JASIST Editorial Note: 7 April 2022
This is my first editorial note since beginning as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Information Science and Technology (JASIST) in January 2021. Perhaps unsurprisingly, making an editorial change during a pandemic presents its fair share of challenges and obstacles. So, it took me much longer to write this editorial than I had expected. And, given the importance of publishing research manuscripts, I have elected not to use Journal pages for editorial commentary; instead, I will instead be posting them to Information Matters, which offers a forum for shorter and more frequent editorial notes. My intent is to post an editorial note at least 10 times a year in order to share editorial guidance and provide updates on the Journal’s operations.
Before turning to five updates, noting with great admiration and deep appreciation for the work of Professor Javed Mostafa of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who completed his term as JASIST’s Editor-in-Chief in December 2020. His leadership saw the editorial board become more inclusive while continuing the tradition of scholarly excellence and intellectual breadth that are hallmarks of our community’s flagship journal. A second thank-you to Dr. Julia Khanova, who also concluded her term as JASIST’s Managing Editor in December 2020. Together, they were wonderful stewards of the Journal.
—The experience of stewarding a voluntary organization in support of JASIST’s authors and readers is a constant reminder of the good in this world.—
Changes at the Journal. Many of you are aware that in February 2021, ASIS&T hired Mr. Garrett Doherty as the Journal’s new Managing Editor (ME). Since then, he has also taken on the ME role for Information Matters and ARIST. Many thanks to ASIS&T Executive Director Lydia Middleton for serving as JASIST’s interim managing editor for the six weeks before Garrett’s arrival. Bringing the managing editor’s role in-house provides for synergies and continuity that will benefit the Association, authors, and ASIS&T’s three publications!
Updated Editorial Scope and Author Guidance. Second, and relevant to those seeking to publish in JASIST, please read JASIST’s newly revised editorial scope and guidance for authors. We spent several months reviewing the current guidance, speaking with members of the editorial board, interacting with authors, and studying 30 peer and related journals to shape the changes to the editorial scope and author guidance. We published these updates in Summer 2021 to provide greater clarity on review criteria and simplify the guidance for prospective authors. Please prepare your manuscripts to reflect this guidance, as we use these to evaluate every submission.
Editorial Board changes. Over the past 15 months, 16 members of the JASIST Editorial Board (EB) stepped away, many after years of service to the Journal. Heartfelt thank-yous to Sourav Bhoumack, Caroline Haythornthwaite, Peter Ingerwerson, Jim Jansen, Jiang Jian, Matt Lease, Elizabeth Liddy, Christina Lioma, Gary Marchionini, Lokman Meho, Phillip Payne, Valentia Presutti, Kazuhiro Seki, Cassidy Sugimoto, Paul Wouters, and Liming Zhang.
We are inviting new members to join (with more to come) as a function of the Journal’s needs: matching research interests, experience with the Journal, and the ability and willingness to balance this voluntary work with other commitments. My goal is for the Editorial Board to comprise between 60 and 70 colleagues. To this goal, I am delighted to announce six colleagues who have joined the EB: Tina Du (University of South Australia), Vivien Petras (Humboldt University of Berlin), Kalpana Shankar (University College, Dublin), Susan Winter (University of Maryland, College Park), Erjia Yan (Drexel University), and Fred Fonseca (The Pennsylvania State University). These changes should be updated on the JASIST web presence in a few weeks and in the print version a month or so later.
In late Spring 2022, we will also announce an Advisory Board (which will include several ex-EB members listed above). Advisory Board (AB) members will not have review responsibilities; instead, their role will be to provide advice and insight for the Journal. More to come on this.
Stewarding an all-volunteer organization. Like most academic journals, JASIST relies on the voluntary labor of a community of scholars to thrive. Across 2021, nearly 1000 reviewers and 100 others served as review editors. I note with thanks that our colleagues’ critical work for the Journal is completely voluntary and being conducted during a global pandemic, one that has sapped many of our abilities to take on extra work. Through all this, the average time to a first editorial decision was about 70 days from initial submission. And, less than 1% of submissions extended beyond 100 days. The experience of stewarding a voluntary organization in support of JASIST’s authors and readers is a constant reminder of the good in this world.
Thanks to ASIS&T and Syracuse University. Finishing up with two more heartfelt thanks. First, thank you to the Board and membership of ASIS&T for their support and guidance. And, a final thanks to my colleague, Dean Raj Dewan of Syracuse University’s iSchool, for supporting the graduate assistantships of two MLIS students, Alexandra Meyer and Ruth Xing, who have worked in support of the Journal since January 2021. Alexandra and Ruth have done significant work to solidify some of the administrative arrangements for the Journal, and they are pursuing a steadily evolving set of projects that includes the following: comparative analyses of JASIST and 20+ other journals relative to editorial processes, research into open access and FAIR principles, and analyses of both our review processes and data from our review cycles.
Thank you for reading this, and please consider submitting your work to JASIST!
Professor, Syracuse University’s iSchool
Cite this article in APA as: Sawyer, S. (2022, April 14). JASIST editorial note: 7 April 2022. Information Matters, Vol. 2, Issue 4. https://informationmatters.org/2022/04/jasist-editorial-note-7-april-2022/