- Our First Milestone
With this issue of Latin American Research Review, the editorial committee at McGill completes its first volume, marking a successful year of publishing. The issue also reflects what has been a remarkably smooth transition to a new collaborative relationship between the LARR editorial committee and the LASA secretariat in Pittsburgh. Although the whole process, which actually began in the summer of 2007, certainly had its ups and downs, it was also a learning experience for all of us involved in the production of what remains the preeminent journal in its field.
Aside from some stylistic changes, we believe LARR’s loyal readers will have noted few dramatic changes (aside from a new cover!). We continue to receive and publish roughly the same number of high-quality manuscripts, with no dramatic shifts in the disciplines, methodologies, or general approaches to the research we include in LARR. However, one big change in the works is LARR’s first special issue, “Living in Actually Existing Democracies,” with guest coeditor Nancy Postero from the University of California, San Diego, working directly with me. A second special issue, due out approximately one year after the first, “Contemporary Debates in Ecology, Society and Culture,” is already in the advanced planning stages under the editorship of guest coeditor Marianne Schmink from the University of Florida and José R. Jouve-Martin from the McGill editorial committee.
Another change, and an unexpected one, was that our first co-managing editor at McGill, Valérie Bouchard, has accepted a new position and left McGill to face new challenges working for an environmental nongovernmental organization. Her replacement, Amanda Lockhart, is a most welcome addition to our team and has been working diligently since March 2007.
The transition from one co-managing editor to another could have been the most difficult aspect of the past year and a half’s activities, but it was not. The credit for that goes largely to Mariel Harding, who courageously rose to the occasion as acting co-managing editor for the second issue of LARR. The transition was also made easier by the assistance of Iain Blair. Actually, Iain’s help in publishing LARR has always been important, particularly at the very pivotal stage of proofreading the final copy of each issue. His generous assistance has been invaluable.
As we wrap up a successful first year of publication, it is important to also end with a cautionary note to our contributors. Just as I have endeavored to give credit where credit is due in expressing gratitude to people who have played a central role in helping the McGill editorial committee successfully publish LARR, it is important that authors also give credit [End Page 3] where credit is due when writing their manuscripts. The fear of plagiarism, while not rampant, is always in the background in the minds of journal editors. Although no accusations of plagiarism have been lodged regarding the articles published by the McGill editorial committee, such accusations are not unheard of, and it is important that authors recognize not only the substantive contribution of others to their work but also the ideas and more subtle influences others may have on one’s work. Research is ideally cumulative by nature, but legitimate research needs to appropriately acknowledge the myriad ways it borrows from others’ work. [End Page 4]