As members of the Communication Center Journal leadership team, we write to share with you our signing on and commitment to Anti-Racist Scholarly Review Practices: A Heuristic for Editors, Reviewers, and Authors. Access the document here.
In our discussions of the anti-racist scholarly review heuristic, - while in alignment with much of the document, we focused on the following:
• Our co-editors have occasionally addressed what they found to be reviewer feedback and tone that reflected attempts to uphold mainstream white English and associated discursive practices. In those situations, we did not share those reviewer comments with authors but translated any helpful feedback in more constructive ways. For Volume 8, our Co-Editors will communicate our expectations and consequences for not meeting them to all reviewers.
• We understand the role that anonymity plays in upholding racist and other violent practices within the review process. While we are reflective about this potential, we also believe anonymity can still be valuable for authors and reviewers, especially as it pertains to current practices of tenure, promotion, and annual evaluation. Our reviewers are not anonymous to our Co-Editors who present reviewers’ comments to authors. If presented with inappropriate comments from reviewers, Co-Editors will adjust notes shared with authors to ensure anti-racist values are maintained. We are committed to researching what other journals do regarding anonymity and evaluating whether we should continue our anonymity policy as is or adopt alternative practices.
• The CCJ leadership team, editorial board, and authors reflect a fairly diverse representation of the communication center community, communication studies discipline, higher education, and American society more generally. While this is true, we do believe we are not as racially or ethnically diverse as we could and should be and are committed to changing that.
• One place that we need to improve is making the processes for submission, review, editing, and publication more transparent. Providing more clear and transparent expectations for everyone involved in the publication process can remove barriers that might prevent potential authors from reaching out and encourage more accountability from all participants in the process.
• One recommended best practice that we are evaluating for its feasibility is citing marginalized and/or underrepresented scholars. While we agree with the goal of this practice, we also considered obstacles to enacting this practice, such as compelling potentially problematic or essentialist assumptions about authors. Nevertheless, broadening perspectives and voices in CCJ is an important goal that can be supported by spending additional time checking out author citations and citation author biographies, seeking out new or different scholarship to include, and more. We discussed encouraging authors and reviewers to explore this practice and we will also be engaging this practice as editors. We believe the work it takes to become more familiar with diverse scholars and scholarship is essential and are committed to doing that through CCJ. Here is a draft list we are working on to refer scholars, reviewers, and others interested, please contact us with suggestions: Access the document here
• Sharing this document, our commitment and discussion, and encouraging reviewers, authors, and others to consider adopting and signing on. Our editorial team will continue to hold ourselves accountable throughout the publication process.
In sharing our commitment and discussion, we invite you to ask questions, reflect on your own practices, hold us accountable, and encourage us to be better in our commitment to anti-racism at CCJ. As the heuristic suggests, this is a process and not an end. We will continue these discussions and revisions to our policies and practices. Thank you for your continued support, collaboration, and considerations.
The CCJ Leadership Team