A Call for Collaboration and Commitment to Mission

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal

With this issue, the Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal (WSPAJ), the official journal of the Program for the Advancement of Girls and Women in Sport and Physical Activity (PAGWSPA) at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNC-G), enters its 27th year as a leading publication for scholarship on women’s sport and physical activity. Over the years, premier scholars from various disciplines tied together by their interest in issues facing women in sport and physical activity have chosen to publish their work in WSPAJ. I am therefore sincerely honored to become the next editor for WSPAJ. In this editorial, I reflect upon recent accomplishments of the journal, my vision for its future, and the role of collaboration in this effort.

Recent Accomplishments

In 2012, PAGWSPA, housed in the UNC-G Center for Women’s Health and Wellness, gained ownership of the journal. With the transition from the National Association for Girls and Women in Sports to PAGWSPA, Donna Duffy became the managing editor and Diane Gill became the editor. Since 2013, WSPAJ has seen an increase in the number of submissions and continues to improve upon the quality of submissions. This certainly reflects their concerted efforts and strong leadership. I applaud their efforts in successfully navigating the transition of the journal, which continues to provide a quality forum for scholars devoted to working on issues related to women in sport and physical activity. As the incoming editor, I will do my best to support and uphold the mission.

Mission and Vision

Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal, a peer-reviewed journal, provides a forum for scholarship advancing our understanding of women in sport and physical activity. Published biannually, the journal consists of original research using varied methodologies as well as theoretical papers, reviews, practical articles, and commentaries related to women’s sport and physical activity.

The mission of WSPAJ is an important one as there are still many unanswered questions regarding issues facing women (e.g., see Prewitt-White, Feito, Connolly, Bladek, Forsythe, Hamel, & McChesney, 2018; Tinius, Ringenberg, & Maples, 2018, this issue) as well as disparities and differences that affect the health, livelihood, and well-being of women (e.g., see Kane & LaVoi, 2018, this issue). Further, many of the same issues that were apparent when the journal began are still relevant today. For example, Lenskyi (1992) explored the sexual harassment that women experienced in university sport and physical education programs, uncovering themes related to objectification, homophobia, and power dynamics. Hardin, Taylor, Smith, and Welch (2018, this issue) examined sexual harassment among female sport management faculty, finding further support for some of the same themes but offering a new lens, institutional theory, by which to understand the themes. In another instance, Kane and Parks (1992) studied portrayals of professional tennis players in the media finding they reinforced traditional gender roles and hierarchy. Heinecken (2018, this issue), in investigating ESPN’s Nine for IX series, found that the films upheld conventional representations of women that may serve to reinforce traditional gender roles and uphold current power structures in different and more nuanced ways.

These comparisons of scholarly findings are a good reminder that while progress has been made and new insights uncovered there is still much work that needs to be done as the landscape of women sports and physical activity continues to evolve. There is also a need for further investigation of many issues facing women in sport and physical activity to address under what conditions an issue exists; who is affected by the issue; how the issue affects women’s opportunities within sport and physical activity; whether differences, disparities, or inequities exist; how disparities and inequities can be challenged; how findings can be used to advocate for change or make practical recommendations; and what effective resolutions, interventions, or treatments exist. WSPAJ is the venue for publishing such work and my goal is to ensure that it is a “go to” resource for scholars to stay up to date on work related to women in sport and physical activity. For this to occur, I believe we need to continue to increase the number and variety of submissions, improve quality and timeliness of publications, and work on enhanced visibility of the journal.

WSPAJ accepts original research, theoretical papers, reviews, practical articles, and commentaries from a diversity of disciplinary perspectives using varied methodologies. I would like to continue to encourage these submissions; however, I would certainly welcome work that is interdisciplinary or uses mixed method approaches. Exploring issues relevant to women in sport and physical activity is complex and applying an interdisciplinary approach or using multiple methods to collect data may help us embrace this complexity and provide further insight.

While most accepted manuscripts over the last five years have been original research, I would remind authors that theoretical papers, reviews, practical articles, and commentaries are considered for publication. I offer here a bit more clarity as to how practical articles could be structured for consideration within the journal. One example involves describing effective interventions instituted in sport or physical activity settings based on research and best practices and reporting on lessons learned that could inform practitioners. Alternatively, practical articles could take the form of policy recommendations that would outline how individuals and/or organizations could provide more opportunities or break down barriers for women in sport and physical activity.

Special issues that highlight timely topics and make meaningful contributions to our understanding of issues and experiences of women in sport and physical activity are also welcome. I encourage authors to contact the editorial team with a proposal that outlines the rationale and scope for a special issue.

In line with goals set by the previous editorial staff, I will continue to work on improving the quality and timeliness of publications. To assist scholars in their endeavor to produce quality research, our editorial staff will aim to provide useful and timely feedback. I have been impressed by the care our reviewers take in providing thoughtful and constructive feedback to authors. As reviewers are a key component of a quality and timely review process, I will work to recruit more reviewers and share resources that will improve both reviewer feedback and author submissions. For example, to strengthen the quality of journal articles, I encourage authors and reviewers to review the Journal Article Reporting Standards (JARS) just published by the American Psychological Association (Appelbaum et al., 2018; Levitt et al., 2018). These standards, published for reporting of both quantitative and qualitative research, replace the previous JARS noted in the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2010). Another aspect of improving quality is guaranteeing authors a timely review and publication of their work. I will work diligently to reduce the editorial lag time between submissions and editorial decisions. Our publisher, Human Kinetics, has also improved our timeliness of publication by having In Press articles available on the WSPAJ website and in PubMed, including a registered DOI number, to allow authors to share their work sooner.

Meeting Our Mission Through Collaboration

As I embark on this editorial journey, I recognize that the key to meeting our mission is to have a group of experts willing to give of their time and energy to the cause. I feel very fortunate to have such a strong and supportive team in place. The success of WSPAJ depends on a collaborative effort, requiring the assistance and expertise of the editorial board, managing editor, publishing staff, and authors.

Our editorial board is represented by highly regarded scholars from a variety of disciplines who are committed to the mission of the journal. I appreciate their dedication and willingness to provide quality and timely reviews, submit high-quality work to WSPAJ, and share the good work the journal is doing with their colleagues. It is through their efforts that the visibility and quality of the journal will continue to grow. I would also like to highlight transitions and new members to the editorial board. First, I would like to thank Jennifer Waldron for her willingness to serve as the new WSPAJ associate editor. She is a well-known scholar, expert in the field, and a trusted colleague. I look forward to her involvement in the editorial leadership. I also welcome three new board members to the journal: Theodore Butryn (San Jose State University), Guylaine Demers (Laval University), and Leslee Fisher (University of Tennessee-Knoxville). Their varied expertise and commitment to the field will continue to help the journal excel. Finally, Diane Gill and Lavon Williams will transition from their roles as editor and associate editor, respectively, to members of the editorial board. I am particularly thankful for Diane Gill’s willingness to remain on the board, given her vast experience and scholarly endeavors. Her expertise and mentorship has already been invaluable to me and I look forward to working with her during my tenure as editor.

A journal can certainly not function effectively without a strong managing editor and publishing staff. Therefore, I would like to thank Donna Duffy for her insight and dedication to WSPAJ. We are already working on projects (i.e., special issues and awards) that will continue to improve the quality of the journal. I would also like to thank our publishing staff at Human Kinetics for providing an improved publishing platform and excellent staff to navigate the timeliness of editorial decisions and publication. I also appreciate their endeavors to enhance the visibility of the journal by marketing WSPAJ at multiple venues and via social media, providing indexing in Google Scholar for our authors, and helping authors share their work through Kudos (http://journals.humankinetics.com/page/kudos). We will continue to work with them to increase the visibility of WSPAJ.

The quality of the journal also relies on authors’ willingness to submit their best work to WSPAJ. Therefore, I would like to thank those who have submitted their work in the past and welcome leading and emerging scholars to submit their work. Here is a link to our website: https://journals.humankinetics.com/page/authors/wspaj. Through our collective efforts I believe we can continue to foster WSPAJ as a leading scholarly publication for women in sport and physical activity.

References

  • American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

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  • AppelbaumM.CooperH.KlineR.B.Mayo-WilsonE.NezuA.M. & RaoS.M. (2018). Journal article reporting standards for quantitative research in psychology: The APA publications and communications board task force report. American Psychologist 73325. doi:10.1037/amp0000191

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  • KaneM.J. & ParksJ.B. (1992). The social construction of gender difference and hierarchy in sport journalism: Few new twists on very old themes. Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal 14983. doi:10.1123/wspaj.1.1.49

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  • LenskyiH. (1992). Unsafe at home base: Women’s experiences of sexual harassment in university sport and physical education. Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal 11933. doi:10.1123/wspaj.1.1.19

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  • LevittH.M.BamberM.CreswellJ.W.FrostD.M.JosselsonR. & Suárez-OrozcoC. (2018). Journal article reporting standards for qualitative primary, qualitative meta-analytic, and mixed methods research in psychology: The APA publications and communications board task force report. American Psychologist 732646. doi:10.1037/amp0000151

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References
  • American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • AppelbaumM.CooperH.KlineR.B.Mayo-WilsonE.NezuA.M. & RaoS.M. (2018). Journal article reporting standards for quantitative research in psychology: The APA publications and communications board task force report. American Psychologist 73325. doi:10.1037/amp0000191

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KaneM.J. & ParksJ.B. (1992). The social construction of gender difference and hierarchy in sport journalism: Few new twists on very old themes. Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal 14983. doi:10.1123/wspaj.1.1.49

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LenskyiH. (1992). Unsafe at home base: Women’s experiences of sexual harassment in university sport and physical education. Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal 11933. doi:10.1123/wspaj.1.1.19

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LevittH.M.BamberM.CreswellJ.W.FrostD.M.JosselsonR. & Suárez-OrozcoC. (2018). Journal article reporting standards for qualitative primary, qualitative meta-analytic, and mixed methods research in psychology: The APA publications and communications board task force report. American Psychologist 732646. doi:10.1037/amp0000151

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
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