Re-launching UMRA’s online, open-access journal

The current Journal of Opinions, Ideas & Essays (JOIE) collection shows a depth, breadth, and diversity of subjects that is a positive reflection of the University community. I think JOIE has great potential as a resource for scholars of all types—to enjoy reading and/or writing contributions that may be outside their professional spheres.

I think the most critical need now for the success of JOIE is increased visibility. This may be accomplished in myriad ways, including a twice annual “call for papers” and promoting the journal in multiple locations outside the UMRA website. To make the JOIE homepage more visibly enticing, the JOIE Editorial Committee is in the process of adding more clearly defined descriptions and instructions, possibly adding a “Welcome from the editor-in-chief,” perhaps even photos of the committee to humanize the review process.

I think another critical need is to clarify that the journal welcomes contributions on a wide range of subjects and formats, and that all retired and active University employees are encouraged to contribute articles.  

In addition to contributors, there is a critical need for additional editorial committee members to assist in reviewing articles submitted to JOIE for publication. There are now six members of the committee, one currently on hiatus. A larger group of perhaps nine would allow each submission to be reviewed by three members, rotating the review requests so the burden is not so great as with a smaller group.

I look forward to serving as the hub for “re-launching” JOIE and, hopefully, expanding its reading audience and cadre of contributors.

Please contact me if you have questions or suggestions.

—Kristine Bettin, UMRA member and JOIE editor-in-chief