Focus and Scope

The Journal of Research Practice (JRP) seeks to develop our understanding of research as a type of practice, so as to extend and enhance that practice in future. The journal aims to highlight the dynamics of research practice, as it unfolds in the life of a researcher, in the growth and decline of a field, and in relation to a changing social and institutional environment. The journal welcomes deliberation on the basic issues and challenges encountered by researchers in any specific domain. The journal aims to explore why and how different activities, criteria, methods, and languages become part of research practice in any domain. This is expected to trigger interdisciplinary dialogue, mutual learning, facilitate research education, and promote innovations in different fields.

The scope of JRP is not defined in terms of academic disciplines of professional fields. It cuts across disciplines and fields by drawing out the living dimensions of research unfolding through history, culture, research communities, professions, and of course the lives of individual researchers. The journal seeks to study the evolving patterns of thinking and practice that underlie open inquiry in any domain. The scope also includes topics such as research training, research design, research utilisation, research policy, and innovative forms of research. The journal targets all researchers, scholars, research-inclined professionals, and research students, irrespective of their disciplinary background. It seeks to attract reflective articles on the dynamics and challenges of research practice in context, as well as articles presenting experiences and learning from research carried out in an innovative way (for more information about the focus areas of this journal, see JRP Concept Hierarchy).

In order to promote wider participation in these deliberations, JRP is published electronically in the open access mode.

Peer Review Process

Each submission is first examined by the editor for its relevance to the focus, scope, and editorial perspective of JRP. If found relevant, it is next examined to check whether the Author Guidelines have been followed adequately, especially the guidelines on "Language and Tone." The submission is expected to contain some critical self-reflection by the author(s) and be written for the broad and multidisciplinary readership of JRP. Submission abstracts are then shared in the JRP Forum (implemented through the "Research_Practice" electronic group). Reviewers are generally selected from this forum. A submission is assigned to two or more reviewers. Reviewers are requested to practise transparency and integrity in discharging their duty, declaring any possible competing interest that may interfere with their judgement. They are also requested to write their comments so as to be informative and helpful to the authors. The typical time taken to review is about 4-6 weeks. After the editorial decision is made, all the reviewers get to read each other's review.

Editorial Perspective

1. Reflecting on and Discussing Research Practice

Research is an adventure. Doing research means to explore partly or entirely unknown territory for which no reliable maps are available. Research, then, requires improvisation and a willingness to face surprises, be it exciting success or disappointing setbacks. Research promises those moments of sudden understanding and insight—moments in which new conjectures or questions emerge, or new observations, ideas, or methods that lead us on. Only with hindsight can we usually tell what has been key to success or failure, what avenues of thought have been fruitful and which others have led us astray.

In the research literature, we read much about results and the supposedly straightforward methods that lead to those results, but little about the experience of doing research, the difficulties and detours involved, and the issues encountered in real-world contexts of application. We read little about how researchers can learn the art of doing research. Even less we read about what it could mean to do high-quality research in the context of real-world decision-making and professional intervention.

The literature about research hardly responds to the needs of research practitioners. Although there exists a body of literature about the nature of research in general, about epistemology and science theory, hermeneutics, critical social theory, and so on, there appears to be much less in terms of philosophical and methodological guidelines for doing research under real-word conditions of problem solving, decision making, and managing innovation, in the contemporary landscape of research.

The Journal of Research Practice aims to help close this gap in the literature, by promoting reflection and debate among practising researchers and everyone concerned with research practice. The journal aims to overcome the fragmentation and over-specialisation that increasingly hinder meaningful dialogue among researchers, as also between researchers and the general public.

Looking at the contemporary realities of research, we find it divided not only among disciplines and specialities, but also ironically among research perspectives upheld by notions of method. While such plurality can add strength to the overall repertoire of research, it can also make researchers impervious to the generic qualities of their task, and thus forget their common roots. This appears to weaken their capacity to respond to new challenges in a satisfactory way.

This danger seems more real today, with researchers branching out into ever new contexts, entering into new alliances, and accepting new challenges—even those for which their tools and methods are not well adapted. As a result, there is a pressure to change, to adapt the tools and methods, while ensuring that the activity will still be regarded as research.

The Journal of Research Practice addresses everyone interested in the practice of research, including both practitioners and users of research, including both policy makers and citizens. The journal also addresses research theorists and research philosophers with a particular interest in what it takes to promote relevant and responsible research practice in applied contexts. Likewise, the journal addresses professionals in all applied disciplines that involve the use of research, for example:

  • researchers engaged in public and private sector problem solving and planning (e.g., management consultants, policy analysts, evaluation researchers, and trustees);
  • researchers engaged in science-based and technical fields of practice (e.g., industrial and systems engineers, environmental designers, and public health specialists);
  • researchers engaged in fields of practice drawing particularly on the social sciences (e.g., survey researchers, community researchers, and social planners);
  • helping professions (e.g., general practitioners, counsellors, therapists, nurses, and social workers);
  • teaching professions (e.g., specialists engaged in adult education and continuing professional education as well as civic education); and ultimately,
  • all reflective practitioners and individuals interested in a responsible use of research methods and results.

The Journal of Research Practice is expected to facilitate learning and communication among researchers and research users, cutting across disciplines and professions. The focus of such learning and communication is anticipated to be on examining the current practices of doing and using research so as to extend the reach and relevance of research.

2. Connecting Researchers

The Journal of Research Practice seeks to develop our understanding of research—that is, any form of organised enquiry—as it takes place in various disciplines and professions, especially in applied contexts, in which it may make a difference to what counts as good and rational practice. By publishing critically reflective accounts of research in all domains, the journal aims to explore why and how particular principles and practices become part of organised enquiry in particular contexts, and what generic learning can be derived from it by researchers working in other contexts. This should also serve the broader purpose of extending organised enquiry as a whole by learning from the successful and unsuccessful innovations in different areas of research.

More specifically, the journal is interested in these research-related topics:

(a) Research as a practice: What consequences does it have to view research as an evolving practice? When is such practice to be considered sound and competent? What responsibilities of the research community to itself and to the public must also be considered, especially in cases where a research process (or product) leads to negative externalities?

(b) Open enquiry: What does it involve to pursue the possibility of open enquiry consistently, even in areas where it may appear to be difficult or meet with resistance?

(c) Connecting researchers: How can researchers and research users create reflective conversations across disciplinary and professional boundaries?

(d) Contexts of research: How do contexts in which researchers find themselves differ and how should research frameworks and tools be adapted to these differences so as to promote the relevance, validity, and reflective practice of research?

(e) Contemporary key challenges: What are the particular challenges that competent research should address today, with a view to bridge multiple global divides, address institutional malfunctioning, exploit the power of connective and cooperative technologies, and advance lifelong learning?

(f) Research education: What does it take to educate practising researchers, as well as professionals, policy makers, and citizens worldwide, so that they can engage with research, assess its results, and participate in public discussion about the role of research and researchers?

3. An Invitation

The Journal of Research Practice aspires to become a shared space for individuals who are interested in learning about these and related topics, and who would like to contribute to their development as readers, authors, editors, reviewers, or commentators. Our philosophy of publishing offers a maximum of openness and flexibility to all conceivable forms of engagement and participation. Please join us in this endeavour and contribute your ideas, projects, and challenges.

Journal of Research Practice
. . . connecting researchers

Sources of Support


The Journal of Research Practice relies on sponsorship rather than charging authors or readers to meet its cost of operations. The journal adheres to a strict policy of keeping all internal roles in the journal independent of the financial contributions one may make. Assignment of any internal roles (such as reviewer, editor, etc.) depends exclusively on demonstrated competence, along with interest in the journal's aims and scholarly engagement with the journal. This said, the journal gratefully welcomes financial support from anyone interested in the journal, including our authors, readers, reviewers, and editorial members. The main sponsorship options are listed below:

Institutional Sponsorship
We invite research-oriented institutions to support the journal by making an annual commitment of USD 100–1,000 for a term of at least 3 years. Their names and logos will be displayed in the “Current Sponsors & Contributors” section of this page during the period of their sponsorship, and in the “Past Sponsors & Contributors” section thereafter. During the period of sponsorship, the logo will appear on every page of the journal website.

Occasional Institutional Contribution
Alternatively, research-oriented institutions may contribute USD 100–1,000 for a specific year, without any promise of continuing the support. Their names will be displayed in the “Current Sponsors & Contributors” section of this page during the year of their contribution, and in the “Past Sponsors & Contributors” section thereafter.

Personal Sponsorship
Individuals who can spare USD 50–200 per annum for a term of at least 3 years will be enlisted as the journal’s Personal Sponsors. Their names will be displayed in the “Current Sponsors & Contributors” section of this page during the period of their sponsorship, and in the “Past Sponsors & Contributors” section thereafter.

Occasional Personal Contribution
Alternatively, individuals may contribute USD 50–200 for a specific year, without any promise of continuing the support. Their names will be displayed in the “Current Sponsors & Contributors” section of this page during the year of their contribution, and in the “Past Sponsors & Contributors” section thereafter.

Sponsorship Proposals

New sponsorship or contribution proposals should be communicated to the Principal Contact.

Payment Instructions

1. Bank Details
Bank Name: RHB Bank Berhad
Bank Address: 256 Jalan Padungan, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Bank Identifier Code (BIC): Same as SWIFT Code
IBAN, ABA, Sort Code, Clearing Number, and other codes: Not applicable in Malaysia
N.B. The above Bank Address indicates the branch where our account is held. But, the above SWIFT code pertains to the bank’s Kuala Lumpur office, which serves as the primary branch dealing with inter-bank transactions.

2. Payee’s Details
Account Number: 2–11016–00065829
Payee’s Name and Address: Swinburne Sarawak Sdn Bhd, Jalan Simpang Tiga, 93350 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Company Registration No. 497194-M
GST/VAT Registration No. 002 033 672 192
Transaction Purpose: Contribution to the Journal of Research Practice, for the year . . .
N.B. “Sdn Bhd” stands for Sendirian Berhad, which in Malay language means Private Limited.

3. Transaction Charges
Select the default cost sharing option for your bank (many banks follow the option: “costs for the transactions are shared”); in addition, you are advised to use online banking, which typically involves lower transaction charges than conventional payment orders.
N.B. We are unable to advise you on how to minimise transaction charges because we do not have full information about how these charges are determined.

4. Payment Information
Please send an e-mail to the journal’s accounts office (, with a copy to including the following details:
(a) Your full name and address
(b) Payment details (i.e., an electronic copy of the bank transaction slip)
(c) Purpose for which the payment is made (e.g., “Sponsorship for the Journal of Research Practice, for 3 years: 2017–2019, or “Contribution to the Journal of Research Practice, for the year 2017”)
(d) Whether we have your permission to display your name and logo in the journal website (in that case, exactly how the name should appear, a copy of the logo, and the URL link we should use on the logo)
N.B. All payments received are acknowledged, normally within 5 days after the amount has been credited to our bank account.

Current Sponsors & Contributors

Institutional Sponsors
[2005–2016] Xavier Institute of Management, INDIA
[2013–2019] Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus, MALAYSIA
[2013–2019] Siddha Development Research and Consultancy, INDIA

Occasional Institutional Contributors
[2017] Instituto de Ciências Agrárias e Ambientais Mediterrânicas (ICAAM), Universidade de Évora, PORTUGAL

Personal Sponsors
[2014–2018] Werner Ulrich, SWITZERLAND
[2015–2016] Gerard de Zeeuw, UNITED KINGDOM
[2016–2016] Anonymous Donor, UNITED STATES
[2016–2019] Charles J. Vukotich, Jr., UNITED STATES

Occasional Personal Contributors

Past Sponsors & Contributors

Institutional Sponsors
[2005–2013] Lugano Summer School of Systems Design, University of Italian Switzerland, SWITZERLAND

Occasional Institutional Contributors
[2005] Land & Water Australia, AUSTRALIA
[2005] Nokia Research Center, PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
[2005–2006] Center for Science in Society, Bryn Mawr College, UNITED STATES
[2005–2006] Sociedad de Desarrollo Tecnologico USACH Ltda., CHILE
[2014] Coventry University, UNITED KINGDOM

Personal Sponsors

Occasional Personal Contributors
[2005] Gerard de Zeeuw, UNITED KINGDOM
[2005] Manaswee Kumar Samal, INDIA
[2005] Richard Modjeski, UNITED STATES
[2005–2006] Zvi Bekerman, ISRAEL
[2006] Carey Noland, UNITED STATES
[2013] Richard J. Ormerod, UNITED KINGDOM
[2014] Alice B. Kelly, UNITED STATES
[2014] Clare Gupta, UNITED STATES
[2014] Louise Fortmann, UNITED STATES
[2014] Peter Gill, AUSTRALIA

Page updated: March 2019