February 15, 2011

To the Editor of the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship:

“Congratulations to you and your staff on the absolutely first rate issue of JCES. A nice standard to live up to.”
— Hiram E. (Hi) Fitzgerald, President, National Outreach Scholarship Conference,
and Associate Provost, Outreach and Engagement, Michigan State University
When you get an eye-popping endorsement from the most recognizable name in engaged scholarship, you can be excused if your head swells a bit. But then you snap back to reality and realize how much more there is to do.

What Professor Fitzgerald was reacting to was a colorful issue of JCES featuring some of the timeliest and boldest research in the field of engaged scholarship to date. We are proud to say that dozens of community partners and students played big roles in producing the issue.

Everyone at JCES believes we are fulfilling our goal of being a different kind of research journal, which is why we are communicating with you now.

We are asking you to help us sustain our momentum by sending us your manuscript as we plan our next three issues. The closing dates are August 31, 2011, March 31, 2012, and December 1, 2012. The December issue will follow the 2012 National Outreach Scholarship Conference, which we will host. The theme for the conference will be “Partner. Inspire. Change,” and the special issue will draw heavily from conference presentations.

In just three years, JCES has helped to define the young field of engaged scholarship by taking a different approach: The manuscripts we publish must be well written using language accessible to ordinary citizens, not just to trained scholars; presentations must measure up to the highest standards of visual design; and over time the content must move the field forward by appealing to laypeople and academics alike.

We are aware of no other peer-reviewed journal with these requirements. The journal features research from all disciplines using all methods. We have been fortunate to receive many manuscripts from the social sciences, education, and health; we need more from the arts, humanities, science, engineering, agriculture, the environment, and architecture.

Here are brief descriptions of a few of the manuscripts we have published so far to give you an idea of the variety to be found in JCES.

• Students in a Spanish class tutor urban Latinos in English and join them in staging bilingual cultural events. Results? The program is such a success the department makes it a requirement for all majors.

• Biology and psychology departments form a partnership with a community water resource center to clean up a historic but polluted watershed.

• A large medical school demonstrates that service-learning improves health care delivery in at-risk communities while helping their own students grow personally and professionally.

• Universities and local nature groups partner in a program that makes the tools of science accessible and fun to young people.

• A university works with campus Greeks to inform students about the added risks of acquiring HIV/STDs when alcohol and unprotected sex are combined.

Our acceptance procedures are standard for peer-reviewed journals. Submit manuscripts in Microsoft Word and accompanying images by e-mail to For more about the submission and review process, go to

Upon meeting submission requirements, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with your manuscript number. Use this number in all further correspondence. We attempt to match each manuscript with our reviewers’ expertise and make every effort to review submissions in a timely manner. Feel free to send an e-mail any time you have a question.

We also publish analytical essays, book reviews, shorter articles about research from the field, and commentaries on the role of engaged scholarship.

Now, put the finishing touches on that manuscript and send it on its way!

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