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Monthly Archives: November 2015

Tribute to Former SLGR Managing Editor, Leslie Lamb

Leslie Lamb

On August 24, SAGE honored Leslie Lamb for her distinguished service as Managing Editor of the State and Local Government Review.  A beautiful plaque was presented to Leslie at a luncheon hosted by Dr. Richard Campbell who was previously State and Local Editor. Mike Scicchitano, the current Editor, called during the luncheon to offer his congratulations to Leslie.

Leslie did a superlative job during her stint as Managing Editor and was able to make it possible for a seamless transition for State and Local from The Carl Vinson Institute at the University of Georgia to SAGE.  Her affable personality, commitment to excellence, and team spirit approach to her job were genuine qualities that were noticed by everyone who came into contact with her. 

Congratulations Leslie! 

SGLR Blog News

Over the last several months, articles published in State and Local Government Reviewhave received increased attention as featured content on state, national, and international blogs.  Most recently, an article by Kathleen Marchetti entitled “Consider the Context: How State Policy Environments Shape Interest Group Advocacy” (Volume 47, September 2015 issue) was the subject of a blog post on the London School of Economics (LSE), US Centre’s daily blog on American Politics and Policy (USAPP).  Earlier this year, the same blog highlighted research from Marcia L. Godwin’s article “Civic Engagement and Fiscal Stress in American Cities:  Insights from the Great Recession” (SLGR 2014 Special Issue: Volume 47, December issue). 

At the state and local government level, blogs statescoop and Route 50 spotlighted work from Lowatcharin and Menifield’s SLGR article “Determinants of Internet-Enabled Transparency at the Local Level: A Study of Midwestern County Websites” (Volume 47, June 2015 issue).

Blogs are a great venue for connecting SLGR-published research with practitioners.  For example, a link to Godwin’s blog post was emailed by Public Agenda staff to a participatory budgeting research group and the executive director of a participatory politics organization also tweeted about the relevance of the post.  Sage, the publishers of SLGR, provided a link to the original article, which led to Godwin’s article being the most read SLGR article for the month when the blog was posted.

Links to all blogs and articles mentioned above are available on the SLGR blog at slgrjournal.wordpress.com.  Please check them out and join the dialogue. 

SLGR’s Young Scholars Research Program

As word continues to spread about State and Local Government Review’s Young Scholars Research Program, we constantly are receiving encouragement and positive feedback as well as praise for recognizing the need for this program and launching it two years ago.  To date, we have received a steady stream of inquiries about how the program works and whether one’s research would be of interest to State and Local.  Even if a manuscript is not something that we think would be of interest to State and Local’s audience, Editor Mike Scicchitano provides feedback to authors about such critical matters as presenting a clear research question early on in the manuscript, providing a sound and complete literature review from which to generate hypotheses, carefully selecting appropriate data to test hypotheses, crafting valid and reliable measures of independent and dependent variables, choosing appropriate an methodology and statistics, providing a clear presentation of one’s findings, delineating the implications of one’s findings for existing theories or practitioner consumption, and offering ideas for future research.  

Since the inception of the Program, we have refined the review process to facilitate the flow of and feedback for manuscripts.  Initially, Mike Scicchitano would review manuscripts or abstracts submitted to him on an informal basis and then determine if they were potentially suitable for SLGR based on the subject matter and the quality of the research.  If a manuscript was deemed appropriate for the journal, he would provide some feedback as to how it could be improved before the author(s) submitted her/his/their manuscript for an official review.  Presently, manuscripts that are judged to be potentially suitable for State and Local by the Editor are examined in an initial review process. The manuscripts are sent to 2-3 recognized scholars in the subject area for an initial blind review to determine if the paper has enough merit to warrant encouraging the author(s) to continue developing the manuscript.  The referees are informed that the manuscript is being considered for an initial review under the Young Scholars program. To help us tractk manuscripts submitted under the Program, Sage has created a new category in the submission process called “Young Scholars.” Comments and suggestions of the reviewers from this initial screening are forwarded to the author(s) to use in improving their research.  Authors of those manuscripts that receive positive initial reviews are invited to submit the paper for a formal review.  Once submitted, the manuscript goes through the same review process that all manuscripts are subject to. 
Those “young scholars” inquiring about the Program seem to be genuinely excited that such a Program has been created and many are anxious to take advantage of it.  Equally excited and supportive are established, well-published scholars that we have asked to review the manuscripts in the initial screening stage; no one has turned us down to review a manuscript.  Moreover, the Program has been lauded by senior public administration and political science faculty who see it as something that was long overdue and fills a tremendous void in the faculty development process. The Young Scholars program has generated substantial good will and visibility for State and Local
A clear testament to the recognition of the value and importance of the Young Scholars Research Program is the following Letter to the Editor that was recently published in PA Times and written by Kathleen Marchetti.  Professor Marchetti has an article in the September 2015 issue of SLGR that was submitted to us under the Program.  Her letter reads as follows:
Subject:  Why young scholars should consider State and Local Government Review?

I recently published an article with State and Local Government Review (SLGR),the journal produced by ASPA’s Section on Intergovernmental Administration and Management.  I had been familiar with SLGR as a source for research on state and local politics and during the review process I was pleased to learn more about the journal’s Young Scholars Research Program.  As described in an October 2014 PA Times post, SLGR’s Young Scholars Research Program “… is designed to assist young scholars with publishing in academia…” through “…consultation and guidance in support of their efforts to get published in State and Local Government Review(SLGR)—or in other journals.”  This valuable and unique program provides junior faculty and graduate students the opportunity to work directly with SLGR’s editorial staff to refine their work for publication. It is important to note that this program is not a guarantee of acceptance; articles go through the full peer review process and typically require revisions prior to publication.  What makes this program different is the editor’s (Mike Scicchitano) willingness to work closely with authors on revising and improving their manuscript.  Many of us are used to brief, sporadic communication with journal editors (after all, they are typically very busy individuals) so the opportunity to work with an editor one-on-one is very rare indeed.  The Young Scholars Research Program is a great resource for graduate students and junior faculty and one that I’ll certainly recommend to colleagues who are doing relevant work.  

– Kathleen Marchetti, Dickinson College
Kathleen Marchetti
Assistant Professor
Dickinson College
Department of Political Science
PO Box 1773
Carlisle, PA 17013-2896

Please assist us in advertising the Program to young scholars in your department, school, or program or other young scholars (e.g., your former graduate students who have now entered the real world of academic) that you know who would be interested in it and could possibly benefit from the invaluable experience it offers.

Please welcome Brianne Heidbreder, New SLGR Reviews & Essays (R&E) Editor

Dear SIAM Members,
I am Brianne Heidbreder and would like to briefly introduce myself as the new Editor for the Reviews and Essays section of State and Local Government Review.  I am currently serving as an Associate Professor in the Political Science Department at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS, where I live with my husband and daughter.  I received a BA from Minnesota State University, Moorhead (2001), a MA from Kansas State University (2004), and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (2008).  My teaching and research interests fall at the intersection of state and local politics and policy and public administration, and I have published in scholarly outlets such as State Politics & Policy Quarterly, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Politics & Policy, and State and Local Government Review. Needless to say, I am excited and eager to begin my work at SLGR
I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as Editor of the Reviews and Essays (R&E) section of SLGR.  The R&E section publishes review essays synthesizing research on important topics in state and local government and intergovernmental relations.  The R&E section also welcomes essays that synthesize applied research in state and local government and discuss implications for our theoretical understanding of intergovernmental relations and public administration.  While we prefer not to publish reviews of single books, the section may include essays that reflect on books that have had an enduring impact on research in these fields or book review essays that critically frame and compare the contributions of several significant books.  We also have published essays based on interviews with prominent scholars (for example, Deil Wright) who discuss and/or evaluate the state of the discipline or status of research in various areas.  
During 2015 (Volume 47, Issues 1, 2 and 3, respectively), the R&E section included articles pertaining to redistribution policy at the local level in an era of devolution (Michael Craw), conceptualizing and operationalizing planning capacity (Carolyn Loh), and practicing greater transparency to enhance responsiveness and trust in local government (Gregory Porumbescu).  The March 2016 issue will feature an essay based on Professor Ann Bowman’s assessment of the change and continuity in the study of state and local government and politics.
I look forward to working with the editorial team and continuing the strong tradition of promoting quality scholarship in the areas of state and local government politics, policy, and management. In the upcoming months, I encourage each of you to share your ideas with me for future installments of the Reviews and Essays section.   I can be reached by phone at (785) 532-5366 or by email at heidbr@ksu.edu.