Reviewed by: Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Widener Library, Harvard University
The open access version of the Journal of Human Security (JHS) continues a previous, pay-per-view version, published by RMIT University Press, as well as the Australasian Journal of Human Security, another pay-per-view journal. The goal of the current journal is “to disseminate applied research into a secure and sustainable future for humanity…. [The journal] endeavors to “provide a forum for researchers to foster interdisciplinary inquiry in broad human security issues such as track two diplomacy, ethnic conflict, terrorism, religious extremism, human rights, demographic change, population health, human ecology, sustainable economics and related areas; inform readers about upcoming events, ongoing and new research projects, trends and discussions, newly published monographs, and available scholarships; encourage a multidisciplinary approach to issues that have traditionally been viewed as mostly unidisciplinary; maintain an appeal to a wide readership with both high academic standards and close relevance to practice; [and] meet international standards of excellence.” The editorial team is a distinguished group of individuals working and researching in security and international studies, political science, peace and conflict studies, and related disciplines, and they seek material about security analysis from many different disciplines, including economics, engineering. environmental science, ethics, health care, international relations, political anthropology, and psychology, among others.
The peer review process for JHS includes an in-house pre-screening of each manuscript, after which the manuscript is sent to at least two selected experts in the field for review and evaluation. Reviewers are asked to evaluate each manuscript according to “originality, scientific soundness, interest to the readers, clarity of presentation and English language level,” and to submit their review reports within two weeks of receipt. After their review, the manuscript is sent for decision to the Editor-in-Chief or one of the Editorial Board members. This journal, like other Librello open access journals, is funded through membership fees in the organization (annual membership fees are CHF 156 / $160 US Dollars). Paying the membership fee allows members to submit an unlimited number of manuscripts for consideration of publication in the journal.
The most recent issue available, Volume 12, issue 1 for 2016, is representative of the kinds of material to be found in JHS. Its content includes a scholarly editorial about refugees by Sabina W. Lautensach, JHS Editor-in-Chief and member of the faculties of the University of Northern British Columbia, M. Gandhi University, India, and EPU Austria; the research articles, “Pacification & Mega-events in Rio de Janeiro: Urbanization, Public Security & Accumulation by Dispossession” and “A Piece of Land or Peace on the Land: How Much Is a Peasant's Life Worth in Brazil?”; and a book review of Hin-Yan Liu’s Law’s Impunity: Responsibility and the Modern Private Military Company. In addition to providing access to individual issues, the JHS site includes a search interface to search the journal by author, title, full-text, supplementary files, date, keywords, discipline, and other access points.
This is a superbly realized open access journal with important content for researchers working in global human rights and security issues, and librarians will want to get it indexed in online catalogs and bring it to the attention of scholars in the fields noted.