Instructions for Authors

The Business Ethics Journal Review (BEJR) publishes commentaries — short, 1000- to 2000-word essays addressing some aspect of a recently-published scholarly article or book in business ethics. BEJR does not publish essays that are not commentaries on other, specific, works. Works commented upon should normally have been published within the last 3 years. Commented-upon articles may be theoretical, conceptual, or empirical in nature: there are no restrictions in that regard. However, BEJR is a normatively-oriented journal. While we welcome empirical arguments, such arguments should clearly be made in service of some over-arching normative point.

If you are in doubt, please feel free to contact the editors to discuss the suitability of your proposed commentary prior to writing it. We’d love to hear your ideas. You can email the editors at:

Please note: In keeping with our ambition to provide timely commentary, BEJR is committed to a fast review process. Among other things, this means that the Editors do not issue “Revise and Resubmit” decisions, which tend to result in long, drawn out publication processes. We will either accept your commentary more or less as-is, or reject it, and this generally happens all within a 45 day period.

A helpful tip: When writing a commentary on a published work, it is important that you explain the view you’re critiquing before critiquing it. Generally, you don’t want readers to feel like they need to go back and read (or re-read) the target article before reading your commentary. We think it is best if even readers new to the topic can read your commentary and learn from it enough about the target article to understand your subsequent criticisms. Please keep this in mind when preparing a commentary for submission to BEJR.

Authors wishing to submit a commentary to be considered for publication in BEJR should construct theirs in accordance with these guidelines:

Manuscripts for BEJR should be submitted in Microsoft Word (.docx or .doc) format.

BEJR is an English language publication. Authors may employ American, Canadian, or British English as they prefer, but should be consistent in spelling and grammar.

Articles must conform to BEJR style, which is based loosely on the style employed by the Journal of Private Enterprise (see reference examples, below). Articles do not have to be in that style when submitted, but after an article is accepted, the author is expected to make the appropriate changes.

Authors are encouraged to use a down-to-earth style, emphasizing saying something rather than citing something.

A commentary submitted to BEJR should be no more than 2000 words (less is preferred), inclusive of title, citation, abstract, main text, references, and footnotes.

The submission should include:

Shorter is better.

To the article commented upon.

No more than 100 words.

Divided into paragraphs and employing no more than one level of heading.

No more than ten items long—inclusive of the work that is the target of the submission. Gratuitous citations should be avoided. The editors will police submissions vigorously—especially for gratuitous self-citations.

Specific examples of the BEJR reference style:

Wood, A. 1999. Kant’s Ethical Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Publication date should appear, without parentheses, following the author. Book titles should be bolded and italicized.

Journal Articles
Klosko, G. 1994. “Political Obligation and the Natural Duties of Justice.” Phil & Pub Aff 23(3): 251–270.

23 is the volume and (3) is the Number. Complete page numbers for the article should follow the colon without “pp”. Journal names should be bolded, italicized, and abbreviated in the manner employed in the Blue Book, but without periods after the abbreviations (see, e.g., Abbreviations for commonly cited business ethics journals are:

Academy of Management Review: Acad Mgmt Rev
Business and Professional Ethics Journal: Bus & Prof Ethics J
Business and Society: Bus & Soc
Business and Society Review: Bus & Soc Rev
Business Ethics: A European Review: Bus Ethics: Eur Rev
Business Ethics Journal Review: Bus Ethics J Rev
Business Ethics Quarterly: Bus Ethics Q
Journal of Business Ethics: J Bus Ethics
Journal of Markets and Morality: J Mkts & Morality
Journal of Private Enterprise: J Priv Ent

Book Chapters
Buchanan, James M. 1980. “Rent Seeking and Profit Seeking.” In Toward a Theory of the Rent-Seeking Society, eds. J. M. Buchanan, R. D. Tollison, and G. Tullock. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press. 3–15.

If you’re citing something not in one of the forms referenced here, ask the editors how to cite it.

A commentary submitted to BEJR should employ:

Parenthetical documentation should be used for citations. Citations should be (author year) when referring to a complete work, e.g. (Freeman 1984), (Child and Marcoux 1999), or (author year: page number) when referring to a specific point, e.g. (Hayek 1945: 521), (Norman and MacDonald 2004: 245-246). Complete page numbers for book chapters and academic articles should be included in the reference list. Works with three or more authors should be cited as (first author, et al year) or (first author, et al year: page number(s)), as appropriate.

These should be substantive, not used for citations, kept to a bare minimum, and included at the bottom of the page denoted by Arabic numbers.

For quotations of more than three lines of text, indented text blocks should be used. Shorter quotations may be used in main text, surrounded by double quotation marks.

Frequency of submission:
Please note that, in order to promote diversity of view, BEJR will not publish 2 items by a single author consecutively, and will not publish more than 2 items by a single author within a given Volume (year).

To submit a Commentary for peer review, or to ask a question, email the editors at: