New ANZCA Journal

Communication Research and Practice (or CRP as it will also be known) is a new journal published for ANZCA by Taylor & Francis, and marks a new stage in the evolution of communication research and publishing in Australia, New Zealand, and internationally.

CRPlogo400pxCommunication Research and Practice aims to publish research that contributes to international scholarship and practice in the broadly defined field of communication. While the journal aims to be broadly inclusive and interdisciplinary, we have a particular interest in publishing work in fields such as: digital media and internet studies; organisational and interpersonal communication; intercultural communication; international communication; political communication; and media and communication economics and policy.

As the new journal’s name suggests, we also seek contributions that relate to communications practice, and its intersections with research and theory. This can include professional fields such as public relations, journalism, and advertising, and areas of creative arts practice, including visual communication and digital media practice. We are also keen to publish applications of communication theory in industry, government, civil society and the professions, including promotional campaigns, organisational and industry analyses, public policy deliberations, and activist communication strategies.

Communication Research and Practice will publish original empirical studies and essays commenting on current issues, as well as papers that advance theoretical and conceptual development in the communication field. The journal is open to contributions from across humanities, arts and social sciences, and we are particularly interested in supporting original and innovative work by early career researchers.

While Communication Research and Practice is a new journal, it builds upon the foundations of prior work associated with ANZCA. Most notably, it looks to build upon the contribution made to communication research in Australia over 40 years by the Australian Journal of Communication. We thank Associate Professor Ros Petelin for her substantial contribution as Editor of AJC from 1988 to its final issue in 2013, and acknowledge the generous contribution made over a number of years to its publication by the School of English, Media Studies and Art History (now the School of Communication and Arts) at the University of Queensland.

The question of a new journal had been debated among ANZCA members for a number of years. There was a growing awareness that the primary mode of accessing academic work had shifted from print-based forms to digital ones, and that this necessitated working with the academic publishing industry on formats that maximized the distribution opportunities for scholarly content. Research performance appraisal exercises such as the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) and the Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF) in New Zealand have meant that academics increasingly seek publication in outlets with a potentially global reach – that are colloquially termed “top-tier” journals – and that ANZCA had a responsibility to its members to be associated with journals that gave such opportunities.

There was also an awareness that even though ANZCA has been a trans-Tasman organization since 1995, all of its associated journals had “Australia” or “Australian” in their title, and that any new publication needed to be inclusive of scholarship from Aotearoa New Zealand as well as Australia. But the scope of the new journal is broader than that. While Communication Research and Practice derives its primary intellectual identity from the contribution of scholars in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, it will also be publishing work of interest to international readers.

In particular, we see the work of the new journal as being strongly located in the Asia-Pacific region, and seek to publish a wide range of papers from Asian scholars, dealing with issues in this diverse and fast-changing region. Identifying that the journal has an international as well as a national/regional remit, we will be publishing work of interest to international readers, and research by international scholars that ensures issues and concerns relevant to the region are examined in international contexts.

Communication Research and Practice is a new journal that sits alongside a number of other journals coming out of Australia and New Zealand that publish in the broad fields of communication, media and cultural studies. Most notably, we have an ongoing and complementary relationship to Media International Australia (MIA), which is also received by all ANZCA members. As the first Editor-in-Chief of the new journal, I have consulted extensively with the MIA editorial Board on the relationship between the two journals, and how both sit within the ANZCA framework.

In broad terms, CRP is seen as being more focused on “communication” and MIA on “media”, although in practice we will continue to work through that distinction. We are also cognisant of the relationship of the new journal to Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, received by all members of the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia, and other communications, media and cultural studies journals with a significant Australian or New Zealand link, such as the International Journal of Cultural Studies, Australian Journalism Review and Management Communication Quarterly.

We also acknowledge the generous support of Routledge/Taylor & Francis as the publishers of the new journal. The commitment of the Taylor & Francis Group to the journal comes at the end of over three years of negotiations around publishing contracts. Taylor & Francis provide important global reach, market intelligence, digital infrastructure and personal support for a journal with global aspirations, and will also provide promotional support that will enable the new journal to benefit ANZCA financially as well as in terms of the profile of the Association and its authors. They have also committed to maximise opportunities for open access to journal articles, at a time when the budgets of universities and researchers are stretched worldwide, and there is at the same time a growing awareness of the need to promote one’s work widely through digital repositories and multiple social media channels.

Communication Research and Practice will be published four times a year, in May, August, November and February. Our intention at this stage is to have two general issues, a themed issue, and a special issue based around papers to the annual ANZCA conference; themed issues and conference issues will have guest editors. Overall editorial management of the journal rests with an Editorial Advisory Group that includes myself (Terry Flew, Queensland University of Technology) as Editor-in-Chief, as well as Diana Bossio (Swinburne University of Technology), Alison Henderson (University of Waikato), Tama Leaver (Curtin University), Terence Lee (Murdoch University), Colleen Mills (University of Canterbury), and Bonnie Riu Liu (Queensland University of Technology) as Editorial Assistant. They will work in collaboration with an Editorial Board of 28 internationally leading scholars in the field, whose names can be found on the inside cover of this journal. The Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Advisory Group positions have been endorsed by the ANZCA Executive, and will be rotated on a three-yearly basis.

terry-flewThe first issue of Communication Research and Practice has a mix of papers that were solicited by the Editorial Advisory Group, and those submitted through a general call for papers. Three of the papers published here were first presented as Keynote Presentations to the 2014 ANZCA Conference held at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia (Picard, Wilken) and the International Communication Association (ICA) Regional Conference held in Brisbane, Australia (Hartley). We expect that keynote presentations to ANZCA conferences will be a regular feature of the new journal, and we also will be looking to publish those papers that are awarded prizes at the ANZCA conference, including the Grant Noble Prize for the best graduate student paper and the Christopher Newell Prize for the best paper dealing with matters relating to disability and communication, or to questions of equity, diversity and social justice as they pertain to communication.