Aims & Scope
RJJR publishes peer-reviewed Journal Reviews of scholarly journals, specifically peer-reviewed, serial publications, under any publishing model, such as paywalled, hybrid, or fully open access journals, with multiple published issues. Journal Reviews should be based on practice, policy, and the publication record of the journal. While newer journals will have less practical history, their policies and intentions may be reviewed.
Journal Reviews are works that reflect the author’s individual opinions backed by evidence and supported by peer review. Our goal is to assist authors by providing Journal Reviews of journals that may act as one data point in their journal selection process. RJJR does not seek to rank journals or designate a particular journal as “good” or “bad”.
RJJR also publishes editorially reviewed Responses to Journal Reviews. Should you feel that a Journal Review misrepresents a journal, its practices, or individuals, please consider writing a Response piece that addresses your concerns. RJJR will only publish one Journal Review of a journal per year. If you would like to re-review a journal that has already received a Journal Review, you may submit a Response instead.
RJJR does not publish Journal Reviews of monographs/edited books, an entire publisher, or trade or popular publications. Currently we focus on Journal Reviews of English-language journals, as we do not have the language expertise for non-English journals. Please get in touch if you are interested in expanding our scope.
Values and Our Approach
RJJR values the integrity of scholarship. We seek to dismantle the biases against certain forms of research, such as those from non-anglophone countries who have been historically and intentionally excluded from the prestige economy of scholarly conversation. We want to reckon with these issues through a transparent evaluation process that seeks to address both the labor of evaluation and the bias inherent in the existing system.
The era of watchlists of alleged “predatory” journals has been characterized by the presumptive judgment of self-appointed guardians of the scholarly record. Our project seeks to re-imagine journal evaluation as a relational enterprise, where the scholarly community enters into conversation with one another in an attempt to replace aggression with a dialog grounded in mutual care.
We aspire to reckon with the problems inherent with watchlists and safelists as tools for evaluating scholarly journals; to build infrastructure–both human and organizational–that encourages nuanced, contextual evaluation; to surface and recognize the hidden labor of scholarly professionals who routinely evaluate journals; and to help repair the global conversation about journal quality.
Equity and Inclusion Statement
RJJR aspires to anti-racist and anti-oppressive practice across all of its activities, outputs, and processes. Acknowledging our founding Editorial Board’s homogeneity as white, cisgender individuals from the United States and Canada, we are committed to diversifying our Editorial Board and other communities to increase representation of racial, gendered, geographic, and globally representative identities and to behave in ways that enable and prioritize inclusive participation across the range of opportunities at RJJR to decrease the impacts of racist or oppressive systems on Journal Reviews. While our Board is committed to developing its own awareness and practice, we welcome challenges from our community where our practice does not align with our aspirations.
Our immediate priorities for improving our equity, inclusivity, and diversity practices are:
- Recruiting additional Editors to increase the diversity of identities represented on our Editorial Board.
- Recruiting an intentionally diverse community of peer reviewers and authors.
- Creating an accessible website and templates for RJJR’s online content.
Future aspirations include:
- Developing and sharing an annual demographic survey of editors and peer reviewers.
- Accruing a published record representative of journals across geographic, epistemic, publication model, and disciplinary boundaries.
- Building editorial capacity to solicit and publish Journal Reviews in languages other than English.
RJJR is not associated with any society, institution or other formal organization beyond the editorial board. It is published on software provided by the Texas Digital Library through Texas State University’s consortial membership. Our editorial board members act as individuals and not as representatives of their respective institutions.
RJJR is an independent journal run by volunteers. We have received generous support from the Triangle Scholarly Communication Institute.