Questions for Journal Editors for the Tenth Anniversary of Deja Lu

The responses are provided by Dr Su-Ann Oh, managing editor and Ms Fanzura Banu, associate editor of the journal SOJOURN. Interview by Joy Owen, 10 November 2021

Interview by Joy Owen

10 November 2021

Tell us about the journal you edit.

SOJOURN is an interdisciplinary journal devoted to the study of social and cultural issues in Southeast Asia. We publish empirical and theoretical research articles to promote and disseminate scholarship in and on the region.

Who publishes in your journal? Of what national origin? Who are your authors, typically? What are the language options for your authors publishing with you?

ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute publishes SOJOURN and it is based in Singapore. Our journal aims to build Southeast Asian scholarship from Southeast Asia. Although we welcome researchers of all nationalities to submit to our journal, we encourage Southeast Asian scholars to publish with us. Our authors include the likes of Barbara Andaya, Anthony Reid, Filomeno V. Aguilar Jr., Eric C. Thompson and Shamsul A. B. We only publish in English.

What topics define your journal? Do you encourage your authors to deal with national topics? Regional topics? Global topics? What is your particular focus?

Our areas of special concern include ethnicity, religion, tourism, urbanization, migration, popular culture, social and cultural change, and development, to name a few examples. The fields most often represented in the journal are anthropology, sociology and history. We are a regional studies journal;ntherefore, we expect authors to deal with national and regional topics relating to Southeast Asia, and in that context with global topics.

What is the editorial process like? Who carries it out? Do you have an institution that shelters you? Who finances your journal? How many people make up the editorial team? Does anyone receive a salary for that job?

SOJOURN is housed by the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore. The institute aims to nurture a community of scholars interested in the Southeast Asian region and to engage in research on the multi-faceted dimensions and issues of stability and security, economic development, and political, social and cultural change. It is an autonomous organization established by an Act of Parliament in 1968. Our editorial team is made up of Managing Editor, a Book Reviews Editor and two Associate Editors. We are all salaried.

What criteria do you have to accept an article? Do you have a referee system for your journal? How does it work? How do you locate referees? What societies do your referees tend to come from?

We consider whether the argument of the article is original and if it answers the “so what?” question. We also look for proper structure and organization, accuracy and background knowledge and a sound methodology.  We use a double-blind review process and we approach referees who work in the fields of knowledge and geographical regions relevant to those in the manuscript.

It’s often said that there is an Anglo-American core of journals that dominates global anthropological publication, in terms of theories that need to be cited. Does that have any impact on your journal? Do you try to encourage local theorization, or do you not feel the need to do that?

No, we welcome conceptualization and theorization that is relevant to the research in the manuscript and encourage local theorization.

Do you have anything more you’d like to add?

We aim to publish articles as soon as possible so that this benefits both the authors and the academic community in terms of the dissemination of research findings.