Writing for Impact in Service Research

Chahna Gonsalves*, Stephan Ludwig, Ko de Ruyter, Ashlee Humphreys

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


For service researchers, contributing to academic advancement through academic publications is a raison d’être. Moreover, demand is increasing for service researchers to make a difference beyond academia. Thus, service researchers face the formidable challenge of writing in a manner that resonates with not just service academics but also practitioners, policy makers, and other stakeholders. In this article, the authors examine how service research articles’ lexical variations might influence their academic citations and public media coverage. Drawing on the complete corpus of Journal of Service Research (JSR) articles published between 1998 and 2020, they use text analytics and thereby determine that variations in language intensity, immediacy, and diversity relate to article impact. The appropriate use of these lexical variants and other stylistic conventions depends on the audience (academic or the public), the subsection of this article in which they appear (e.g., introduction, implications), and article innovativeness. This article concludes with an actionable “how-to” guide for ways to increase article impacts in relation to different JSR audiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)480-499
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Service Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • article impact
  • lexical variation
  • service research
  • text mining
  • writing style

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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