MIGREC: Online seminar “Publishing on Journals”
The last event in MIGREC’s third publishing seminar series took place on Zoom on 26 January 2023 with editors and editorial board members of Serbian journals which publish about migration. In attendance were representatives from Zbornik Instituta za kriminološka i sociološka istraživanja, Stanovništvo, Sociološki pregled and Sociologija in addition to the project director from the faculty of political science of the university of Belgrade. ELIAMEP fellow and former managing editor of Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, Julianne Funk, led the session, which sought first to allow the Serbian editors to get into contact with each other as well as share their own experiences and suggestions with each other. The session was an informal discussion where each editorial representative first highlighted their current achievements: moving editorial management online, improving their journal’s peer reviewer cohort, publishing articles in English and other international languages, systematically and proactively engaging editorial boards in journal tasks, including diversifying the board membership and peer reviewer cohort to be more international. The editors pointed especially to the following challenges today: getting a sufficient quality and quantity of paper submissions (related to the size of the academic field or the ranking of the journal); the general poor quality of peer reviews, stemming from a lack of training in writing peer reviews; and trying to compete in two different and often opposed publishing systems. On the one hand, the journals may seek to function within international publishing ranking systems like impact factor and Clarivate, while still functioning within the local system of Serbian categorization of academic publishing, which is not only unaligned with international metrics and standards, but also rewards Serbian authors more for highly ranked local journals than highly-internationally ranked ones. The group proposed some ideas from personal experience as well as sharing suggestions and information, generally encouraged one another in this challenging field of (international) publishing.