIPCO has also been ranked by CNRS (version 5.07/June 2020) at rank 4, in the category "International Strategy and Management, Organizational Theory". This new ranking can be interpreted as recognition of the efforts made and the quality of the work done by all involved in the journal. In addition, RIPCO is accessible through CAIRN and several packages of the ProQuest aggregator: ProQuest Sociology Database, Social Science Database, Social Science Premium Collection. Since April 2021, RIPCO is also present on Cairn international, the reference portal for humanities and social science publications. In a move to increase visibility, English versions of all articles are now available online, in line with RIPCO’s internationalization strategy. In order to anticipate the future requirements of management science journal rankings, in particular those of FNEGE, a request for integration into the SCOPUS bibliographic database (Elsevier) has been made.


Increasingly oriented towards internationalization

The journal has taken a major step forward towards a true internationalization of its contents. This orientation can be observed both in the governing and evaluating bodies (editorial team, scientific committee and corpus of reviewers already discussed above) and in its publications (contributors, languages, and censuses). The contributors, who are authors of the submitted manuscripts, have come from 26 countries since 2018. Articles written in French in English are accepted and now regularly published. At the time of submission, authors are asked to translate their work into English on a voluntary basis in case of final acceptance. To go even further, an appeal was recently launched to all authors who have published manuscripts since the arrival of the new editorial team to translate them at their own expense. The results are once again very encouraging, as the share of English versions by the end of the year could exceed the 45% mark.


Updated format and visual content

To make the journal easier to read and prepare for digital publication, major steps have also been taken to update the format and visuals, while preserving the historical mark of the journal. In early 2019, the format was changed from 15 x 21 cm to 18.5 x 25 cm. In addition, the journal applies APA standards for structuring and formatting manuscripts in general but also for citing sources in the text and in the bibliography in particular.


Silvester IVANAJ
Editor in chief

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