Many academic journals are published in partnership with a learned society, but it’s not always clear how editors can make the most of this collaboration. From raising the profile of your journal at society events, to leaning on other members for peer review support, there plenty of reasons why building a strong relationship with your owning society means your journal will also go from strength to strength.
Professor David Rapp, Editor-in-Chief of Discourse Processes, the official journal of the Society for Text & Discourse (ST&D) explains how he has reaped the benefits of publishing with a learned society, and shares his tips on making the most of your membership.
Use your networks
ST&D members come from a host of different academic backgrounds and fields, so attending the annual society conference has provided me with the unique opportunity to meet researchers from a range of subject areas.
Forging new connections within this research community means I’ve uncovered additional networks to tap into when considering Discourse Processes’ future. While some journals rely solely on their Editorial Boards for support, I can also take advantage of the society’s network of members for feedback and innovative ideas about developing the journal.
Finding peer reviewers can be one of the hardest jobs for an Editor, but ST&D members often provide valuable support through reviewing activity. The society also acts as a promotional vehicle for raising awareness of the journal; members promote the journal to their colleagues and institutional librarians, which helps to raise its profile and boost readership.
Get to know your target audience
One critical advantage to working closely with a learned society is that there’s a core audience of members who consider the journal a primary source for reading contemporary work. Meeting different members at Society events provides a great opportunity to learn more about who’s actually reading the journal, and what they think of it.
Develop your content
Society members routinely read the journal, so they often target it as a place to publish their own work. We publish an annual special issue devoted to work that’s been presented by members at the Society conference, and welcome suggestions for themed special issues we could produce in future.
Conversations at conferences, presentations, and poster sessions have also provided useful feedback on our content, and generated interesting questions about discourse comprehension and productions. Thankfully, the members’ research backgrounds are diverse, so their involvement in the Society means the articles we publish in Discourse Processes reflect the broad range of methods, backgrounds, and research areas they’re interested in.
Read more from Professor Rapp on the Hive of Knowledge. The stories featured come from individuals across our network at all stages of their careers, and show how societies, associations, and organizations play a crucial role in cultivating a successful research community.