Publication Date27 Oct 2020
AuthorGraeme Newell
SubjectProperty management & built environment,Real estate & property,Property valuation & finance
We regularly hear property academics talking about the property journals being lowly
ranked; particularly in comparison to the finance journals. These journal ranking issues have
potential implications for property academics getting promoted or getting tenure.
But the solution is not to make our property research look more like finance research; with
its increased focus on methodology (and heavy econometrics) and just trying to replicate
some issue from the finance journals. This sees too many papers currently at a micro level
with a low so-what?factor; often this so-what?issue is totally neglected in the paper.
I know that the method of study is critical in our research; but so is highlighting the
implications of our property research. It is often a neglected section of our papers. I often say
to my students that there is more to life than regression coefficients; meaning they need to
highlight the storyand say clearly what their research means to the property industry. This
is a constant concern for the many papers I referee for a range of property journals; where
many papers are masses of statistics, dense tables and little insight or story.
For me, the solution is at two levels. Firstly, publish in the high quality property journals;
this includes Journal of Property Investment and Finance.
Secondly, and equally important, is that we need to enhance the stature of property
research by showing that property is important in its own right in the fuller context of
business, management and the environment. We tend to use a very narrow lens when we do
property research; we are biased about its importance. But we need to show to others outside
the property space why it is important; just using advanced econometrics or mimicking
finance issues will not do this in itself.
How should we do this? Clearly, it is by also publishing in the property-related journals.
But this needs to go well beyond just the finance journals; it needs to also include the urban
studies, business, management and environmental journals.
Only by publishing in these property-related journals we can show that property research
is important and relevant. But think outside the finance journals for a fuller impact and bigger
context for why property research is important. Importantly, these journals embrace the full
spectrum of research methodologies (not just the finance paradigms) and give you ample
scope to tell the story and the so-what?side of your research...........and why property is
strategically important in a fuller business, management and environmental context.
So it is largely an identity crisis for property research. At one level, it is our problem and
not our Deansproblem. We need to change, expand our focus, choose a wider research lens
and be smarter in how we highlight that property is important. Papers in the property-related
journals and increasing the so-what?factor are key ingredients in solving this identity
Graeme Newell
Journal of Property Investment &
Vol. 38 No. 6, 2020
p. 501
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/JPIF-09-2020-169

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