Academic work in any field or area, including anime/manga studies, is not “for its own sake” – and the end goal of any academic project is a result or outcome that can be shared with the public. Of course, the actual process of knowledge sharing can take several different forms. Just some of them include books, chapters in edited essay collections, articles in a academic journal, presentations at conferences, stand-alone lectures, even just blog posts. So, if you are an academic who just finished a research project, how do you find the opportunities that may be available to you to share your work?
One straight-forward way (especially if your work is in the form of an article-length paper) is to identify journals that cover the subject, theme, topic or area of your research, and submit it for publication to one of them. Over the course of the research process, we become familiar with both the leading general journals in our research fields, and with others that are much more specialized. So, for example, someone who is studying the work of a particular anime director is likely already familiar with the Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema – and can plan on submitting their paper to it. Similarly, a journal like Japan Forum or Japanese Studies would be a logical place to publish an examination of how anime/manga depict particular events in Japanese history, while a paper on representations of disability in manga can be presented to a journal such as Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry (as Andrea Wood did with Drawing disability in Japanese manga: Visual politics, embodied masculinity, and wheelchair basketball in Inoue Takehiko’s REAL).
However, this kind of approach has its own limitations. At the very basic, you the author may simply not be familiar with some of the journals that could potentially serve as outlets for your work. In fact, as studies such as Trends in publication outlets of geographer-climatologists and Where do educational technologists really publish? An examination of successful scholars’ publication outlets demonstrate, scholars in particular academic fields can publish in dozens of different journals. New journals appear frequently – Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society, just announced a few days ago and set to publish its first volume next year may be of particular interest to scholars working with Japanese comics. Sometimes, journals may also announce special issues built around specific themes. And, of course, journals represent only one of the potential types of outlets that scholars have for sharing their work.
So, what kinds of resources can scholars draw on for identifying opportunities to publish their work in journals/essay collections or present it at academic conferences? There are several such resources that may be of interest to scholars who are interested in anime and manga. Continue reading