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From the Chairman and Executive Editor - Issue 91

The theme of this edition of the Defense Acquisition Research Journal is “Thinking Critically about Defense Acquisition.” In order to open the aperture for critical thinking, the Defense Acquisition…

From the Chairman and Executive Editor - Issue 91

From the Chairman and Executive Editor - Issue 91
Image removed.The theme of this edition of the Defense Acquisition Research Journal is “Thinking Critically about Defense Acquisition.” In order to open the aperture for critical thinking, the Defense Acquisition Research Journal has updated its guidelines for contributors to now include submissions for case histories based on defense acquisition programs or efforts. Case histories differ from case studies in that case histories (like research papers) draw specific conclusions based on analysis as opposed to case studies, which are primarily intended for classroom and pedagogical use, and generally terminate with a jumping-off point for the student or class to come to decisions. We invite potential authors to consider submitting case history manuscripts. Cases from all acquisition career fields and/or phases of the acquisition life cycle will be considered. They may be decision-based, descriptive, or explanatory in nature. Cases must be sufficiently focused and complete (i.e., not open-ended like classroom case studies) with relevant analysis and conclusions. All cases must be factual and authentic. [Please note that we do not accept fictional cases.]

The first research article in this issue, “Critical Thinking for the Federal Auditor" by Gabrielle G. McClure-Nelson, identifies to what extent critical thinking skills are considered an important competency for federal auditors, given the often tightly constrained and rules-focused nature of auditing government contractors.

The second article, authored by Gregory A. Davis and David M. Tate and titled, “Complexity in an Unexpected Place: Quantities in Selected Acquisition Reports," notes that the definition of unit quantities in acquisition programs is not consistent (for example, the units produced at the end of a long production run are substantially different from the early ones). The authors offer explanations as to why this is the case, and possible methods for improving the reporting requirement. The third article, "Risk-based ROI, Capital Budgeting, and Portfolio Optimization in the Department of Defense" by Johnathan Mun, describes an analytical modeling process to help the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) senior leadership with making decisions about risk-based capital budgeting and optimizing acquisition and program portfolios.

This issue’s Current Research Resources in Defense Acquisition focuses on the use of Other Transaction Authority (OTA) in government contracting. It contains descriptions of several key resources, along with links to the DAU Knowledge Repository sites.

The featured reading in this issue’s Defense Acquisition Professional Reading List is Perspectives on Defense Systems Analysis: The What, the Why, and the Who, but Mostly the How of Broad Defense Systems Analysis by William P. Delaney, with Robert G. Atkins, Alan D. Bernard, Don M. Boroson, David J. Ebel, Aryeh Feder, Jack G. Fleischman, Michael P. Shatz, Robert Stein, and Stephen D. Weiner, reviewed by Kevin Garrison.

Dr. Michael J. Pryce has departed the Defense ARJ Editorial Board. We thank him for his service and wish him well. We welcome Mr. John McCormack to the Editorial Board.

Please note at the end of this journal the re-issued Call for Papers for the 2020 DAU Alumni Association Edward Hirsch Acquisition and Writing Competition. Due date is March 15, 2020.


Dr. Larrie D. Ferreiro
Chairman and Executive Editor
Defense ARJ


From the Art Director

Michael Bubar-Krukowski

Image removed.As we start a new decade, so does the Defense Acquisition Research Journal (ARJ)—and with some big changes.
Like most publications, the Defense ARJ tries to keep up with the latest design trends and push the standards for design in the research journal world. We pride ourselves on this at the Defense ARJ and are always trying to keep the journal fresh and accessible to everyone.

One of the big changes you will notice is the updated logo. Like most great brands, the Defense ARJ logo should evolve over the years while still keeping aspects that make it recognizable. The Defense ARJ has been long overdue for an update. Our new logo still pays homage to the previous version that everyone knows, but the updated version has been cleaned up to be more on trend. The signature quill exhibits the most drastic change, becoming cleaner while also creating more opportunities to add color. Also the chosen typeface is a slight update from the previous version that adds a cleaner feel, allowing the quill to shine and creating a timeless look.

Other changes have been made to the design of the journal that should hopefully revitalize the aesthetic and keep the Defense ARJ at the top of its class. You will notice a redesigned table of contents, new ads, and more! For several years now the Defense ARJ has been winning awards for design. Going forward, we strive to keep up the same standards of excellence while also becoming more competitive in the world of design and publication.