To: Canadian Scholarly Journal Editors and Managing Editors

From: Rowland Lorimer, Editor, Scholarly and Research Communication (SRC)

Re: The Dynamics and Potential of Canadian Scholarly Journal Publishing

Scholarly and Research Communication is seeking analyses of how journal editors are maximizing or could maximize their journal’s contribution to Canadian research in building, maintaining, and celebrating recognition of Canadian research communities. The following provides context.

Journal publishing around the world is in transition, for example, Plan S, Sci-Hub, predatory publishers, and new businesses such as Dimensions and ResearchGate. Ongoing commentary in other countries by well-informed consultants and established publishers and some librarians provides salient insights. To wit: publicly accessible preprints, combined with social media promotion may be compromising the authority of full peer review and the traditional uptake of findings by research communities.

Meanwhile, Canadian journals continue to bring forward research -from relatively calm pools, the ecosystems of which are refreshed, reformed, undercut, and sometimes obliterated by the tides of change.

There is little Canadian discourse that addresses the role and potential of journal publishing. Maybe this is because

Preserving the life of a journal can be such a struggle;
Journal editorships are, in many cases, passing three-year appointments that can be undervalued by tenure and promotion committees;
Canada lacks a dynamic national journal association led by all the largest Canadian journal groups ready to share their expertise and strengthen the sector;
There is tacit acceptance of endemic exploitation of (most often) women graduate students who copyedit small journals across the land without professional recognition, or perform other functions such as design-based readability and innovation that go unmentioned; and,
The ongoing operations of journals are threatened by a Tri-Council commitment to open access that neglects financial assessments of Canadian journals nor recognizes all categories of journal work including mentorship, ongoing training, and professional development parallel to the legion of opportunities in academic and library work.
Whatever the factors, the very considerable potential of Canadian scholarly journal publishing to serve and enhance Canadian research remains unrecognized, as are the many and varied journal-supportive contributions made by universities, departments, research groups, and individuals. 

Action and deadlines:

Inquiries: Anytime to

Submission of abstract: March 31, 2022

Submission of article: August 31, 2022

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