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10.28.2020 | SSP News & Releases

GW Journal of Ethics in Publishing Announces Randy Townsend as Editor-in-Chief and SSP Sponsorship

October 27 – Washington, DC – The GW Journal of Ethics in Publishing is excited to announce Randy Townsend, MPS, as the journal’s inaugural Editor-in-Chief (EIC), along with sponsorship of the new journal by the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP).

The GW Journal of Ethics in Publishing is hosted by the Masters of Professional Studies in Publishing program, within the College of Professional Studies at The George Washington University. This student-managed publication, which will be an open-access resource, free for anyone to access online, welcomes articles, case studies, and conference presentations from scholars, students, and publishing professionals on topics including, but not limited to, diversity and inclusion, accessibility, peer review, open access, sustainability, publishing metrics, equity, and other aspects and issues of ethics in publishing.

As EIC, Townsend will be responsible for setting the vision for the Journal of Ethics in Publishing, developing peer review strategy and working with peer reviewers, soliciting and overseeing submissions, maintaining high editorial quality, and collaborating with faculty and students of the Master of Professional Studies in Publishing at the George Washington University.

“I am excited to serve the GW Journal of Ethics in Publishing as the inaugural Editor in Chief,” says Townsend. “I have spent much of my career focused on varying aspects of ethical considerations and the impacts of misconduct and have remained engaged as the publishing industry embraces equity, inclusion and diversity. The unusual circumstances of today have revealed new challenges to the moral compass of the publishing landscape and opportunities for both personal and organizational growth. The GW Journal of Ethics in Publishing will help navigate through grey areas of uncertainty and lead discussions of introspection and evolution.”

The Society for Scholarly Publishing will be an official sponsor of the GW Journal of Ethics in Publishing. SSP is a nonprofit organization formed to promote and advance communication among all sectors of the scholarly publication community through networking, information dissemination, and facilitation of new developments in the field.

SSP will support the work of the GW Journal of Ethics in Publishing through mentorship of SSP members with GW publishing students; guest posts authored by GW students and faculty involved with the Journal in the SSP’s acclaimed The Scholarly Kitchen (TSK) blog (https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/); and potential programming opportunities to highlight journal content and/or the student experience at the SSP annual meeting, webinars, or regional events.

“The GW Journal of Ethics in Publishing perfectly aligns with SSP’s goal of developing scholarly communications professionals for the future,” said Melanie Dolechek, SSP Executive Director.  “We are excited to be in a position to offer mentorship to the GW students and provide access to important resources for the publishing leaders of tomorrow through this collaboration. Now more than ever, a journal of this scope is critical and we look forward to fostering rich dialogue about the ever-increasing ethical challenges facing scholarly communications.”

Randy Townsend (pronouns: he, him), is a graduate of the MPS in Publishing program, in 2011, as a member of cohort 5. Townsend has worked for the American Geophysical Union for more than 14 years, with an outstanding career focuses on the execution of the Publications Department’s strategic goals, and the performance and development of an expanding portfolio of scholarly journals, requiring oversight of peer review operations and content integrity. He has been a leader in policy implementation and manages allegations of misconduct and ethical violations. Randy served as a judge for the EXCEL Awards and is on the Advisory Board for the Association Media & Publishing. He is a member of the Council of Science Editors, the International Society of Managing and Technical Editor’s (ISMTE) Programming Committee and serves as Co-Chair on the Society of Scholarly Publishing’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.

The GW Journal of Ethics in Publishing has a Call for Papers from publishing and library professionals, scholars, faculty, and publishing students. Topic areas include ways to ensure publishing is inclusive; making sure diverse voices are part of the conversation about inclusion, equity, and accessibility; work to ensure peer review, authorship, editing, publications metrics, etc., are equitable and free of bias; efforts to increase diversity, for example, within the Association of University Press (AUPresses), Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP), and other publishing institutions; financial equity and sustainability, including institutional support, and access to research and publications, as ethical issues; accessibility as an ethical issue and how publishers can ensure publications are more accessible.


About the GW Master of Professional Studies in Publishing GW’s Master of Professional Studies in Publishing program, since 2006, is a leading graduate-degree program designed for current and aspiring professionals. Current publishing professionals can sharpen their skills and expand their knowledge through high-level coursework, while other students include post-bachelor and post-graduate students who have earned their degrees in other disciplines but desire careers in publishing. The master’s degree in Publishing integrates print and digital publishing topics, including editorial acquisitions, production and design, copyright law, marketing, distribution, technology, management and business. The program’s curriculum is taught by nationally and internationally recognized leaders; students master the skills required for traditional print publishing as well as online and electronic publishing. More information at https://www.cps.gwu.edu/publishing-master-professional-studies.

Contact John W. Warren, Director and Associate Professor, Master of Professional Studies in Publishing Program, College of Professional Studies, George Washington University | jww@gwu.edu | Phone: (310) 463-4658

About the Society for Scholarly Publishing The Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP), founded in 1978, is a nonprofit organization formed to promote and advance communication among all sectors of the scholarly publication community through networking, information dissemination, and facilitation of new developments in the field. SSP members represent all aspects of scholarly publishing—including publishers, printers, e-products developers, technical service providers, librarians, and editors. SSP members come from a wide range of large and small commercial and nonprofit organizations. They meet at SSP’s annual meetings, educational seminars, and regional events to hear the latest trends from respected colleagues and discuss common and mutual (and sometimes divergent) goals and viewpoints.

Contact Melanie Dolechek, Executive Director | info@sspnet.org | 303-422-3914

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