Wednesday, 21 February 2018

The Social and Environmental Accountability Journal (SEAJ)

Matias Laine and Helen Tregidga, SEAJ Joint Editors

SEAJ is the journal of CSEAR and an important part of our community.  Its strength relies on the CSEAR community and as such we would like to take this opportunity to update you on the journal and also outline the various ways you can contribute. 

There have been some recent changes at SEAJ.  Coming to the end of his term as Joint Editor, Carlos Larrinaga vacates the position (Helen will now join Matias as Joint Editor from 2018 – 2021).  We would like to thank him for his service in this role in which time that the journal has continued to develop.  He continues to support the journal in his role as Convenor.  We have also welcomed several new members to the Editorial Board. We are pleased to have them join the team. The SEAJ Editorial Board, we believe, is an amazing collection of scholars in our field drawn from across the globe.  Representative of the growing diversity (geographically and topic wise) of our community.  We encourage you to visit our journal homepage and view our Editorial Board members and journals scope.

While we believe the journal is in a good position, we are mindful of the increasing pressures of the publishing environment.  We need to be mindful and put strategies in place to ensure its success.  We believe one of the strengths and opportunities of the journal is its association with the vibrant CSEAR community and a supportive Editorial Board.  As such, we take the opportunity here to outline our strategy moving forward, and also how you, as CSEAR members and friends, can assist the journal in the coming period.

We know that the driver of achieving our aim of developing the journal in a way that meets the needs of the CSEAR community is an increased profile and, above all, quality submissions.  As such, we have a few ideas for doing this.

In order to raise the profile of the journal we will be starting to tweet new journal content (via the @csearUK Twitter account) and also calls for papers for the journal.  Please, if you are on Twitter, follow CSEAR and retweet SEAJ content as appropriate.  Tweet about the journal and any paper/review that you read.  We know that in the current environment this is important to raise awareness of the journals content and increase readership. 

We are also looking to increase the use of the Commentaries section of the journal.  Commentaries, outlined in the journals aims and scope, are short editorial reviewed pieces which can take the form of a polemic, debate, definitional pieces, revisiting/reviving previous issues/papers, reviews etc.  These types of publications fit with the aim and ethos of the journal and we believe are an ideal way for authors to engage on issues and topics important to our field.

To foster this section of the journal our intent is to commission some pieces from members of our community (including some of you).  We hope that if you are invited you will agree.  We also strongly invite you to contact us with possible commentaries – either ideas you think are worth exploring (ideally with possible suggestions for those we could ask) – or with ideas for pieces that you are interested in contributing yourself!

Special issues continue to be a strong contributor to content.  The special issue for this year (edited by Delphine Gibassier and Simon Alcouffe) is in the final stages of production and submissions are strong for the 2019 special issue on Sustainability Governance (edited by Leonardo Rinaldi).  For the 2020 special issue it has been decided that an appropriate theme would be ‘SEA 2020 and Beyond’. The official information for this issue along with dates for submission etc will be announced shortly, but the aim here is to attract submissions which consider the future of SEA – whether that be issues, theories, methods etc.  Once again, this theme fits the ethos of the journal and our aim to create new academic literature in the broad field of social, environmental and sustainable development accounting, accountability, reporting and auditing.  Please consider supporting this issue by reflecting on your own research in relation to the theme and consider submitting to the issue and encouraging others you know to prepare submissions. 

We also ask that you also consider the journal for regular submission pieces – and again, encourage others to submit their work.  The journal’s aims and scope note that the journal “provides a forum for a wide range of different forms of academic and academic-related communications whose aim is to balance honesty and scholarly rigour with directness, clarity, policy-relevance and novelty”.  We realise we can’t compete for some types of publications with other high ranked journals, nor has this ever been the goal of SEAJ, but we can contribute to the publishing of good quality content that comes in various forms from longer empirical papers to shorter pieces which provide novel contributions. Likewise, in line with our editorial policy and vision, we continue to have interest in novelty and innovation also when it comes to the shape and form of submissions. Interesting and insightful contributions do not always fall within a shape and style expected in most scholarly journals, and hence at SEAJ we remain open to alternative approaches. Obviously, this does not imply that anything would go, but, rather, that in our view scholarly rigour, clarity and relevance do not depend on a manuscript following a particular form or structure.

And, we can’t forget the reviews section of the journal.  We want to thank many of you for supporting this section of the journal – including our emerging scholar community.  Reviews are again a great way for the journal to participate in discussions of topics of interest and critically engage with the field of research.  The reviews team (Michelle Rodrigue, Hannele Mäkelä and Lies Bouten) would be happy to hear from you with potential review items.

Lastly, we want to take the opportunity to thank you for your continued support for the journal. As we note above, a key strength of the journal is a strong and supportive community of researchers.   We aim to continue to provide a journal that supports that community – and look for ways the journal can further reflect the vibrant important research that we all do.

We look forward to working with you all to build SEAJ!