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JARS Enters the Editorial Manager Age

The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies (JARS) has undergone so many changes since its inception in the Fall of 1999. The original vision of Bill Bradford [.pdf essay], and cofounded by Bill, Stephen Cox, and me, the journal began with an all-star Board of Advisors. We were an upstart double-blind peer-reviewed periodical daring to become the first authentic forum for the scholarly discussion of the work and impact of Ayn Rand. We opened our pages to writers, from left to right, and coming from virtually every discipline across the scholarly spectrum. We faced resistance and outright condemnation from the usual suspects both within Rand-land and without (and you know who you are); we had a few missteps along the way ... but here we are... surviving... indeed, flourishing.

JARS is now indexed by nearly two dozen abstracting services in the social sciences and the humanities. The first of the two issues of our seventeenth volume (and thirty-third issue overall, which includes the double issue devoted to "Nathaniel Branden: His Work and Legacy") has just been published this month. By the end of 2017, we will have published about 370 essays by around 170 authors (obviously some of these authors have contributed more than one essay to the journal over the last seventeen years). And we have made it a policy to never publish an issue without at least one contribuor who has, as yet, not appeared in our pages. With lots of hard work from too many folks to thank here, in 2013, we went from an independently published journal to one of 56 journals published by Pennsylvania State University Press. As part of the Penn State Press family, we benefit from both print and electronic publication (the latter through JSTOR and Project Muse). And because Penn State Press markets its journals as a bundle, every time an educational, business or institutional library adds even one Penn State Press journal to its collection, it must take the entire slate of PSUP periodicals. Consequently, our issues and essays are now being accessed, through electronic media, by thousands and thousands of people worldwide. Our accessibility and visibility, indeed, has increased exponentially, as we had hoped.

Today, I am happy to announce that our rigorous review process will benefit from a new technology that, by the end of the year, will be the standard for all Penn State Press journals. It will further the efficiency of our review process, from the moment an article is submitted by an author all the way through to its publication. Whereas previously authors were submitting essays directly to me, all authors will now submit essays for consideration to Editorial Manager. Editors, authors, peer readers, and the Penn State Press production team will have various levels of access through this interface to assure the integrity of the double-blind review process and the timely turnover of peer reader reports.

This is just one more step in our remarkable odyssey from New Kid on the Block to being the only bona fide biannual double-blind peer-reviewed scholarly periodical devoted to the study of Ayn Rand and her times.