We sat down with Professor Ragnar E. Löfstedt, Editor of the Journal of Risk Research, to better understand the journal. We wanted to find out the kind of research the journal publishes, how the journal helps authors to make an impact with their research and to discover where Ragnar sees the journal in the coming years. Here is what he had to say.
To start with can you give us a bit of background to the Journal of Risk Research and the kind of research you publish?
- The Journal of Risk Research was established to promote interdisciplinary research within the field of risk. The Journal seeks to be a catapult for research that is at the forefront of strategic risk management advancements and applications within a variety of disciplines. The Journal is the official publications of the Society for Risk Analysis Europe and Japan.
Why did you want to start this journal and what audience is it seeking to serve?
- Established in 1998, the JRR was conceived as a voice for risk researchers from Europe and Japan. it is a home for the many regional organisations who found they were not getting enough attention from the typically American tone of other risk related journals. More recently, JRR has embraced a larger number of authors and readers from the Australian and New Zealand Academic Risk communities.
Please can you tell us about what you feel the exciting developments with the Journal in the past few years were?
- The publishing and subsequent buzz of Jon Roozenbeek and Sander van der Linden’s article “The fake news game: actively inoculating against the risk of misinformation” was arguably a high point for the journal in 2018. This study developed a ‘fake news game’ which was found to reduce perceived reliability in news amongst players. The article inspired over 80 news stories, for example this one on BBC, and a flurry of tweets.
- In terms of the networking initiatives, we have seen an influx of Society for Risk Analysis Europe regional member groups meeting outside of the annual conference. Many meeting attendees are associated with the journal in some way, be it as contributors, editors or readers, and regional groups include Benelux, Nordic and Iberia, as well as Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
Where do you see the journal in the coming years? What do you want to achieve?
- We see an upward trajectory as a high-quality academic journal that continues to publish timely content from leading authors. Further to this we are actively participating in research promotion activities, such as establishing a twitter account and taking part in an impact pilot study.
What do you think authors are looking for when then they look to publish in a risk journal? Does the Journal of Risk Research give this to authors?
- Compared to other risk related journals in the field the JRR has a strong emphasis on social sciences. For example, Risk Analysis focuses on environmental assessment and the Journal of Risk Regulation has a legal-centric undertone. Authors come to JRR specifically to publish research geared towards risk policy and management, and our readers look to JRR for these sorts of studies. So yes, we have developed a reputation in the field and have achieved an impact factor that is steadily increasing every year; all essential qualities to provide adequate support in promoting our authors.
Are authors seeing their research make a wider impact once they have published in the Journal of Risk Research?
- The quality of the research and the involvement of the author is pivotal in gaining impact around academic studies. We have some really determined authors with fantastic contributions that not only have thousands of readers, but many of our publications spur international debates fuelling articles in reputable entities such as The Washington Post, World Economic Forum and The IPCC.
How do you help authors make this kind of impact with their research?
- I like to think we are good at identifying articles that have a high impact potential, and often encourage these authors to push the boundaries, to reach out of academia when trying to promote their research. Second to this, we provide twitter support in spreading the word through our account as well as through the network of risk academics, professionals and policy makers that we engage with. Finally, we promote face to face topical discussion through our regional meetings.
Finally, how can authors make a meaningful contribution to the journal of Risk Research?
- As with any journal the key is not only high quality submissions but authors that are self motivated to interact with the media, network outside of their disciplines and really make an impact with their research. Authors can make a contribute a paper via our submissions portal
Ragnar E. Löfstedt
Professor of Risk Management
King's College London