Publication of Research on Controversial Topics: The Early Acceptance Procedure

4 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2005 Last revised: 8 Jun 2014

See all articles by J. Scott Armstrong

J. Scott Armstrong

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department


Research with the potential to produce controversial findings is important to progress in the sciences. But scientific innovators often meet with resistance from the scientific community. Much anecdotal evidence has been provided about the reception accorded to researchers who have obtained controversial findings. While many of these cases occurred long ago (e.g., Copernicus and Galileo), the problem continues to the present. This problem has been addressed to some extent in that nearly all universities grant their faculty tenure to protect their right to publish their findings. Still, the right to publish one's findings does not remove the barriers to publication of controversial findings. Perhaps the major barrier to publication is peer review. Peer review serves many useful functions such as correcting errors and providing a fair way to allocate journal space and research funds. But it also suppresses innovation. Below, I discuss how peer review affects the publication of controversial findings, discuss what is currently being done, and then recommend another solution to this problem.

Keywords: Research, academic, peer review, scientific method

Suggested Citation

Armstrong, J. Scott, Publication of Research on Controversial Topics: The Early Acceptance Procedure. International Journal of Forecasting, Vol. 11, 1995, Available at SSRN:

J. Scott Armstrong (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department ( email )

700 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6340
United States
215-898-5087 (Phone)
215-898-2534 (Fax)


Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics