Effective January 1, 2019, Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups will publish as a scholarly review journal.

For many years, Perspectives operated as a newsletter and was identified as such. By the early part of this decade, though, many of the articles being published went well beyond the type of coverage typically found in a newsletter and demanded a deeper level of review. This led to formal recognition as “peer reviewed” being approved in January 2017. 

Moving Forward as a Scholarly Review Journal

Because of the shift to more in-depth, peer-reviewed work being published, the decision was made to transition Perspectives from a newsletter to a scholarly review journal. The vibrant ASHA Community presence for the SIGs had in many ways taken the place of many of the newsletter functions. Since scholarly review journals are meant to distill research findings into clear summations of where research or clinical guidance may stand in a particular area, this transition aligns well with the Perspectives mission of bridging research to practice.

Establishing Editorial Boards

To help chart the path forward as a scholarly review journal, editors-in-chief (EICs) were appointed just over a year in advance of the transition. They then collaborated with the Journals Board and the EICs of the ASHA journals to begin developing and refining content strategies and calibrating on best practices related to the oversight of editorial board operations. With 19 SIGs, four EICs were assigned to oversee four groups of four to five SIGs each.

In most cases for Perspectives, an editor for each SIG was already in place or set to take the reins in 2019. Likewise, many of the members of the existing editorial review committees had a term of service that would be extending through 2019 or beyond. Any of those individuals rotating off were replaced with “editorial board members,” the same committed-reviewer role that has been in place for 2 years now for the other ASHA journals. Together, effective January 1, the EIC, the editor, and the editorial board members now constitute the editorial board for any given SIG. Complete details on these roles are provided elsewhere on the ASHA Journals Academy, where you can also learn how to get involved.

Improving the Submission Review System

The next big push in this evolution was to reconfigure our submission and peer review system so that it clearly operated as a journal and so that peer review for Perspectives was structured just like for the other ASHA journals. This work involved the ASHA Journals Board working with the incoming EICs to consider the role of Perspectives and then adjust article types across all of the journals to best suit the needs of the now expanded portfolio of journals. Subsequently, a peer-review template was built into the submission and peer review system, with refinements made and then implemented across all the journals as well.

Publishing Perspectives Online as a Journal

Perhaps the thing most obvious to you when you go to https://perspectives.pubs.asha.org/ will be the new look and feel of the website. That’s because it is entirely new. In the middle of this evolution, we determined that to make Perspectives and all of the journals really take the next step forward together, some fundamental improvements needed to be made to how the publishing platform operated. So, we developed a brand new one this past summer and fall and have just recently launched it. That’s covered more fully in a related post, but for Perspectives, the key points are the following:

Newly Published

Perspectives now features a “Newly Published” section just like the other ASHA journals, where the latest articles from across the SIGs are published as they complete production—if indeed they can be released in such a fashion. With the addition of article types for Perspectives, that means we can now more easily and more prominently publish related groups of articles for each SIG (e.g., as forums or special sections).

Bimonthly Issues

Previously, due to system constraints, we had to publish groups of related SIG articles as “Parts” and each SIG published one issue that was open throughout the year in that year’s volume of Perspectives. That was a method we no longer needed to stay with when moving to the new publishing platform. Instead, we have opted to move forward with a more conventional approach, now publishing bimonthly issues (in February, April, June, August, October, and December), in between which will be featured any Newly Published articles making their way online.

Special Topics

In launching the new Perspectives, we also wanted to welcome submissions that may span multiple SIG focus areas. Thus, we established a “Special Topics” section that can be submitted to instead of an individual SIG. An inaugural forum—specifically on key elements of bridging research to practice—was invited and will be in place at launch. The forum will consist of the following articles:

  • “Implementation Science: Tackling the Research to Practice Gap in Communication Sciences and Disorders,” by Natalie Douglas and Vanessa Burshnic
  • “Patient-Reported Outcomes Measures: An Introduction for Clinicians,” by Kathryn Yorkston and Carolyn Baylor
  • “Advancing the Delivery of Communication Sciences and Disorders Services Through Research: The Promise of Health Services Research,” by Megan Morris, Jennifer Oshita and Michelle Stransky
  • “Clinical Quality Improvement and Quality Improvement Research,” by Elaine Mormer
    and Joel Stevans
  • “Research-Practice Partnership: Application to Implementation of Multi-Tiered System of Supports in Early Childhood Education,” by Howard Goldstein, Meaghan McKenna, Robert Barker and Tracye Brown.

As you can see, a lot has gone into this transition, and there’s a lot more in store for the coming months. The best way to learn more about it all is to regularly visit the new Perspectives site at https://perspectives.pubs.asha.org. The transition is just the beginning of an exciting new direction for ASHA’s new scholarly review journal, and we hope you can be a part of making it a success!