2021 Guidelines to Submit a Competitive Paper

Submission deadline: April 30, 2021 (11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time)

Submission Portal   Call for Papers - downloadable pdf


Papers representing completed research and dealing with substantive, methodological, or theoretical consumer research issues are invited as Competitive Paper submissions. Submission of conceptual and review papers are also encouraged. 

In addition to the items under “General Guidelines,” Competitive Papers must include: 


Paper title (the title page should not identify the author(s) names or affiliations). Initial submission should be a de-identified MS Word file and final submission of accepted papers must be in MS Word format.
A 50-word abstract. This abstract will be reproduced in the conference program and should concentrate on the big picture contribution(s) of the paper. 
A 2500-word paper (12-point Times New Roman, 1-inch margins). The paper must include full references, a single table summarizing all results, and up to one figure (optional). References, table, and optional figure are not included in the word limit. The 2500-word limit will be strictly enforced.
An honor code statement indicating (a) that the presenting author is not listed as a presenter in more than two sessions in total, and (b) that the submission has not been submitted to multiple tracks, has not been previously presented at ACR, and has not been published or accepted for publication in any journal (including online publications and full-paper publications in ACR Proceedings). 


Submissions should comprise a brief introduction explaining what the research question is, why it is important, and how it fits with and advances current knowledge. Detailed descriptions of the studies and the data should follow, and a brief general discussion should list limitations and highlight why (and to whom) the findings make a difference. Descriptions of the method and analysis used in each study should be transparent. The fact that there is a word limit does not imply that fewer studies, weaker data, or obscure details are acceptable. Empirical results must be summarized in a single table/page. 

ACR reserves the right to run the submission through anti-plagiarism software.

Publishing options for a Competitive Paper

Option 1:

Publish the full paper in the ACR Proceedings. Authors choosing Option 1 must upload a 50-word abstract and the 2500-word paper for review (MS Word format), along with references, one table summarizing the results, and one figure (optional). Choosing this option implies that, if accepted, the paper will not be submitted for publication elsewhere. The final accepted submission will need to be uploaded in MS Word. 

Option 2:

If authors wish to submit their accepted paper elsewhere for publication,
they will be required to publish a 750 to 1000-word abstract in the ACR Proceedings. This abstract is not required upon original submission, rather authors of accepted papers will be asked to submit their extended abstract to the submission system by early-July in MS Word format. When you submit your Competitive Paper, you will NOT be asked to make a decision now about which publishing option you prefer. Once a Competitive Paper is accepted at ACR, the authors will be asked their preference and to provide a revised file that reflects that preference.


Competitive Papers submissions should not include authors’ names or affiliations. Author names, affiliations, and presenter’s name should only be entered on the submission website where specified. Submissions should follow the current style sheet of the Journal of Consumer Research (http://www.ejcr.org/stylesheet.pdf), though the entire text should be single-spaced. Subheadings should be bolded and/or italicized/title case capitalized, but it is unnecessary to add a hard return before or after them. 

It is the author’s responsibility to make sure that the submission is completed on time. Please adhere to high standards of spelling and grammar and consider having a copyeditor or a native English speaker review the abstract prior to submission. 

Reviewing will be blind. Evaluation will be based on a) the quality of the research and novelty of findings; b) theoretical/empirical contribution; c) clarity of presentation; and d) completeness of the research. 

Authors of accepted papers are required to revise their paper/abstract based on reviewers’ comments and upload their final paper (proposal) as an MS Word file by the end of Wednesday, July 14, 2021. It is important to edit the references to reflect the citations remaining in the final 750 to 1000-word abstract if authors have opted for Option 2 in publishing. The most recent version submitted by this date will be published “as is” in the ACR Proceedings

Competitive Papers will be presented in a recorded format and available for one week in advance of the conference. These papers will be organized into thematic tracks for live moderated 75-minute roundtables during the conference. One author from each paper in the track is expected to participate in the roundtable and be available to discuss their research with members of the ACR community. Authors will find their discussion session date and time in the conference Program.

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