Editorial: Publishing in the Journal of Research Administration: A Call to Action for all Research Administrators

Volume XLVII, Number 1
Tim Linker, CRA, MS, MIS
High Point University
Nathan L. Vanderford, PhD, MBA
University of Kentucky

Research administrators are critical actors in a complex research enterprise. Too often we do not disseminate our valuable knowledge and the innovative methods and systems that we use to solve complex problems that ultimately allow the research enterprise to move forward. Each of us has unique contributions to our field that should be shared with others, and the Journal of Research Administration is the ideal platform for doing just that.

The Journal of Research Administration is an award-winning, premier, academic, peer-reviewed publication in the field of research administration and management. For 47 years, the Journal has been dedicated to the education and professional development of research administrators and to the growth of the field through its publication of articles covering the evolving research environment and innovation in research administration. The Journal focuses on inclusivity in terms of content, visibility in terms of accessibility to both a national and international audience, and innovation by highlighting original research and novel research administration strategies that inform the field. With an easy submissions process, including a rigorous and timely peer review, the Journal of Research Administration is the perfect venue for advancing your career, your ideas, and the field.

Being an influencer in one’s profession begins by sharing your insight with your peers in order to facilitate learning from each other’s practices, strategies, and research. This communication is the primary objective of the Journal of Research Administration: we enable administrators to share their experiences with their peers from other institutions. We encourage our readers to contribute to the ongoing dialogue offered by the Journal to provide a much-needed voice from the administrative perspective while supporting their overall growth as professionals working within the academy.

It is essential to recognize that the benefits of publishing extend far beyond those afforded to scholars and tenure-track faculty. In fact, there are many advantages to publishing as a research administrator. While LinkedIn posts and internal university or departmental publications help one develop a personal brand to some degree, a formal, peer-reviewed publication demonstrates that, more than just a participant, you are an influencer who actively changes and contributes to the field’s growth and development. As a soon-to-be open access publication, the Journal of Research Administration ensures that your article will be discoverable by your peers and future employers, thus greatly enhancing your resume both in academia and beyond. As explained by marketing strategist Dorie Clark, “One of the most underused forms of professional development is creating [content]… when you share your knowledge publicly, your expertise can be recognized – and you’ll reap the benefits” (2016). Publishing is one of the primary means by which one can contribute to one’s professional development; this trend is evidenced by leaders in a wide range of fields, from CEOs¹ to publishers² to human resource specialists.³

Your contribution to an academic journal can be equally as significant, if not more, for your environment as it is for you personally. Research administrators are essential members of the research enterprise who both understand the issues faced by the contemporary university, non- profit, and industry environments and speak their languages. This means that you already have the field-specific vocabulary and communication skills needed to write an excellent and effective scholarly article. Additionally, you likely have something incredibly important to say as an influencer within your field. While you may find that key decision makers’ eyes glaze over when you speak up at meetings or that your emails get lost in the administrative deluge, academics and board members tend to have a high degree of respect for professional publications. Contributing an article to a scholarly journal is thus an excellent way to have your voice heard both by your current and future colleagues while contributing to the overall growth of your field. We encourage each of you to consider contributing an article to the Journal in order to benefit your individual career and the profession in general.

Tim Linker is the Director for Research Administration and Sponsored Programs at High Point University, High Point, North Carolina and the Editor for the Journal of Research Administration.

Nathan L. Vanderford is Assistant Professor, Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology, College of Medicine; Assistant Director for Research, Markey Cancer Center; Assistant Dean for Academic Development, College of Medicine at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky and Deputy Editor for the Journal of Research Administration.

Correspondence should be addressed to Tim Linker at High Point University, One University Parkway, Drawer 66, Roberts Hall 350, High Point, NC 27268; telephone: (336) 841-9313; email: tlinker@highpoint.edu or Nathan L. Vanderford at 800 Rose Street, CC140, Lexington, KY 40536; telephone: (859) 323-2622; email: nathan.vanderford@uky.edu.


American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers [AACRAO]. (2013, April 10). Professional development planning tool. Retrieved from http://

Clark, D. (2016, January 7). Plan your professional development for the year. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2016/01/plan-your-professional-development- for-the-year

Cox, M. D. (2014, September 9). How do I prepare a SoTL article for publication? [Online program summary]. Retrieved from http://www.magnapubs.com/online/ mentor/ how-do-i-prepare-a-sotl-article-for-publication-3174-1.html

Kuccheriavy, A. (2015, October 27). How to become a business influencer. Huffington Post.
Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/young-entrepreneur-council/ how-to-become-a-business_b_8363136.html

¹ Andrew Kucheriavy, Founder and CEO of Intechnic, explained that, “The most effective way to be known as an industry influencer is to add value to conversations in your industry” (2015, para. 7). One way “this can be done [is] through contributing articles to niche trade publications” (para. 7).

² In an article targeting university administrators, Professor Milton D. Cox of Magna Publications explained that, “Although only your department chair can say for certain whether your SoTL [scholarship of teaching and learning] project will help you achieve tenure and other career goals, all academics understand the importance of publishing” (2014, para. 8).

³ The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, AACRAO, includes publication as one of three key areas essential to professional development for administrative employees in college settings (2013).