Saturday, September 24, 2011

Editor's open letter to all ARJ friends and advisers

Dear ARJ friends & thinking partners:

I write 1) to share some highlights of our annual publication report (Hilary can send an e-copy in addition, if you send her an email), 2) to update you on a couple of important items and 3) to invite your input on a next round of strategy design.

1.       The ARJ associate editor board is renewing/adding to itself.  Our process has been to have a nominations committee who speaks with candidates and then brings names forward for formal selection by the associate editor board. Svante Lifvergren MD joined us most recently to lead the healthcare domain. Additionally we will vote to at the next associate editor board meeting to bring two new associate editors for the domains of organizations and education respectively. Though obvious, it bears stating: those actively “driving” the journal define its contribution for at least a few years out.  We welcome any names you’d offer to the nominations committee.
With regard to the publication report: Clearly the journal is progressing well when measured against conventional performance targets. The trajectory of “numbers/performance measures” in the report support my sense that our ranking will continue to increase, that our citations will increase and that number of downloads will increase. In my view we will likely always be a “niche” journal, but one that clearly has a significant and growing readership, one that is respected. In sum I envisage a dynamic future for our field and for our journal. All this bodes well for “getting the work out there” and for offering tangible credit to scholar colleagues whose promotion is assisted by having journal articles in ranked journals.  

3.       The positive spirit of rejection: Overall we are seeing higher quality work come to us and in higher volume which means we have maintained a relatively high rejection rate (75%).  This is a tricky thing to manage as the spirit of AR is collegial and developmental.  But to the degree possible we offer useful reviews and I have seen enough positive responses from “rejectees” to suggest that our process successfully communicates concern for developing (especially) younger members of the field while also developing quality.
.       What’s next for us strategically?
The associate editor board has weighed in on this topic.  The list of actionable ideas includes:
1.       Inviting all “schools” of action research to create a special issue – thereby using the journal to bridge among various schools/approaches,
  • 2.       To create a variety of special issues on topics that cut across domains,
  • 3.       To create an executive advisory board whose primary role is engage with strategy issues,
  • 4.       To have a face to face meeting as a community,
  • 5.       Invite a series  of interviews with retiring leaders of our field,
  • 6.       Create an alternate publication report around metrics to be determined as part of strategic conversation.

Please add to/comment on this list. What do you want the future of ARJ to be? 

RSVP to Hilary at

No comments:

Post a Comment