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   Journal of Social Issues

   Ann Bettencourt, Editor

In this brief article, I review my discussion with the members of the SPSSI Executive Committee and Council. In addition, I encourage you to consider organizing a proposal for JSI, and I provide a few tips about how best to proceed.

In early February, I attended the Winter Council meeting. After I provided a brief report, the Council offered their ideas about how to lead the journal during my Editorial term. They brainstormed ideas about how to enhance the social policy relevance of the articles and journal issues. For example, it was suggested that I coordinate with the Policy Committee to learn in advance about policy decisions that are likely to appear in upcoming legislation. In response, a call for proposed issues on these policies could be announced in list-serves. Also, it was suggested that, prior to publishing an issue, I should ask members of the Policy Committee to offer their policy-related ideas regarding the issue’s topic, and for some issues, invite a formal policy commentary. Finally, I was asked to consider SPSSI’s policy statements as a means for encouraging future issues of JSI.

Many of Council’s suggestions also emphasized increasing the importance and impact of the issues of JSI. For example, it was suggested that I attend conference symposia to see which subjects seem to be “hot topics” in the field and, in response, work with potential contributors to generate preliminary proposals. Also, I was encouraged to enlist Wiley/Blackwell’s assistance toward putting out press releases, showcasing particular articles, and allowing articles to appear online, prior to publication. Finally, in support of my stated plans to use social media to highlight JSI’s articles and issues, I was encouraged to interact with the Communication Committee, as I move forward.

I hope to report in my next newsletter article, the progress I have made in achieving these goals. Please contact me with your ideas for improving the social policy relevance and impact of the issues of JSI.

As I mentioned in my previous newsletter article (see Forward Issue No 246, Fall 2012), I strongly encourage you to develop a proposal for a JSI issue. The following are a few suggestions that I hope you will consider. First, feel free to send me a brief email about any “half-baked” idea you may have for an issue of JSI. Also, I will be attending the APA meeting this summer in Hawaii; I would be happy to meet you there to discuss your ideas. In general, it can help to have an initial discussion prior to developing a preliminary proposal. Also, it would be very beneficial if you closely scrutinized the “Journal Instructions for Submissions to Journal of Social Issues.”

It is important to do so, because the steps of submission are quite unique to JSI and also they have been modified over time. Finally, it is important that proposed issue Editors and proposed issue authors understand that JSI reviewers and the JSI Editor may choose to reject a given proposed article. In other words, it is not uncommon that a proposed paper is recommended for exclusion from a proposed issue. This recommendation may be due to lack of fit, lack of rigor, too much overlap, and so on. Although JSI is uniquely thematic, it remains similar to other peer-review journals in that the Editor and Reviewers make recommendations for rejection, revision, or acceptance.



—B. Ann Bettencourt

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