Language and Literature

John Stephens on Editing an International Journal

engl-john_stephens_photo“Issue 9.1 marks my final issue as Editor of IRCL, and so it is an apt occasion to reflect on some of the challenges that face an international journal. When IRCL was officially launched at the 18th Biennial IRSCL Congress in Kyoto, Japan, with myself as Editor, Pam Knights as Executive Editor and Vanessa Joosen as Reviews Editor, we didn’t really know what might be entailed in producing a truly international journal, but we did have a clear sense of our mission – to represent international scholarship in children’s literature as widely as we could. In relation to the space we had available in each issue, we informally settled on a working principle that, in some sense, the articles we published in each would represent at least six countries, mainly by the location of contributing scholars but also by the focus of the research. Our reviews section would add several more regions. Issue 9.1 maintains this practice: readers can find around twenty countries so represented….

Because Issue 9.1 is my last, we decided that I would produce an ‘Editor’s pick’ issue, so I have gathered a selection of articles which I personally think are varied and stimulating. I have enjoyed reading them, as I have enjoyed my sometimes fleeting exchanges with their authors.”

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John’s Editorial introduces the articles in the issue, highlights the pleasure of reading essays that “evidence attention to diverse regions, genres and methodologies”, and touches on several challenges facing an international journal, such as:

  • scholarly research is not produced evenly across the world
  • handling (im-)balance across international submissions
  • availability of different and alternative publishing forums
  • the existence of a dichotomy between local research and international research
  • unequal access to resources, and especially differential access to powerful databases

You can read the complete Editorial from International Research in Children’s Literature, Volume 9 Issue 1, online for free: http://www.euppublishing.com/doi/full/10.3366/ircl.2016.0178

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