This year marks my fifth as editor-in-chief of Nationalities Papers - the journal had just entered its sixth decade in print when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shocked and devasted the world a year ago. In these difficult and volatile times, Nationalities Papers has moved to engage more directly with current events and with its readership. Oxana Shevel and Maria Popova are serving as guest editors for an upcoming special issue on "Russia’s War on Ukraine,” which has already received overwhelming interest. Our first issue for 2023 includes an exciting special issue guest edited by our former editor-in-chief Peter Rutland, which covers nation-building in the states that emerged following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Four more special issues will be published this year, including topical collections: “The Dynamics of Mass Mobilization in Belarus,” guest edited by Ola Onuch and Gwen Sasse, and “Ukrainian Social and Cultural Responses to the War in the Donbas,” guest edited by Serhy Yekelchyk.
During 2022, we observed an increased interest in the work our journal is publishing. One of the two articles that won the 2022 Huttenbach Prize, “Russian Strategic Narratives on R2P in the ‘Near Abroad’” by Juris Pupčenoks and Eric Seltzer, was the second most-downloaded article in Area Studies on the Cambridge Core website during the month of November and received substantial media coverage. The co-winner was another outstanding article, “Polish Ethnic Minority in Belarus and Lithuania: Politics, Institutions, and Identities” by Monika Frėjutė-Rakauskienė, Olga Sasunkevich, and Kristina Šliavaitė. I encourage you all to read them both, as exemplars of the important and groundbreaking research we continue to publish.
The peer-review process remains the foundation of our work. Our reviewers provide an invaluable service to our journal and their own fields of study, and we list their names in this issue in recognition of their deeply appreciated contributions. I encourage everyone who is able to contribute to this process. This has been a particularly difficult year for many of our reviewers, a number of whom have been directly affected by the war or the lingering pandemic. Despite this, the average time from submission of an article to a first decision went down, from 74 days in 2021 to 62 in 2022. We continue to receive increasing numbers of quality research papers and have accordingly expanded our page budget, so that articles published online appear more quickly in print.
Nationalities Papers’ Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) impact factor was 0.746 for 2020 and increased to 1.067 in 2021. Our Journal Citation Indicator (JCI)—a new measure—for 2021 is 1.07. The journal is ranked by JCI as 13/38 in Ethnic Studies; 49/166 in Area Studies; 87/306 in Political Science; and 114/491 in History. The continuing significance and relevance of the journal to historical and contemporary scholarship is a great credit to our contributors, reviewers, editorial board, publishers, and staff, and it is an honor for me to take part. We remain committed to publishing theoretically driven, empirically rich articles, that will shape the field of nationalism studies, broadly understood, in the years ahead.
Our incredible executive publisher Ann Avouris and our fantastic content manager Katrina Swartz have been instrumental in helping us with the transition to Cambridge University Press and in all aspects of publication, and I want to thank them once again for their tremendous service to the journal. Ann will remain of vital importance for the journal in her new role as Executive Publisher and Head of Journals, North America for Cambridge, and we would like to congratulate her on the new position. We want to extend a warm welcome to our new associate publisher Molly Sheffer and our new content manager Jamie Magyar. Our impeccable Managing Editor, Ned Whalley, and I have been working with Jamie for several months now and can attest that our production processes remain in very safe and very capable hands. Molly has already worked on the journal before in other roles, and we are greatly looking forward to collaborating further.
We continue to stay in touch with our authors and readers in multiple ways. Our journal’s CUP marketing contact, Jim Ansell, has been critical in this respect, both on social media and through virtual issues on our Cambridge Core page, which we encourage you to explore. We have expanded our special collections page with new content, including an important selection of pieces that provided immediate historical and academic context to the invasion of Ukraine, as well as separate pages for the winners of the Huttenbach Prize and our Photo Contest, which provides our journal with its beautiful and thought-provoking covers. Nationalities Papers has also increased its presence on the ASN website at https://nationalities.org, publishing interviews with authors of State of the Field articles as well as guest editors of special issues. We are active on social media and encourage you to follow us for news and content from the journal.
Finally, it is with profound sadness that I share with you the news that Michael Rywkin, a founding member of the Association for the Study of Nationalities in 1972, who served two terms as President (1984–94 and 1997–98), passed away in 2022. Born in Wilno, in interwar Poland, evacuated to Uzbekistan during World War II, and educated in France, he taught for several decades at City College in New York and was recognized as a world expert on Central Asia. He served without interruption on the ASN Board and the Nationalities Papers Editorial Board for fifty years. He was the living memory of the ASN and will be sorely missed.
We look forward to receiving your manuscripts and special issue submissions and hope to at last see many of you again in person at the ASN convention in New York this coming May. It has been far too long.