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Russell Sage Foundation
Peer reviewed
Open access

Reviewed by: Christine Oka, Research & Instruction, Northeastern University Libraries, Boston, MA

The Russell Sage Foundation, one of the oldest philanthropic foundations in America, was founded in 1907 with a $10 million gift from Mrs. Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage, for “the improvement of social and living conditions in the United States.”  The widow of Gilded Age railroad magnate and financier, Russell Sage, Mrs. Sage wanted the foundation “to pursue its mission through a broad set of activities, including research, publication, education, the establishment and maintenance of charitable or benevolent activities, agencies and institutions, and the aid of any such activities, agencies or institutions already in existence.” Currently the Foundation supports social science research, working to strengthen “the methods, data, and theoretical core of the social sciences as a means of improving social policies.” The Foundation also serves as a research center of Visiting Scholars each year and as a funding source for scholars at other academic and research institutions.

RSF: Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is the peer-reviewed, open access journal of the Foundation with “original empirical research articles by established and emerging scholars. Each issue is thematic and article submissions get one-way blinded peer review by three outside reviewers. Sometimes reviews are shared with members of the Editorial Board. This helps “to promote cross-disciplinary collaborations on timely issues of interest to academics, policymakers, and the public at large.” On the page For Authors, there is the usual information about article submission, guidelines, and journal style, but also a list of “RSF Basics,” the requirements for the journal. Each issue will include “an introduction. . . written by the issue editors that provides a broad synthetic overview of the issue’s theme and is not just a description of the chapters” and “written in a manner that is accessible to the media and general reader.” Additionally, there should be at least eight to ten articles reflecting several disciplines. This scope is encouraged with guest editors from different disciplines. Plans for upcoming issues include topics of Spatial Foundations of Inequality, The U.S. Labor Market During and After the Great Recession, and Undocumented Immigrants and Their Experience with Illegality.

The current issue, Financial Reform: Preventing the Next Crisis, begins with an introduction, “Financial Reform: Making the System Safer and Fairer.”  In addition to describing the roots of the financial crisis, the author also examines the resulting domestic and international reforms while highlighting future risks and the need for continuing vigilance by policy makers. In “The Impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on Financial Stability and Economic Growth” the authors evaluate the benefits and possible losses of provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. The provisions are ranked as wins, losses, “costly tradeoffs, unfinished business, and too soon to tell.” Major wins in the Act include “creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; and greater transparency and oversight of derivatives.” Clear losses include restrictions which “either harmed both financial stability and economic growth or was detrimental to one with limited gain to the other.” One such loss was “requiring the Federal Reserve to make emergency loans available to an entire category of institution rather than a single firm, and forcing the FDIC to seek and obtain a joint resolution from Congress before providing temporary liquidity guarantees on certains kinds of debt.” This and other articles in sections covering “Financial Stability,” “Consumer Protection,” “Market Structure,” and because we live within a global economy, “International Perspectives” carefully review regulations, implementation and the impact on institutions and consumers around the world.
Text is available as PDF or PDF Plus, with links to tables, charts and graphs. The RSF journal platform also provides images to books published by the Foundation if readers want to look more deeply at the topic covered in the thematic issue. Recommended for libraries serving policymakers and interested members of the public. Also a helpful resource for academics, whether students or researchers.

09 Apr 2017
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