Reviewed by: Christine Oka, Research & Instruction, Northeastern University Libraries, Boston, MA
Review of Communication Research (RCR) is an annual open access academic journal publishing literature reviews in communication. They are upfront about the advantages of open access publishing:
“The articles that we publish are downloadable by anyone in the world. . . Scholars reach our articles. For example, McCombs and Stroud’s article has been downloaded 6,210 times in less than two years, and W. James Potter’s article has been seen 2,363 times from RCR web site and 3,517 times from Academia.edu.” The articles are available online and citable as soon as they are accepted. It facilitates a fast impact on the field.
Part of the speed is in the transparency of the process, RCR is very good about explaining, step by step, the publication process, which includes double-blind peer review and open peer review. Another contribution to the speed may be their use of the Open Journal Systems, a free open-source software developed by the Public Knowledge Project (PKP), a multi-university developing the software and researching ways to improve the quality and reach of scholarly publishing.
What about the quality? In addition to the peer review process, there are qualifications for authors submitting manuscripts, such as having a Ph.D for five years, being a faculty member at a research or education institution, and “the first author of two articles published in highly respected journals.” As soon as articles are accepted for RCR, they are published online with a doi number and a suggested reference, “How to Cite.” Each article also includes the Abstract, as well as information About the Authors, Highlights, (Table of) Content, Keywords and links to Repositories with the full text.
In 2014, RCR published, “Threat, Fear, and Persuasion: Review and Critique of Questions about Functional Form” by Lijiang Shen and James Price Dillard, which received the 2015 Distinguished Article Award from the National Communication Association’s Communication and Social Cognition Division. Intense discussion about this and other articles take place on RCR’s Social Media & Debate page with links to Academia.edu, twitter, facebook, Forum for Published Articles and a Forum for Drafts (open peer review). Readers are encouraged to read the articles and join in discussion on Forum for Published Articles, to participate and to “create a topic and enrich your comprehension with replies.” No registration is required.
Open access and international in scope with topics of interest to a wide audience, including those who “may not have access to journals that are not open access, or to book chapters that are not available at their University library.” Recommended for inclusion in academic library discovery systems.