Hello, I am Lisa Meloncon, co-editor of the journal Rhetoric of Health and Medicine. Today, I’m going to follow-up the first video about research articles and the peer review process with a review of RHM’s other submission types, which are different from other journals. These alternate submission types are designed to provide content more specific to external audiences and also push the boundaries of what counts as scholarship.
First, let’s talk about reviews. Most every journal does book reviews, but since much of RHM scholarship has been dispersed across a wide array of journals and books and fields and disciplines, we wanted our reviews not only to review current scholarship, but bring it together, sometimes in combination with creative, policy, and other types of extra-academic work, AND advance it. So what that means is review essays are based on at least three works, which can be books, articles, policy or health documents (e.g., standards of care, recommendations), images, videos, or even museum installations. The pieces under review need to have something in common be it a common topic like say narrative or a common disease or patient population like heart disease or a common methodological approach like grounded theory. The review itself would include a brief summary of each but the bulk of the review essay would be building an evaluative argument that advances the field’s knowledge about the common theme. Unlike book reviews in which they are typically only reviewed by the book review editor, Review Essays for RHM will undergo expedited peer review. One member of the editorial team (which is comprised of our co-editors, associate editors, and Reviews editor) will serve as one reviewer and then there will be an anonymous outside reviewer. Review essays will be assigned the same decision categories as research articles after peer review. And can undergo the same sort of revision process.
The next category I want to discuss are dialogues. Dialogues are exactly what their name implies, a conversation between and among stakeholders around a specific topic or idea. I use stakeholders here deliberately because dialogues can be inward facing, addressing an important topic for the academic field (which can include multidisciplinary and even non-academic participants who have something to say to our field), but they can also be outward facing where we have invited other participants into a dialogue with academics. For example, we have been discussing options for a dialogue around some aspect of or angle about ethics since a number of us are working in this larger area. In this, we could imagine bringing in a number of different stakeholders from a member of an IRB board, to patients, to physicians, to bioethicist from public health and RHM scholars.
From this assortment one can imagine the diversity of thought that could occur. Dialogues can take any of a number of forms (such as a roundtable, back-and-forth conversation, circulated questions and answers) and media (such as a podcast, recorded roundtable discussion). We do have the ability to include multi-modal accompaniments and for this type of submission, they are particularly well suited to other modalities so that is highly encouraged. Because of the unique nature of dialogues, we ask that if you have an idea for one that you query the editors first. Dialogues need to be approved in advance by the editors. They will also go through the same expedited review as Review Essays.
The third category is the persuasion brief. This category is the RHM category that while speaking to RHM readership needs to specifically address an external stakeholder that is a non-academic audience or an extra-academic audience. Our version of white papers, persuasion briefs synthesize and explain insights from a body of rhetorical research about a particular set of health or medical practices (including applied communication contexts). They might follow the basic pattern of “Here’s the rhetorical research about topic x, here’s what it has found, and this is why it could be useful or important to x.” With the help of our assistant editors, we will be marketing persuasion briefs to other audiences in an effort to educate those audiences about the work we do and to attempt to make broader impacts outside of our field. While we understand this is a tall order, the only way to make an impact is to try so that’s the purpose of this submission category. Like dialogues, we ask that those wishing to pursue this submission type to get in touch with the editors to talk about your idea.
Persuasion briefs are also unique in that they can undergo expedited peer review or not. It’s up to the author(s) and what they may need in terms of their career. For example, we would encourage early career faculty to write a persuasion brief and we would expect to send it for expedited review, while a senior faculty member may not want/need that option. In any case, all persuasion briefs are reviewed by the editors and the associate editor for this section.
The final category is the commentary. Commentaries are generally editor invited, but you can also send a query to us if you have an idea. They are shorter (not unlike editorial pieces in a newspaper), can be inward or outward facing, should be about an especially timely topic. Commentaries do give you more latitude to be provocative but they are not rants and definitely need to be situated in RHM’s research. These pieces will be typically editor reviewed only.
For all of these submission types, we encourage multi modal enhancements or supplemental materials. The options are limited only by our own innovation and imagination. So be bold and innovative.
You can find a summary of this information on RHM’s website journals dot upress dot u-f-l dot edu slash rhm
And you can always email me or Blake at rhm dot journal dot editors at gmail dot com