CJC Policy Portal

Why Do We Need a Policy Portal?

The need to create closer linkages between Canadian communication scholars and Canadian communication policy-making has long been a topic of conversation. In the last 5 years alone, the policy relevance of Canadian communication studies has been questioned by government reports, interrogated through conferences, panels and roundtables dedicated to the subject, and discussed in various programmatic articles. 

The nature and timeline of traditional academic publishing has been identified as one of structural barriers to a dynamic conversation between communication and cultural studies researchers in Canada and Canadian policy makers. The sort of reputable, top tier academic journals that academics are required to publish in by current explicit and implicit professional expectations generally demand a minimum of 18 months turn-around time from submission to publication to complete peer review, revisions and formal publication. This is simply not a workable schedule for research related to policy agendas: with a turn-around of 18 months, research that aims to contribute to policy development will not appear until after the decisions have been taken, and analysis of policy recently adopted will be yesterday’s news. The inability to leverage policy relevant research for high impact publications and recognizable academic credentials acts as a major disincentive for researchers -- in particular emerging researchers -- to design policy relevant research programs in Canada at present.

What is the Policy Portal?

The Policy Portal presents an effort to accelerate action in this area by pushing forward plans to create an online space aimed at bringing policy closer to Canadian communication studies. The Policy Portal aims to do so by bridging traditional scholarly publication practices with the online conversation. The Policy Portal provides a space for publishing research based on policy contributions and analysis. As such, it is devoted to raising awareness of communication policy issues and proceedings amongst Canadian communication studies scholars, facilitating discussion and analysis and coordinating intervention.

What, When and How Does the Policy Portal Publish?

The Policy Portal publishes quarterly, on the same schedule as the CJC. It issues calls for papers (CFPs) for each edition, based on a pre-defined theme. It features policy-in-brief articles that will be peer-reviewed and, if accepted, will be published online as part of supplemental, policy-themed issues. The Policy Portal accepts submissions written in either English or French.

Policy-in-Brief Articles

The articles published by the Policy Portal are “policy-in-brief” pieces. They are research-informed and polished in their writing, but are shorter than traditional journal articles and are limited to 3000-4000 words. Policy-in-brief articles must have a demonstrable component of contribution to or analysis of communication and/or cultural policy issues, debates or legislation processes. Articles must meet established standards of rigour, contribution to dialogue, originality, etc. The Policy Editor will issue CFPs on predetermined themes; policy-in-brief submissions should respond to the given theme.

How Do I Submit My Article?

Policy-in-brief articles must be submitted using the CJC online submission process and must conform to the CJC's article guidelines and the topic/length guidelines of Policy-in-Brief articles. Please indicate in your submission the CFP theme under which your article should be considered.

Please see the list of recent announcements for available Policy Portal CFPs.

Governance and Workflow

A dedicated Policy Editor manages the portal. The Policy Editor will aspire to create a turn-around time of 2-3 months from submission to final online publication, including peer review and revision.

The initial leadership of the Policy Portal is housed at Ryerson University in the School of Creative Industries. The Policy Portal is also associated with the Communications Policy Working Group (CPWG) of the York/Ryerson Communication and Culture Graduate Program. This graduate student-run organization is a non-partisan initiative with a goal to “put theory into practice and contribute to policy debates surrounding the communication and culture industries.”

The Founding Policy Editor is Jeremy Shtern, School of Creative Industries, Ryerson University. Editorial assistance will be provided by Emilia Zboralska, PhD Student, York/Ryerson Joint PhD in Communication and Culture and Daphne Chan, Student in the Ryerson School of Creative Industries.

Jeremy Shtern has led discussions on planning the Policy Portal since 2008, and has published extensively on Canadian and global communication policy. He was co-editor of the 2013 Online Proceedings of the CCA Special Interest Group in Technology and Emerging Media.

Additional Information

Please contact the Policy Editor, Lelsie Regan Shade at policy_editor@cjc-online.ca

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We wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for their financial support through theAid to Scholarly Journals Program.