Nico Schulenkorf1, Emma Sherry2, Justin Richards3,4
1 University of Technology Sydney, Australia
2 Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
3 University of Sydney, Australia
4 Community Sport, Sport New Zealand, New Zealand
Citation: Schulenkorf N, Sherry E, Richards J. JSFD in times of change: A reflection on milestones met and challenges ahead. Journal of Sport for Development. 2018; 6(11): 38-39.
- Further diversification
Despite JSFD’s success in engaging scholars from across the globe, we challenge the new editorial team to further diversify in regard to both geographical and cultural representation. We acknowledge that this diversification is a difficult process, given the relatively small number of academic positions in LMICs that are specifically relevant to SFD. However, more can and should be done in the future to engage with – and benefit from – scholars in LMICs across the globe who have expertise in sport-related development work.
- Maintain and sustain
JSFD was founded and has always been run on a voluntary basis to ensure it could be sustained, despite a volatile SFD funding environment. The journal was built on the premise that knowledge that can improve the lives of others should be disseminated and accessed free of charge. We challenge the new editorial team to maintain this model of free information sharing, which is particularly pertinent in LMICs where scholars and practitioners contend with very limited access to academic journal subscriptions and resources.
- Academic kudos
JSFD is a relatively young outlet for scholarly work and faces challenges in an academic environment where there is an increasing focus on journal rankings and impact factors. We challenge the new editorial team to solicit academic articles from leading scholars in the field and further build the reputation and citation profile of JSFD. The wheels have been set in motion for JSFD to be indexed in the Emerging Sources Citation Index. This development would provide JSFD with an important mark of quality and legitimacy; moreover, it promises to improve JSFD’s visibility through direct affiliation with the Web of Science. We feel that this presents an immediate organizational priority for the new leadership team.
- Relevance of output
JSFD has always focused on producing research outputs that are pertinent to policy and practice. The relevance of traditional academic outputs is being increasingly questioned and the way information is generated and consumed is rapidly evolving. We challenge the new editorial team to embrace innovative approaches to research and novel ways to communicate with JSFD’s target audience. This includes publishing evaluations developed in partnership with industry and practitioner co-authors and continuing to encourage research at the intersection between theory and practice.
- Breadth and depth
The contributions to JSFD since its inaugural issue have been wide and varied. However, there have been areas of work relevant to JSFD that have not featured strongly in the journal. The lack of published research about livelihoods and gender equity within the SFD sector has previously been noted in a review of existing studies.2 We challenge the new editorial team to further establish the evidence-base in these under-published areas and to continue to work with guest editors to develop special issues tackling novel areas of research.
In closing, we look back on when JSFD was conceived six years ago as an open-access, peer-reviewed academic journal managed by a dedicated group of inter-disciplinary scholars. A key goal was to publish high-quality SFD research that was attractive to fellow researchers, implementers and policymakers from around the world. We believe that with the groundwork firmly laid, the new leadership trio – with support from JSFD’s incredible operations team – is well positioned to steer the journal to new heights.
The Outgoing Editors
 Richards J, Kaufman Z, Schulenkorf N, Wolff E, Gannett K, Siefken K, et al. Advancing the evidence base of sport for development: A new open-access, peer-reviewed journal. Journal of Sport for Development. 2013;1(1):1-3.
 Schulenkorf N, Sherry E, Rowe K. Sport-for-Development: An Integrated Literature Review. Journal of Sport Management. 2016;30(1):22-39.