Editor’s Note: As part of our celebration of Open Access Week, we are posting brief interviews with editors of OA journals who are part of the OSU or Ohio community. Read the previous interviews with Lynn Elfner, acting editor of the Ohio Journal of Science, and George Billman, editor of Frontiers in Physiology.

Today’s interview is with Joe Donnermeyer, Professor in the School of Environment and Natural Resources, editor of the International Journal of Rural Criminology (IJRC), and co-editor of the Journal of Amish and Plan Anabaptist Studies (JAPAS), both of which are published the the OSU Libraries Publishing Program. We asked Joe to answer a few questions about his experience launching and editing IJRC.

Q: How did you come to edit the International Journal of Rural Criminology?

A: The International Journal of Rural Criminology filled a great need in the area of criminology, especially criminology in the U.S.  U.S. criminology is very biased to crime as expressed in an urban context, yet, there is plenty of evidence that rural communities have as much crime, if not more for certain types of offending, than urban America.  Gradually, during the 1990s and the first years of this new century, a growing cadre of criminology scholars turned their attention to rural criminology subject matter. Hence, the establishment of IJRC in 2011 seemed liked the “right time” and the Knowledge Bank seemed like the “right place.”

Q: How is open access viewed in your field? Did you have any concerns about editing an OA journal?

A: There are many journals in criminology, and most scholars recognize the dual challenges associated with the rigorous standards of the top-ranked journals, and the “office politics” and cronyism necessary to have one’s manuscript seriously considered by the editor.  Given the number of specializations in criminology, there are a host of very rigorous journals in terms of standards for publication, but not ranked as highly because their subject matter is more specialized, hence, a smaller network of scholars cite the publications.  Some of these are online journals, or, are “hard copy” journals which have now turned to online publication in order to be competitive and attract scholars who desire more rapid publication of their work in response to the demands for promotion and tenure at their universities.

Q: Has the openness of IJRC benefited it? Have you had any interesting interactions with readers who would not have had access to it otherwise?

A: In my field of rural criminology, open access is a big benefit, and in two ways.  It provides a focused or centralized outlet for rural-related criminology work, and it strengthens the international network of scholars who are interested in rural criminology topics.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share about the journal or about open access publishing?

A: Open access journals, like the International Journal of Rural Criminology, do not function effectively without good cooperation between the editor and reviewers/editorial board, and the editor and the staff who administer the journal’s repository.  Foremost to effective cooperation is a shared attitude or ethos given to the importance of advancing and/or improving scholarship.