Report on the Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work Journal

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1 Report on the Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work Journal Liz Beddoe Associate Professor of Social Work School of Counselling, Human Services and Social Work University of Auckland July

2 Table of Contents Introduction 3 Survey results... 5 Interviews with academics/researchers/ editors 8 Analysis of two years of content 12 Recommendations. 18 Appendix One: Terms of Reference.. 20 Appendix Two: Interview Questions 22 Appendix Three: Survey Questions..24 Appendix Four: Articles published Appendix Five: Additional notes.29 2

3 Introduction This review was commissioned by the journal owner, ANZASW. The terms of Reference are found at Appendix One. The results of the survey are reported and a thematic overview is provided from content gained via the open response questions in the survey and from the key informant interviews. The journal is a significant feature of social work in Aotearoa New Zealand (ANZ). There is significant support for publication of the journal to continue reflected in the views of both those interviewed and from the survey data. Most significant factors featuring in this positive appraisal were: accessibility for practitioners, especially those whose employment does not offer them any access to library databases; local content; access to current research; themed issues and the special issues Te Komako and Tu Mau. These aspects will be reported below. The journal is considered an essential component of membership and for some the best aspect of belonging. It is clear from the survey results and comments in the open responses that the receipt of a hard copy is still valued highly as a direct benefit from membership fees, with 64% favouring a hard copy. While many readers are familiar with reading online journals, this may still not yet be a preferred mode for the current demographic. Other members may not have easy access to the internet at home with increasing competition for time at the keyboard and some practitioners find internet browsing is not approved or available at work. The presence of the hard copy journal on desks and tables is in itself a marketing tool for the association. The work of the editors is acknowledged and supported and certainly amongst some contributors recognised as a significant commitment of time and professional expertise. In most countries professional body journal editorship is acknowledged by an honorarium or partial salary payment in recognition of the many hours committed to each issue. In addition administrative assistance is available for example the AASW journal Australian Social Work has a part time administrator who undertakes and manages the correspondence. Most journals now use an electronic submission process such as Manuscript Central / Scholar One. Such systems have many automated features such as holding the submitted manuscript and tracking progress, automatic follow up s to tardy reviewers and authors and so forth. The author of this review is an editor of a journal which also does not have administrative support or access to an automated system and can attest to the countless hours spent purely on administration and correspondence, none of which truly utilise scholarly skills. Most editors of social work journals work for universities and since the investment in higher education has diminished many schools of social work have experienced reductions in administrative support for academic staff. Editors can rarely access any assistance within their department now and so editorial work is voluntary and time consuming. While being an editor attracts some status the contribution made is grounded in significant altruism and commitment to the profession, as any other career enhancement is minimal. Some greater recognition of the contribution made by editors needs to be made. In the discussion of how the journal could be improved a consistent refrain: the association needs to make a decision on the purpose and aims of the journal and move forward with a clear plan for its development and support. Most significant factors featuring in this appraisal were: inconsistent standards of contributions from rigorous scholarly research and conceptual material that is properly grounded in literature to 'puff pieces that are not well written; uneven adherence to style and citation of sources; irregular publication schedule, and a dated and unappealing cover and design. 3

4 There is some interest in developing a more interactive interface for the journal and many very good ideas. However the opinion of the reviewer is that New Zealand social work is still very behind international trends in use of social media for professional purposes and perhaps more informal developments should be supported e.g. links to blogs, greater use of the website for dissemination rather than prematurely developing Web2 features. An online, interactive facility would complement the webinars and enable asynchronous engagement for those unable to access live events, notwithstanding that live chats ( Twitter works well for this) could be used to develop 'after hours ' conversations. A social media strategy does need to be developed, with staged enhancements planned over the next 5-10 years. In ten years the 'digital migrant' generation will be largely retired and most social workers will be frequent users of social media to support their practice and maintain networks. There is a tension revealed in the findings between the support for a scholarly journal and a nonacademic magazine with photos and human interest stories about social workers. Some readers clearly would prefer an online magazine that is well designed to meet some of the less scholarly focus of a journal. The journal cannot include such features and be regarded as a scholarly repository. Researchers will not want to submit their work to a publication of split focus and uncertain application of editorial judgement. To attempt to combine both types would be to further discourage academics from publishing locally. In the mass of contradictory comments it is important to note that the tensions have long been present in social work in New Zealand. The tensions between a social work that was intensely practical and grassroots and a more intellectual professional based on a strong educational foundation have been noted in the literature. While in many countries research and scholarship is highly valued, in Aotearoa New Zealand there is a vein of anti-intellectualism that came through in the survey open responses. It is interesting to note that no respondents wrote belittling comments about practitioners contributions, even though these are sometimes lacking in rigour and poorly referenced. For those who decried the journal's scholarly aims, there was a sense that 'academic ' was a pejorative term for some. The main themes relating to critique and suggestions for improvement will be summarised below. A series of recommendations is provided at the conclusion of the report on page 17. Consideration of these recommendations might be best carried out by a small working party that includes all the editors, National Office staff, contribution of the governance body and several key users e.g. an academic, a student, a frontline practitioner and a manager. Given the editorial roles are voluntary and not supported by administration, any enhanced features must be able to be supported by national office and sustainable. 4

5 Survey results The survey questions are found in Appendix Two. The survey was delivered via Survey Monkey and ran from 19 November to 3 December. A total of 725 people responded to the survey. Tables provide information about response rates and answered and skipped questions. Two questions asked open questions these answers have been coded into themes with some examples via direct quotes, presented to augment the survey responses. Question One: Reader behaviour Reader behaviour suggests for those who responded to the survey, most read the journal on a regular basis. TABLE ONE Reader Behaviour Please select the option that best matches your reading of the journal Answer Options Response Percent I read every issue and most articles 12.5% 90 Response Count I read some of the articles in most issues 66.2% 477 I hardly ever read it 19.8% 143 I throw the hard copy away without checking the table of contents 1.5% 11 answered question 721 skipped question 4 Question 2: Preferred format Accessibility was an important feature revealed in the reader behaviour area. Many respondents commented on the current delivery via their letterbox. It seemed there is a significant readership that likes the hard copy format: they could take it with them to read on public transport, read in bed or on the sofa. Many commented that they might not "get around to reading it" if they had to log on to a website. Some noted that they only had dial up internet at home, or family competition for access and no time to read at work. Some enjoyed keeping all the issues and being able to access the back issues from the bookshelves. It was noted that an electronic option didn't have to be 'either-or' and that having the journal electronically available was a bonus though this would be augmented by indexes and search facilities as noted below. It was seen as a local source that could be consulted when information was needed. It needs to be noted that while many respondents commented on the desirability of the journal being online it was clear that many didn't know that it already was freely available in this format, including at least two educators. The arrival of the journal was welcomed: the journal is like a surprise package that comes in the mail"; it's like a treasure hunt", the journal is "the best thing about being a member of ANZASW. It is taken home to read and then shared with colleagues at work. 5

6 The fact that it was free to members was important for those who were not enrolled in any study and for whom access to journals was not available. Most journals are behind paywalls and require either individual subscriptions which are very expensive or through tertiary education providers' websites and only available to students. The journal enables readers to access high quality contributions from respected authors. TABLE TWO Preferred format What is your preferred format to read the Journal? Answer Options Response Percent Receiving a hard copy in the post 64.0% 460 Receiving a table of contents so I can read the articles I want (by logging in to the ANZASW website) 11.7% 84 Receiving the PDF version 17.1% 123 Receiving the e-reader version 4.9% 35 I don't read it but it would be good to know that it is available for students 2.4% 17 answered question 719 skipped question 6 Response Count Question 3: Valuing of features The specialist issues were valued by many respondents for some these issues represented the greatest value for the profession. "Te Komako provides cultural perspective, is aligned to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, provides a Māori worldview which is real not for practitioners" working in a bicultural framework. One survey respondent thought there were many articles still needing to be written for Te Komako examples being multi attachment for Māori children and the links between whakapapa and good health. Some wanted to see the ''mainstream' issues also address cultural issues and reflect Pakeha and other tauiwi understandings of Te Tiriti. There was strong support for the continuation of Te Komako and Tu Mau issues with some suggestions that other cultural groups might also want to contribute. Many commented that more material relating to work with Asian and refugee communities would be valued. Some supervisors and managers noted that they provided articles from these specialist issues to their staff as professional development. Book reviews were valued as keeping social workers in touch with literature and they had few other sources to get this information. Articles that included good literature reviews were appreciated again as a means of keeping practitioners 'up to date' with the literature and research. Shorter practice reflections were also welcomed in line with the it s too academic argument explored in greater depth below. Research articles rated nearly as highly. 6

7 Special issues There was little ambiguity about the value of special themed issues, for which the survey responses indicated strong support. Some readers noted in the open responses that these were disappointing if it wasn t a theme they were interested in. Others really enjoyed the themed issues as providing a rich set of different perspectives and new information about research all in one place. There were several mentions of the potential for the editors to commission theme issues, especially where there were gaps. Identified gaps included refugee and migrant community concerns, services for older adults, mental health, health and wellbeing in general and statutory social work with children and families. Respondents suggested quite specific things including one contributor who suggested named individuals who were potential special issue editors/ contributors in relation to topics such as practice research, disability and supervision. More content on management and supervision was suggested by some while others were "bored" with supervision articles. TABLE THREE: Rating of features 3-point scale Please rate the following features of the Journal Answer Options Not of interest to me Somewhat of interest to me Very interesting to me Rating Average Research Articles Commentary Articles Te Komako Tu Mau Special issues on a theme (e.g. health, education, child welfare) Shorter practice reflections/ideas Book Reviews answered question 724 skipped question 1 Response Count Question 4: Interactive features of interest There was support for more interactive features e.g. blogs, the ability to leave comments, electronic letters to the editor. One respondent liked the idea of blogs but "not personally on Facebook or Twitter and am currently not interested although I would be if there is a purpose beyond narcissistic social behaviour", displaying one aspect of the current ambivalence within the profession about social media. An author blog, in which short responses could be made to articles or a journal club using Twitter or other social media to enable synchronous discussion of a selected article, attracted relatively small numbers of readers. Such features are of growing interest and importance in other countries. Clearly social media as a professional tool is in its infancy in ANZ. 7

8 TABLE FOUR: Interactive features of interest 3-point scale Interactive features of interest Answer Options A function that allowed me to comment on articles in the Journal A function that allowed me to ask questions of the author An author(s) blog in which short responses could be used to respond to articles A Journal club using Twitter or other social media to enable synchronous discussion of a selected article Not of interest to me Somewhat of interest to me Very interesting to me I would definitely use this Rating Average answered question 716 skipped question 9 Response Count Question 5: Attitudes towards greater international input Similar tensions are found in the expression of ambivalent views about the prospect of internationalising the journal. Where some suggested more inputs from international contributors would be desirable, others opposed this, being concerned that the unique local flavour might be lost. Many respondents expressed the view that the journal's greatest value was in providing a strong voice for professional social work in Aotearoa New Zealand: NZ social workers writing about NZ issues. It is the only place I can reliably source NZ writers". Many people commented that while they were positive about having increased international contributions there was a caveat: "as long as they don't swamp the ANZ content". Authentic ANZ contributions were valued especially those from unique tauiwi and tangata whenua social work. The journal was acknowledged by many as an essential vehicle for communicating local research to practitioners and especially for those studying whether in their initial social work education or undertaking postgraduate study and research. It was seen as vital in supporting and promoting local scholarship. 8

9 It is home-grown and provides a place where our voice is heard amongst the plethora of international literature. The contents were diverse, varied in style and reflected cultural diversity in ANZ. The Christchurch earthquake issue was mentioned by many as of great interest and value, offering a unique record of social work involvement and experience In Aotearoa New Zealand. TABLE FIVE: Attitudes towards greater international input 3-point scale The Journal can potentially become more international in focus and contributions. Of the following features please indicate your support. Answer Options Members of an editorial board from other countries in the Asia Pacific region Members of an editorial board from other countries beyond the Asia Pacific region Contributions of articles and other features by authors from the Asia Pacific region Contributions of articles and other features by authors from beyond the Asia Pacific region I do not support this feature Neutral This feature would have my support Rating Average answered question 712 skipped question 13 Response Count Question 6: What do you like best about the Journal? TABLE SIX: Valued features- open responses What do you like best about the Journal? Answer Options Response Count 543 answered question 543 skipped question 182 9

10 Overall positive comments were made and many respondents simply noted that they were happy with the journal and enjoyed it. As reflected in the table above (Question 1) 66% of respondents read at least some of the articles in each issue of the journal and appreciate it. Most of the positive comments relate to level of interest, variety, quality, local content, keeping practitioners up to date, relevancy and professional development. Congratulations offered to the editors, all past and present have provided a huge contribution to the further progression of the profession of social work in ANZ". There were numerous comments about the ways in which the journal contributes to the profession: providing a local voice, sharing knowledge, linking readers to international research, as professional development, bringing "an academic focus to the profession", offers good material of a high standard and was useful for supervisors and managers to share with frontline workers to build their knowledge. The journal provides a forum" to share developments, practice ideas across fields of social work" and offers reminders of "prior reflection and study". While some respondents had noted a perceived lack of articles in their field- especially health or statutory child welfare- others valued the range of material and the opportunity to find out about other fields of practice. One respondent stated the journal presents a consistent high quality forum for the expression of ideas, commentaries and evidence from the body of the association. It is one thing ANZASW has that the regulatory body does not have and as a point of difference is essential in maintaining membership and interest ". The journal provides great information to add to my basket of knowledge". Managers and supervisors frequently noted the importance of the journal in disseminating new knowledge. Supervision and staff meetings were a forum where readership could be encouraged. One said I am not sure how to make it happen but I'd like all my staff to read the journal and comment on articles - critique, challenge and perhaps be inspired to write about their own work". The roles of the journal in storing information about the profession s history was rarely mentioned though some did note that there was information about the developments of education and registration. One respondent liked the interviews with practitioners and hoped to see more. One respondent made this comment: by nature social workers do not seem to be very good at recognising our own strengths! Social work is becoming a 'profession' and we need to start thinking and acting like trained, specialist professionals with an important contribution to make in Aotearoa- we may often stand up for the underdog, this does not mean we need to be the underdog profession and organisations/ employers need to allow us space/ time/support to contribute/ read/research etc. this could then be reflected in the journal. Question 7: What improvements do you think could be made to the Journal? The main themes identified in response to the question What improvements do you think could be made to the Journal? can be categorised as two opposing perspectives: the journal is too academic and the journal is not academic enough. Again this reveals the tensions present in Aotearoa New Zealand social work about the intellectual base for social work as a discipline. The comments are summarised into themes below. 10

11 TABLE SEVEN: Improvements to be made - open responses What improvements do you think could be made to the Journal? Answer Options answered question 442 skipped question 283 The journal is too academic Response Count Many survey respondents commented that the journal was too academic". These respondents in general reveal an essential misunderstanding of the purpose of a disciplinary journal. There was a call for the journal to be more like a magazine with photos and more human interest stories. It is possible that some of these contributors were from the UK or Australia and were accustomed to reading Community Care or the AASW Bulletin, which do carry more diverse contributions, 'news' and so forth. It is possible that some members recall the old "News and Views" and "Noticeboard" which carried stories from the branches, photos and stories from conferences and events and were in part supported by advertisements, as is the Australian Bulletin. Community Care is a commercial operation with a large web based operation and very effective social media strategies, including live chat on major issues. Revealing the practical task orientation so frequently found in the comments one respondent stated "as a busy practitioner I am not interested in academics particularly but would love to read about creative interesting practice from others in the field ". Those more inclined to the magazine type format wanted "lowbrow" items, picture, case studies with photos and "less professional articles from the publish or perish community". In a similar vein another respondent claimed that "for those of us up to our ears in practice reality, and time poor, navel gazing that adds very little to our practice knowledge...life is too short to be trying on academic minutiae". Another: " I like that it reflects all that is happening out there in the social work world...it would be sad if this was lost to more academic type articles... Just a place for university originated articles and research". This was associated with calls for the journal to "Encourage grassroots voices". "For me there is too much research and too much written by the academics. Nothing personal here about the academics (and truth probably is that they are the only ones prepared to write)". Ironically, several contributors who felt the journal was dominated by academic writers also argued "that this may mean that the academic contribution is to assist people in practice to write", an activity of clearly altruistic value but of little currency in the ranking systems in which academics are currently judged. One commenter argued for " a system where a more confident or proficient author or 'academic' can support and mentor authors". There was a desire to hear from busy practitioners who may not have the confidence to write and may think it is the foray (sic) of the researcher or academic". The journal is Not academic enough As noted above the provision of research articles was highly supported by many, especially as offering access to home grown scholarship. One contributor expressed a concern that the journal might have an uncertain future as a scholarly journal and recognised the timeliness of this review: 11

12 It depends what the journal wants to be in the future. If its primary focus is to reflect research, policy and practice from Aotearoa, then it probably should continue as it is but it will be increasingly challenging to get good articles as most academics at least will be encouraged to publish elsewhere. This will inhibit the range, and probably the quality of future scholarship. More research articles were favoured by some who wanted less 'basic' practitioner material and more papers with a scientific basis. This was seen as necessary by some to develop ANZ scholarship and promote local research to a more international audience. International content was valued by some and one respondent wanted to see this raised by identifying local academics who have strong international connections and "slotting them in as special edition editors and through their relationships with top international scholars we could have an important journal within two years. The potential for an international focus would bring world-wide trends and new ideas to local social work and raise the standard and status of the journal. Broadening the content and social justice Many suggestions were made about the need to broaden the content of the journal and have articles exploring practice dilemmas and conflicts. This was often associated with call for the journal to support more advocacy on public issues. There we several calls to develop specialist forum type sections where specialist material could present complex case studies and ethical practice issues. Commonly mentioned as fields befitting such fora were health, mental health and child protection. An issue could be developed on a regular basis to showcase the research carried out by students including undergraduates as well as MSW and PhD researchers. Many contributors wanted to see the indigenous content strengthened and not just in Te Komako. There was a call for more writing and research about racism and the need to hold non- Māori to account in the bicultural environment. There were also frequent requests to include more content on Pasifika social work and to ground the journal in the Asia Pacific region, recognising the growing diversity of cultures. It is noted by the reviewer that some of the specific things that respondents wanted were already available. Examples included: An issue about the Christchurch earthquakes An issue about the history of the profession in ANZ and looking forward ( content in press for the Anniversary issue ) Something addressing the Children's White paper: a relevant article has been published via the recently released 25(2) Also claims that the journal "does not include reflections and learning from frontline practice" were not borne out by the analysis of the issues as listed in Appendix Four. Style and appearance The journal appearance came in for many negative comments. Some related to the internal style and layout print too small, long articles hard to read as too cramped. Lack of diagrams etc. most criticism was reserved for the overall design which was described as boring and bland, "visually unappealing". The cover was described as not inviting or interesting. One respondent stated: as the eye stimulates the appetite, so do good print designs encourage further exploration". Another: "currently the bland sameness of layout and design is off-putting". 12

13 Web appearance: One author/member noted currently the journal [section of the] website is a little invisible. You have to click a couple of times to find out the journal information even this would be possible only when you have known about the journal already. So, it looks that the journal is not a priority for the association at the moment. Contact details for the journal - only an address given. No information about the editors on the website maybe I am wrong? The respondent is correct- the editors names are not listed on the website and there is no statement about the aims and scope of the journal. Regularity As will be further noted in the analysis of the interview data respondents asserted that the journal needs to come out on schedule. It was felt to be too irregular and held back so often that issues were coming out six months into the year following the cover year. Analysis of two years of content Although this was not covered in the terms of reference the review author thought it would be interesting to test the assertions about the journal s domination by academic contributions. The table in Appendix Four sets out all the articles (excluding book reviews) which were published in volumes 24 and 25 over 2012 and As is shown below of the 52 articles published, academics played a part in the authorship of 31 articles and practitioners in 27. Practitioners contribute many of the book reviews though these were not counted. The focus of articles is shown below revealing a strong focus on professional issues, which includes education, supervision, matters of regulation, ethics and values of the profession, including aspects of concern to Māori, with 21 articles categorised in this way. However 26 articles addressed content relevant to specific populations/locales. Authorship Articles authored solely by academic author(s) 25 Articles authored by an academic and one or more practitioner(s) 6 Articles authored solely by practitioner(s) 21 Themes of articles Professional issues: 21 articles Professional issues Māori: 5 articles Health and wellbeing particular populations: 7 articles Health and wellbeing disaster: 10 articles Children, young people and families: 9 articles 13

14 Interviews with academics/researchers/ editors The questions asked as discussion prompts in the discussions with key informants are found in Appendix Three. Key informant interviews were conducted with 13 people including academics and editors. Interviews could not be set up with the editors of Te Komako but a copy of the draft report was sent to them for comment. These interviews were not recorded or transcribed and it was made clear that they were not research interviews and the informants' personal comments would not be quoted. Therefore what follows is a précis of the general comments and some discussion of the themes which emerged in the discussions in response to specific questions. General comments In general there was strong support for the journal to continue and in particular comments underlining the great value of Te Komako and Tu Mau. Significant themes included the following: the need for an editorial board; maintaining high standards of production, regular reliable publication dates within reason. Issues coming out in the middle of the year, carrying a date of the year before problematic for academics who need to be able to report on their performance on an annual basis. It was noted by frequent authors, reviewers and those who had contributed editorial input that there was a tension between running the journal as a scholarly journal and as a less formal membership magazine. It is important to note as those interviewed did that the journal is the only independent social work journal. Social Work Now and The New Zealand Social Policy journal are both owned by the Ministry of Social Development. The policy journal has been discontinued under the current administration and most recent advice is that Social Work Now is 'resting' but no firm decision has been made. This leaves a vacuum and it is important that the Association considers this as decisions are made. These more broad considerations require that the journal be seen as more than a membership service but as a resource for the whole sector which provides a historical record of social work in ANZ. It was felt by some contributors that it was time for the association to commence discussions with an international publisher to explore the potential for a commercial relationship that would honour the membership contribution (e.g. free access for members) while enabling the journal to flourish in a wider social work intellectual community. The journals Practice, Australian Social Work, Kotutui (owned by the Royal Society) and the British Journal of Social Work are examples. The NASW journals - Social Work, Social Work Research, Health & Social Work are now published by Oxford. These commercial publishers bring their enormous resources in journal management, promotion and marketing - along with hosting and sophisticated archiving and 'searchabilty'. These advantages would not entirely offset the drift away of local authors but it might reduce the likelihood that substantive research findings will only be published offshore. Recommendation of journal to students Informants generally did recommend the journal to students and include articles in course readings. Some respondents did not make a blanket recommendation because of what was perceived of as uneven quality and so added the caveat that their recommendation was selective. Academics who were not members acknowledged that they would not know what was published in the journal as it was not a "go to journal and does not have a publication alert system. The main reasons for recommending to students included: local and indigenous content, material not filtered through an international lens. 14

15 Do you submit to the journal yourself, if not why not? Several of those interviewed noted that they had been advised not to submit post PhD articles to the journal because it is not highly ranked and is largely invisible internationally. Such informants did not necessarily rule out submitting to the journal but felt it would only be to publish material that was of purely local appeal. For university academics the imperative for career development is to be published in international journals of a high standard. It was noted that the Performance Based Research Funding (PBRF) environment had intensified this imperative and that in many other disciplinary areas PBRF has undermined national and professional journals. It is noticeable that neither of the two New Zealand Professors of Social Work has published in the journal in recent years and few of the Associate Professors contributions appear regularly. In the current environment citations are a significant measure of the impact of academic research and features such as citation counts in Google Scholar, impact in Academia and ResearchGate are important to academics, especially in relation to continuation/ tenure and promotion. So while some survey respondents were cynical about the domination of the 'publish or perish' brigade, in the higher education sector employment, tenure and promotion are significantly impacted on not just by the amount of publishing but the quality and impact of the publications and it is likely that the trend away from local publishing will continue. Several academic informants noted that they did submit articles to the journal on a regular basis in spite of the perceptions that doing so would limit the international impact of their work by attracting few citations. This was seen as part of their demonstration of meeting the association's practice standards and making a contribution that was tangible. One noted that each local research project should generate at least one local output, as a demonstration of giving back to the local community and honouring the contributions of other stakeholders to the research. What do you think can be improved about the journal? The major issues not covered under other headings were regularity, editorial processes, scope, accessibility and international reach. Editorial processes There is a concern about the lack of clarity about the degree of review and editorial input on some contributions to the journal. Academic contributors want this to be clarified. If this is not clear it detracts from the scholarly contributions. It was noted by many that the standard of journal contributions is very uneven. Mistakes in the production process were noted e.g. incorrect labelling of diagrams, diagrams becoming scrambled and this not being identified before going to print; changes to correct referencing. Although it would add another step to the production process authors would value being able to inspect the proofs, as is the norm in many other journals. Lower standards for sections of the journal may continue to impact on authors' decision making about what to publish in the journal. While sections for practitioner writing are valued by many they should still adhere to quality guidelines, have references and links to documents referred to and be written in a professional manner with clarity. If the journal decides to publish more of the informal pieces these should perhaps be published on the website or as part of the noticeboard E- newsletter, not in the journal. 15

16 International impact A significant theme relates to the place of the journal in an increasingly international profession. It was noted that neither EBSCO or Informit have much reach beyond Australasia the former because the journal is in the Australia/ New Zealand Reference Collection to which European and North Americans rarely have access, the latter similarly largely unavailable beyond Australasia. Many comments both in the survey data and the interviews support the development of an international strategy for the journal. Most commonly mentioned features in relation to this aim were: gaining a DOI, a table of contents with abstracts freely available, exploration of either gaining a commercial publisher or using an open access platform. Does it need an advisory or editorial board with some international input? All informants supported the development of an editorial board as is the norm for journals producing scholarly work. A common perspective was that a journal without an editorial board had limited credibility. Researchers are likely to make decisions about the robustness of a journal's peer reviewing and editorial process partly on the basis of the editors' credentials and a strong editorial board. An Editorial Board would make policy for the journal but could not make policy that impacted on the owner's financial risk nor policy that ventured into non publication related policy matters. Editorial boards develop and approve guidelines, approve proposals for special issues and are expected to promote the journal. The Editorial Board would be comprised of a mix of local and international members, up to 12 appointed for a three year term with one term s extension. It is a normal expectation of members of an editorial board that they would review at least two articles per annum. It might be desirable to ask Editorial Board members to develop a rota of guest edited issues (co-editorships) to relieve the main editors. International editorial board members could be nominated by ANZ editors and authors to build the credibility of the journal. NZ based editors could take responsibility for offering writing workshops and mentoring from time to time during their term. This should not be regarded as a responsibility of the main editors as their contribution is already a significant investment of time. The mentoring of Tangata Whenua, Pasifika and increasingly Asian and African authors and postgraduate students was to be strongly encouraged in order for the journal to meet the needs of our increasingly diverse communities. Many students of migrant backgrounds found the journal the only sources of writing about social work and Te Tiriti and bicultural practice. Do you think there should be a place for less academic work from say UG students and practitioners and if so how this should be presented? There was a common agreement that the journal provided a very important home for the publication of student research, especially MSW research. The journal was seen as suitable for first steps in publishing for students especially undergraduate, Honours and MSW students. Some informants felt strongly that publication from student research was an ethical imperative if the research had human participants and any undertakings had been made to disseminate the findings. Conference presentations were a valid form of dissemination but with a very limited reach and zero longevity unless there was a published proceedings. 16

17 Should there be enhancements such as online discussion/comments? While there was overall still strong support for the journal to be available hard copy, there is also recognition that a younger audience would want the journal delivered in a more contemporary medium. Each cohort of graduates in social work is more sophisticated in their information literacy. While there is still some variability in the standards of information literacy across institutions, most graduates have high expectations having been exposed to the world literature, especially those who have studied in universities and the larger polytechnic programmes. They will expect a journal to have certain features: Should the journal develop a code of ethical publishing practice e.g. addressing plagiarism, research ethics in dissemination? The issue of a code of ethical practice was a minority concern but nonetheless of considerable importance. Authors who are members of the ANZASW must currently abide by the Code of Ethics statement on research (pp ) but this could be strengthened in a more detailed code. Such guidelines to include content on plagiarism, research ethics, funding and conflict of interest and so forth. The current copyright licensing form provides some protection, though it is unlikely that most authors read it! The Committee on Publication Ethics website has many useful resources. See final appendix. In order to justify a DEST type statement and to satisfy similar bodies in other jurisdictions there are guidelines needed. The journal can easily adopt international standards by following some recommendations: That any article which reports research must include a statement about ethics approval and name the body involved in such ethical oversight. That articles which report research should demonstrate awareness of ethical sensitivity and explain how ethical issues were addressed in the research. At the close of each research article a statement should be inserted declaring what funding has been received to support the research and state that there is no conflict of interest. Reviewers: It is important that first time reviewers have some guidance on assessing research and ethical standards. Reviewers: The editors should at least once every two years issue a call for reviewers and provide initial guidance. This grows the pool and builds capacity. Reviewers must be suitably qualified if the DEST statement is to be considered accurate. Reviewers: a list of reviewers should be provided on a regular basis. This is important for two reasons: firstly to acknowledge their work and secondly to make transparent the expertise being drawn on in the editorial process. 17

18 Recommendations 1. Editorial management needs to be explored as there are currently four or five 'editors' - there needs to be a managing editor with oversight and responsible for planning. Face to face meetings at least once a year. It is acknowledged that this has implications for the bicultural partnership and overall oversight of the journal but it does lodge responsibility for journal preparation and production processes in the hands of one person and may reduce communication complexities. It will be necessary to consider whether this should be a paid position. 2. Schedule of publications: determine that wherever possible four issues per year are published on a regular basis. A plan for future issues should have timelines and resources, planned themed issues with guidelines and expectations of guest editors. 3. Te Komako and Tu Mau editions be issued as a separate publication on a 'when ready ' basis or as a supplement to a scheduled issue. This removes the problem with issues coming out of order or severely delayed which is unprofessional and unfair on all contributors who are waiting for delayed publication of their accepted manuscripts. 4. Online elements need to be developed: to attract contributors the journal needs to the following features: An interactive table of contents online and open. Link takes reader to Informit or EBSCO. A hyperlinked indexing system that takes them first to an abstract and then if desired to an HTML and a PDF option A searchable interface so that students, researchers and practitioners can easily find local content. At present the only search engine that does this is Index New Zealand which is unfortunately not well known The articles should include reference sections with hyperlinks to open access materials e.g. Grey literature, other cited articles from the journal itself, and to open access articles. Thus is easily achieved in the online edition and can be as easily created in the PDF format as the HTML. Short bios of contributors and their content details, links to addresses and websites/ blogs and so forth. Each article to have a DOI and Keywords to increase searchability within the journal and potentially to attract discovery by international readers. An Editors Choice article in each issue that is freely available on the website to all visitors. Most publishers allow this and it promotes interest in readership and is a nice boost for local authors. 5. The ANZASW should develop a social media strategy as an urgent priority if it is to retain this increasingly technologically savvy new generation of social workers. The development of greater interactivity around issues, hot topics, matters in the public domain, public perceptions of the profession and so forth is essentially in order to build engagement with young social workers. For example, tweeting about new articles is now a practice of Australian Social Work, which has a Twitter presence. 6. As part of a five year plan the ANZASW might consider the development of an online magazine that is well designed to meet some of the less scholarly needs wanted by many readers. E.g. more pictures, photos, success stories, ' a day in the life' columns, job adverts, CPD adverts and so forth. This online, interactive facility will complement the webinars and enable asynchronous engagement for those unable to access live events, notwithstanding that live chats can be used to develop 'after hours ' conversations. 18

19 7. The readership seems to be seeking a redesign. Perhaps a prize could be offered for this via a competition arranged in collaboration with a design course. While the association will want its logo to be visible this can be achieved in a more contemporary design. The design needs to be consistent and signal a Te Komako or Tu Mau issue by ways of cover colours and some internal distinctive design. Discontinue the use of Roman numerals for the vol/issue. Few readers probably know what these are and it is very old fashioned. The databases where the journal is housed do not use them and thus it is confusing for readers and students. This redesign will need to take note of the association s heritage and consultation will be needed in order to achieve a design that can endure at least three decades.. 8. The title needs to be clear and settled on for many decades to come and the main title should not be minimised on Te Komako and Tu Mau editions as this confuses readers and creates significant citation issues. This decision re any title change will also need to take note of the association s heritage and consultation will be needed in order to achieve a title that can endure at least three decades. 9. Tu Mau is languishing due to a lack of capacity and perhaps this might be addressed by the association partnering with a tertiary education institution to develop capacity and capability. This should be a priority for the incoming Editorial Board. 10. Editors who serve for more than three years might be granted Life Membership as recognition of their large commitment of time and their professional expertise. 11. An incoming Editorial Board should develop a code of ethical publishing practice e.g. addressing plagiarism, research ethics in dissemination based on the suggestions on page Accepted manuscripts to be typeset and finals approved by authors prior to publication first as online access only then in the print issue. This will require an online system accessible to authors/editors/an administrator to reduce risks of version control and confusion. 13. A call for reviewers and a listing of the names of those who have provided peer review should be published on the website and in one print issue on an annual basis. 14. An incoming Editorial Board should explore options for a self-archiving policy e.g. Making available on the internet a final peer-reviewed and accepted version of article, after the print edition is published. Virtually all publishers allow this and it is a matter of strict rules to avoid breaking the terms of the agreement with EBSCO and Informit. 15. If a section is developed that explicitly commissions or includes practitioner reflections / brief case studies or other forms of short less 'academic' writing this should be clearly demarcated by use of a section heading. The extent to which these pieces have been subject to review and/ or edited should be explained on each article. 19

20 APPENDIX ONE TERMS OF REFERENCE REVIEW OF AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND SOCIAL WORK BACKGROUND The ANZASW Constitutional Objectives specify: And a. To publish such journals, monographs, directories, or other publications as the Governance Board shall, from time to time, decide. a. [Members] shall be entitled to receive a copy of any publication by the Association, which has been issued free of charge. The first issue of the Journal was produced in August 1965 with regular publication since that date. Currently the journal is published in three editions: The Review Te Komako target is 1 edition per year Tu Mau occasional Over time there has been an emphasis on the journal featuring both academic articles and practice focused articles. The current citation rate is approximately 10 per article. The Journal is produced by the Editors on a volunteer basis with proofing, typesetting and printing being organised through National Office. Edition / Activity Person / Agency Responsible The Review Edition Mary Nash Kieran O Donoghue Te Komako Shayne Walker Anaru Eketone Tu Mau Sally Dalhousie 20

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