Editor in a (60-second) spotlight – Brian Lucey

"...you need to accept that you are going to get rejected, so develop a thick skin."

Name: Brian Lucey

University: Trinity Business School, Trinity College Dublin

Role at university: Professor of International Finance and Commodities

Journal: International Review of Financial Analysis *

Journal role: Editor-in-Chief

Average number of submissions per year: 450

Rejection rate: 77.5%

CiteScore: 1.62

IF 2017: 1.566

*NB Brian is also editor of Finance Research Letters


  1. What inspired your career in research?
    Growing up in Ireland in the 1970s, it was very clear that the macroeconomy was the background music to which society moved. This plus the fact that my father's family were very involved in both both an export and a cyclical tourist business and my mother running a small business got me thinking from my teens about what made the economy “tick”. After graduating in economics I eventually found myself working in the central bank, joining on Black Monday 1987! Although not working in the research component of the central bank I began to do some research into macro financial issues on the side, which through a complicated route eventually led me to the Trinity Business School.
  2. How would you describe a typical working day?
    If I'm working from home then I typically try to spend an hour or so working on journal-related issues, whether editing or communicating with the publishers in relation to strategy, or following up on the myriad forest fires which an editor has to stamp out. I then try to advance my own research agenda, a lot of which now has taken me into more management of teams versus direct hands-on research. I typically go into the office in order to do my teaching and administrative duties, and in the last number of years the administrative side has taken a lot of committee work, as well as meeting one-on-one with individuals in other areas of the university. I also carry a full teaching load, I believe it's important that's senior professors continue to be engaged across undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. In the last number of years I've tried, with mixed success, to cut out working at night and weekends, but there are large chunks of the year during which this is frankly unavoidable.
  3. How do you measure success in your work?
    In relation to the editorial duties its about advancing quality papers from submission to the final publication. It's wonderful to see a paper that might have had mixed reviews finally published, gaining impact and citation. In my own research it's about publishing the best quality work I can in the most appropriate journals, and not chasing journal ranking. In teaching it's about trying to make a (positive) impact for the future, and it's great when somebody comes back to you  five or ten years later with some positive comments.
  4. Do you have any particular advice for younger researchers?
    You need to have a strong pipeline of papers, and you need to accept that you are going to get rejected, so develop a thick skin.
  5. What drove you to become an editor?
    Having been a reviewer and an associate editor for some considerable time, and having done some guest editor work, I was quite cheeky and made it known to the then publisher in finance, through a colleague of mine who was an editor, that I'd be quite interested. I felt then and feel now that it's a vital and important role, one that can shape a field. So perhaps hubris, although I have not yet met my nemesis!
  6. What is the most rewarding aspect of editorial work for you and what do you find difficult about the role?
    Without a shadow of doubt the most rewarding aspect of being an editor is the ability to work with smart people to take their ideas and to assist them in bringing them to fruition and publication. By far and away the most difficult aspect of the role is dealing with reviewers, getting people to agree to review, getting people to adhere to the agreed timelines, getting people to accept that their role as reviewer is not to make the final determination but assist me in doing so. Very many people, at all levels of the academy, simply do not see reviewing as being part of the implicit social contract.
  7. What is the most important attribute in your opinion for being an editor?
    Patience! You have to be incredibly patient, dealing with reviewers, authors, publishers, journal managers, learned societies, conferences, all of whom may be involved in particular issues and all of whom have subtly different perspectives, each valid from their own viewpoint, on how something should proceed.
  8. Name one item/tool/resource that you cannot do without in your editorial role?
    Coffee! And Scopus.
  9. What would you be doing now if you were not (a/n) X?
    Gosh... probably a mid-level civil servant in some form.
  10. What is the most interesting image/photograph you have come across in your journal?
    Finance doesn't really do interesting pictures and graphics. This is a shame as visualisation is an incredibly powerful tool.

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