Norman E. Taylor*
In this current issue, we are pleased to invite all our readers to share in the growing success and promise of a global embrace of collaborative academic and practical solutions at the intersections of public health, individual, family, and community health and well-being, community safety, social justice, and equitable criminal justice. The recent LEPH2019 conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, provided convincing evidence of this broadening evolution in research and practice. Our journal is proud to have played a continuing role in the global LEPH community since 2017, and we are pleased to feature several more papers in this issue and in forthcoming issues. Papers with a direct link to LEPH2019 are so identified in our Table of Contents.
The Edinburgh experience also provided this Editor-in-Chief with many opportunities to interact directly with our international readers, reviewers, and authors over the course of seven days in October. I had the chance to deliver remarks and/or presentations on a variety of LEPH and CSWB topics at four separate pre-conference and conference events. Each time, it was gratifying to encounter many in attendance who were already familiar with our publication and to meet many others who became immediately interested in learning more about how they might become involved.
One of these events was a specially convened Meet-the-Editor session on the final day of the conference. We thank the organizers for making this encounter possible, and though it was not as heavily attended as we might have wished, we noted that this was certainly the same situation for many of the highly valued concurrent sessions underway throughout. Nonetheless, those who came to the session came from several different countries, reflected a mix of academic disciplines, and included some pracademics from policing and other justice and public health roles.
The discussions that took place offered guidance and encouragement for the journal in equal measure. On the guidance front, we learned that our Open Access status is not yet widely recognized, and several attendees urged us to make that message more clear. According to them, it is one of the strongest features of the JCSWB. We do not charge author fees, we do not have a paywall for readers and researchers to access our issues and archives, and we aim to serve a wide and diverse mix of voices that might otherwise have no channel for expression and publication. We are taking that advice seriously and will be promoting these aspects of the Journal more actively, on a regular basis, and to a wider audience as much as we can.
As for encouragement, we had some interesting conversations about the double edge of our editorial posture. We know, and others acknowledged, that we face a continuing challenge in attracting papers whose authors may feel duty-bound to publish in more established, high-impact factor, and sector- or discipline-specific publications. We knew this when we started our journal, and we know it will remain a continuing challenge we have to face until such time as our own impact is measurable under conventional terms.
Perhaps the high point, however, was that these sobering observations were accompanied and overtaken by high praise for the unique multi-disciplinary niche and the more open editorial policy we have set for our journal.
This encouragement may have derived from the ideal context of this conference, itself designed to celebrate and advance the highly collaborative and still-emerging fields that intersect as LEPH and CSWB. It may have been due to the mix of academics and pracademics that was highly evident among the sessions and social interactions all week.
We prefer to think it is mostly because it just makes good and timely sense to have a journal that is uniquely suited to confronting complex challenges, advancing new knowledge, and sharing the collaborative solutions that can truly make a difference in the lives of those who need them the most.
We offer our congratulations to the organizers of LEPH2019, our appreciation to our Scottish hosts, who were gracious and welcoming throughout the event, and our thanks to the authors featured in this and other Journal of CSWB issues who collectively reflect the tremendous and innovative work being done by so many, in their own nations and around the world.
Our open call for papers continues.
The author has continuing business interests that include providing advisory services to communities, police services, and related human service agencies.
*Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Community Safety and Well-Being.
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This article is related directly to the Law Enforcement & Public Health (LEPH) Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, October 2019. ( Return to Text )
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Journal of CSWB, Vol. 4, No. 4, December 2019