When SUNY Oswego faculty member Jaclyn Schildkraut and colleague Sarah Daly of Saint Vincent College saw existing publications not providing enough articles on an important topic, they decided to start their own journal.

The Journal of Mass Violence Research -- which went from concept to being ready to accept submissions in just 23 days -- expects to produce high-quality and accessible work on such areas as school shootings, mass or active shootings, international and domestic terrorism, serial murder and genocide. Beyond the usual goals for a journal, this one seeks to prevent the kinds of issues it would cover.

Schildkraut, associate professor of criminal justice at SUNY Oswego, knew Daly -- assistant professor of criminology, law and society at Saint Vincent College -- from the field and from contributing two chapters in Daly’s book “Assessing and Averting the Prevalence of Mass Violence.” But the collaboration really took off when the Oswego professor was a guest on Daly’s podcast.

Daly had tweeted about looking for guests on her “Culture and Crime Talks” series on YouTube, which involves experts from the field watching a TV show or movie and analyzing how it depicts aspects of criminology. Schildkraut was happy to oblige.

“When we were working on that episode, Sarah and I started talking about issues getting our research published,” Schildkraut recalled. “We work in niche areas, which tend not to be as well received by mainstream journals. So we finally said we should just start our own journal.”

“One of the common frustrations among criminologists is when policymakers don’t listen to us, but we have to share some of that responsibility as a profession,” Daly explained. “We tend to write and publish in ways that policymakers can’t find or understand our work. It doesn’t help anybody if it’s just sitting in a library or a virtual repository behind a paywall.”

This field is vital to public policy, and the journal provides a vehicle to support timely discussions, they said.

Accessibility key

“What’s really important is making the research accessible,” Schildkraut said. “We asked: How do we provide this information that is more data-driven so policymakers have access to it?”

They also want to incorporate visual aspects like video and infographics to broaden the appeal of the journal, which invites submissions across disciplines.

“Criminal justice is so multidisciplinary, so we’re really trying to develop it this way, as it dovetails with sociology, history, public health and law,” Schildkraut said. 

They do not plan to use the journal to publish their own work but do want to have the publication bring new voices into conversations around these topics.

“We’re trying to encourage early-career researchers and students to submit,” Schildkraut said, with a goal of being a publication that can provide an outlet for newer and emerging scholars in the discipline.

“We’re more focused on the content and the quality of the submissions because we want to be innovative and we want to encourage innovative methodologies,” Schildkraut said.

“We don’t value one kind of methodology over the others,” Daly added. “All of them are useful.”

One thing they do value is how they can open up who participates in the conversation on these topics of everyday importance.

“I’m excited to be a co-founder of this journal with another woman,” Daly said, adding that they were proud to put together a very diverse editorial board.

“Our field and our subdiscipline is predominantly men. We feel it’s important to bring more voices into the conversation, especially since most mass violence is committed by men,” Schildkraut said. 

The deadline for the inaugural edition is April 1, although they will accept submissions on a rolling basis.

For more information, visit the Journal of Mass Violence Research website.