Journal of Information Policy marks 10 years of quality, open access research

Jonathan F. McVerry
July 13, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.— The Journal of Information Policy is celebrating its 10-year anniversary, and in its first decade the journal has become a key resource of information policy research and analysis for legislators, policymakers and scholars.

In order to keep up with the rapidly changing technology industry, the journal was created with the goal to publish relevant, evidence-based research as quickly as possible while maintaining high, peer-reviewed standards. The journal’s publishing process takes research from author to reader in as little as six weeks.

When the journal launched in 2010, it was the first of its kind — an open access, peer-reviewed publication that would maintain high quality without subscription fees or cost to authors.

Published by Penn State University Press, the journal has become a top publication in its field and attracts tens of thousands of readers every year. Every issue of the journal can be accessed on JSTOR, a digital library of academic journals.

“Our goal is to have people read the research and then act on it,” said Krishna Jayakar, journal editor and a professor of telecommunications in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. “The journal has really made an impact on the academic dialogue.”

When the journal launched in 2010, it was the first of its kind — an open access, peer-reviewed publication that would maintain high quality without subscription fees or cost to authors.

“We are proud of the fact that the JIP is open access, but it also presents special challenges,” said Jayakar. “We do not charge subscription fees to users, or publication fees to authors. But publishing a journal has real costs, and the Institute for Information Policy raises money to meet these expenses.”

By design, the journal defines “information policy” broadly. The published work is multidisciplinary and conducted by respected scholars around the world.

The journal is published by the Institute for Information Policy (IIP), which was created in 1997 and co-housed in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications and the College of Information Sciences and Technology. The IIP is a major resource of academic research for government entities and hosts semi-annual conferences in Washington, D.C., and workshops across the globe that involve top scholars discussing important technology and communication topics of the day.

The institute has evolved with the tremendous amount of technological changes over those two-plus decades and the journal was a key piece in that evolution.

By design, the journal defines “information policy” broadly. The published work is multidisciplinary and conducted by respected scholars around the world. Topics of research include the digital divide, globalization, net neutrality, privacy and security, among many others. 

In addition to Jayakar, the journal’s editors are Bellisario College faculty members Amit Schejter, a visiting professor of telecommunications and media studies, and Richard Taylor, professor emeritus of telecommunications and media studies. Bellisario College doctoral student Ryan Wang is the current managing editor, a role that is assigned annually to a Bellisario College graduate student.

The journal’s editors measure their success by getting cited in research and influencing policymakers. Growing readership and citations led the JIP to be listed in the emerging sources citation index of Thomson Reuters’ Clarivate, a “collection of subscription-based services that focus on analytics, including scientific and academic research.”

“It’s supposed to be the mark of arriving journals,” Jayakar said. “Once you’re listed with Clarivate, you’re an established journal.”

The journal is also one of two publications recommended by the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference, the leading academic conference in the field of information and communication policy research.

“The other journal, Telecommunications Policy, has been around for 50 years,” Jayakar said. “So, we have reached that level of acceptance and recognition in just 10 years. We would like to build on that and make the Journal of Information Policy something that is respected in the field, read and acted on widely.”

Jayakar said internal funding has been key in the journal’s success, but he looks forward to finding potential gifts and grants to provide budgetary support that will put the journal on “secure financial footing” for the long term.

  • Journal of Information Policy Editors

    The Journal of Information Policy's editors are Bellisario College faculty members Krishna Jayakar, professor of telecommunications; Richard Taylor, professor emeritus of telecommunications and media studies; and Amit Schejter, a visiting professor of telecommunications and media studies. Bellisario College Ph.D. student Ryan Wang (not pictured) is the current managing editor.

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    IMAGE: Bellisario College

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Last Updated July 13, 2020