Action research international
A partial history
This is work in progress -- I'll update it periodically to provide a running history of the journal and its development.
The early action began some while ago. In mid 1996 I raised the idea of an on-line journal with some colleagues: Ron Passfield from Griffith University, and Paul Wildman and Allan Ellis from Southern Cross University. Ron, Paul and I have engaged in some hard-copy publishing, separately and together. Allan was included as someone active in the use of the electronic networks for communication, research and teaching.
Soon after this I announced on several action research lists the intention to set up Action research international. I explained the intended style of review, and called for nominations to the editorial panel. In particular, I asked for nominations of people who would be able and willing to engage in a non-adversarial and public review process. This gave a list of potential members for the editorial board.
I assumed that those who received multiple nominations were probably people with good networks. So I also emailed them separately to ask them who they would nominate. This led to further nominations (including some extra nominations for people already nominated).
From all of this, anyone receiving multiple nominations was invited to join the panel. Invitations went out to about 40 people. As I write this (in late January 1997) most have replied. Probably because of the time of year, some have not. Almost all who have replied have accepted.
So at this moment there are 35 members of the editorial panel, and the four series editors. A few more may join us over the coming weeks. This is better than I expected, but pleasing. Many of the panel are very busy, and more than a few were concerned about the workload. There are now enough people that at any time it won't matter if some of us are not actively involved.
What sort of a panel is it. To those who've seen the names, I expect the variety is encouraging. Many parts of the globe are represented (though some are not). Academics predominate. That was perhaps inevitable. Fortunately, many of them are also practitioners. We do have some non-academics, and several people who have come to academia after other careers.
The gender balance so far is disappointing, though not abysmal. Perhaps this can be redressed as we go.
There are panel members drawn from a variety of disciplines, using a variety of action research approaches. I'm pleased we've been able to include some people who use other qualitative methods, including evaluation, rather than action research. This may protect us from becoming too inbred.
As I write this, we're approaching the official launch of Action research international. It will be accompanied by a call for papers. Then the real activity will start. -- Bob Dick
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