For ten years, the RSD Symposia have contributed to the evolution of the systemic design discipline and practice community, with an ongoing programme of late-breaking studies, novel systems methods, extraordinary keynotes and the development of discourse through several publication outlets. Until recently, the publication opportunities offered were to publish in journal special issues, following symposium proceedings. A pro forma sequence of publication, often called a “publishing ladder,” suggests the increasing level of scholarship demanded at each step. However, the reliance on SDA “partner” journals, even those as well-regarded as She Ji and FORM Akademisk, leads to an inconsistent corpus of literature and does not lead to opportunities for developing better scholars. The most compelling reason for owning the publication process is that the range of emerging studies and depth of scholarship now in systemic design calls for a home journal, with its own body of reviewers knowledgeable in the discipline and its issues and objectives.
Therefore, a working group of the SDA decided to launch a society publication. The Publications Working Group met over the first half of the year to define options and assess feasibility and publisher and hosting options. As the new SDA site was being developed, the capabilities for self-publishing and managing reviews were carefully considered.
The SDA also announces our first call for manuscripts for the inaugural issue of the Journal of the Systemic Design Association. The “Journal of the SDA” will be the title designate until a distinctive title is approved (look for a member survey to solicit feedback on a short title). The SDA Journal will launch with two semi-annual issues per year, and we hope to start the first issue with a small number of quality articles to be published by the end of 2021.
Three publication titles are envisioned. The Journal will publish peer-reviewed research articles and final work developed from RSD proceedings. Design Briefs will publish essays and selected systemic design case studies chosen by editorial review. We will also host an online collection of gigamaps and other system maps (with abstracts). The RSD “publication ladder” will still apply, where the sharing of early and original ideas at the RSD conference is privileged over final study presentations.
Please contact Peter Jones.