A Descriptive Study of Manuscripts and Reviewers for the Armed Forces and Society Journal
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Purpose: The purpose of this Applied Research Project is to analyze and describe the infrastructure of AF&S reviewers compared to manuscripts submitted from January 2002 to October 2003. The focus is to describe the reviewers' areas of expertise and identify any possible gaps in their conjoint capabilities against the topical content of manuscripts submitted for publication. This research relies on content analysis and archival record analysis of the Armed Forces & Society reviewer database, abstracts and manuscripts from January 2002 through October 1, 2003. The basis for the conceptual framework is grounded in the manuscript topic form developed by the former AF&S editor James Burk and the literature review of Chapter Two. Both serve as background material to enable an understanding of the field and the scope of topics covered in Armed Forces & Society. Key Findings and Recommendations: The most notable finding was the quality of the Microsoft Access reviewer database. Due to errors/omissions in coding, only 320 of the 694 reviewers (46%) were fully usable. Another key finding involves the dissimilarity between the reviewer information form on the Inter-University Seminar website and the reviewer form utilized by the editorial staff. Additionally, Texas A&M's Cushing Memorial Library has established rules for handling/using archival records that are unhelpful and counterproductive to researching the journal’s archives. Recommendations to correct these findings include completely updating the reviewer database, developing a new reviewer form, and locally storing electronic manuscript archives.