The Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship (JCES) is a peer-reviewed international journal through which faculty, staff, students, and community partners disseminate scholarly works. JCES integrates teaching, research, and community engagement in all disciplines, addressing critical problems identified through a community-participatory process.
Some 50 scholars in more than 20 disciplines constitute the editorial board. The editors and editorial board have a goal of making JCES the leading journal in community engagement scholarship, one that is read, comprehended, and appreciated by both professional scholars and lay people. Board reviewers are supplemented by a diverse range of additional reviewers, including community partners and students, approved by the editor.
JCES began in 2008 and in 2016 will publish Volume 9, Nos. 1 and 2.
Here are some answers to questions about JCES to help get you to thinking about contributing to and reading JCES.
Q. What is JCES and why should I give it a second thought?
JCES is a peer-reviewed international journal through which faculty, staff, students, and community partners disseminate scholarly works. JCES integrates teaching, research, and community engagement in all disciplines, addressing critical problems identified through a community-participatory process. And while the academic community knows what that means, many readers we want to reach, including many well educated people in the public, do not. We want people to understand what research is, regardless of background or level of education. This means that we aim to reach not only professional scholars but also undergraduate students, community partners, and the general public. So JCES began with the goal of being “a different kind of research journal” because there is a need for such a journal.
Q. What do you mean by “different kind of research journal”?
Research journals are written by and largely for the academic community, but we want JCES to be read widely. While the mass media occasionally translate research articles for general readers, most research journal content never finds its way into the marketplace of ordinary people. In other words, most research journals end up influencing academics, even when the content is directed to public problems. What a waste of brainpower and creativity! JCES aspires to use the powerful concepts and tools of both research — theory, evidence, analysis — and creative activity — creating, performing and analyzing music, dance, art, theater, and other forms — in the service of people who will apply research and creative activities in ways that improve their own lives and the lives of others.
Being different also means JCES emphasizes easy-to-understand writing and attractive presentation. In a delightful and scholarly manuscript (How often have you seen those words together?) from the University of Sussex, the authors used the word deontological. It’s a tricky word, but in the sense the authors were using it, it simply meant “doing the right thing even if doing so could be personally damaging.” Our editors’ insertion of the definition made the passage comprehensible to the many rather than the few. We sent the revision to the authors. They tweaked our definition a bit and what you see above is what ran. That’s a small example of what we mean by “a different kind of research journal,” in this case authors and editors working together.