Thursday, January 6, 2011

Looking Back and Moving Forward, A Retrospective Look at the International Journal of the Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice IJCAIP

Cheryl L. McLean, Publisher, Executive Editor


Looking Back, Moving Forward

"Our mission is to publish, disseminate and make accessible worldwide, quality information, research and knowledge about the creative arts in research and interdisciplinary practice." September 2006

The seeds for IJCAIP, The International Journal of The Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice, were planted in the spring of 2006. At that time we had envisioned a global community linked around the creative arts and its broader applications in research and practice, a network that would extend beyond any single modality, methodology or exclusive field of study drawn from across disciplinary borders in health, education and training.

To achieve this goal, and to provide the necessary communication channels for research and information, individuals were identified and organizations interested in arts in health, training and education were contacted personally to ask if they might like to access a web based newsletter that featured articles about the creative arts as applied across disciplines. The response to this inquiry was overwhelmingly positive. The Canadian Creative Arts in Health Training and Education e/newsjournal or CCAHTE as it was known, was launched in September 2006 as an open access (OA) internet news/journal, the interdisciplinary journal of the creative arts in health, training and education.

An advisory board was established with representation from leading universities and institutions across North America and diverse disciplines in education, the arts and healthcare (nursing, public health, medicine) design and business. As an Open Access journal, we operated CCAHTE on a free subscription basis and welcomed articles from contributors worldwide.

Three years later, in consultation with the journal advisory board and to reflect the publication's broadening scope and international status as the open access peer reviewed academic journal in the field, the journal was renamed The International Journal of The Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice, IJCAIP. During this time, a new IJCAIP website was professionally designed for increased ease of navigation and easy access to full text articles and an accessible back issue archive was created.

Today IJCAIP has an Advisory Board made up of leaders across disciplines and has a large international subscriber base. The web based open access publication is accessible to researchers, educators and students in over 15,000 libraries in 60 countries around the world including developing nations.

Publishing activities at IJCAIP have contributed significantly to propagating a new and fertile knowledge base for research and information about the creative arts in interdisciplinary practice. The open access free subscription publication sponsors a number of interconnected IJCAIP websites and blogs as well as a monthly subscriber newsletter.

In February we will be publishing the 9th issue of our journal, "Expressing the Human Story". The issue will feature two full text papers, the first by IJCAIP Advisory Board member, Johnny Saldana, Professor of Theatre, School of Theatre and Film, Arizona State University, "Ethnodramas About Health and Illness, Staging Human Vulnerability, Fragility and Resiliency", a descriptive selective literature review of thirty-eight ethnodramatic play scripts about health and illness. The second paper has been contributed by Susan K. MacRae, former Deputy Director of the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics, "To Be Human with Other Humans, A Caregiver's Narrative" which illustrates how qualitative approaches and expressing the human story through written accounts and narrative can be transformative and healing for the caregiver. Both papers were originally published in the research book "Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice, Inquiries for Hope and Change".

An IJCAIP project, this book is the first book in the CAIP Research Series and was published by Detselig Temeron Press, Calgary, (Editor, Cheryl McLean and Associate Editor, and IJCAIP Advisory Board member, Robert Kelly, University of Calgary). This contemporary research text introduces an emerging and rapidly growing field with a dynamic collection of illustrative articles contributed by leaders across many disciplines who use the creative arts in research and practice, among them leading academics and highly respected adult educators, artist/researchers, playwrights, directors and dancers, nurse educators, physicians, dietitians, social work educators, and environmental activists.

The second text in the CAIP Research Series,"Creative Arts in Research for Community and Cultural Change" is scheduled for release in 2011. This book takes a global perspective featuring research and projects that have used the creative arts in varied forms for community and cultural change. The timely and critical role of the creative arts in action in many forms for social change is discussed and illustrative research articles address topics such as immigration and identity, racism, aboriginal health and institutional life, mental health, disability and other vital community issues such as access to clean water and raising environmental consciousness.

It has been our intention to illustrate the considerable breadth and scope of this field while featuring leaders active in the work in action and practice. We have worked to forge relationships and build collaborative interdisciplinary networks and pool expertise and resources from many diverse fields. Our IJCAIP Advisory Board, representing leaders across disciplines, has been vital to our success and professionalism as a peer reviewed journal and members have generously shared their expertise and scholarly advice to help us advance toward our goals.

Our organization continues to foster and encourage research in the creative arts in interdisciplinary practice as well as carry the message across disciplines publishing articles in international publications, presenting at national conferences and sharing news about the many applications of the creative arts in research and practice. In the last five years, IJCAIP and our related sites and resources have provided open access to a much needed communication hub for research and knowledge in the field. We embraced the philosophy of information sharing and open access at an unprecedented time of change and opportunity in academic publishing. As an Open Access OA journal we continue to offer worldwide access to our web based publication, archives and related blogs without fees or membership charges.

We have recently created additional opportunities for research and knowledge dissemination for those who wish to share related news and research developments with our worldwide readership through custom developed supplementary issues through our IJCAIP Supplementary Issues Programme. Our first supplementary issue, "Exploring Arts Based Methods in Health Research" will be launched in 2012 and will feature news and information about a project involving over 60 individuals and partners from across disciplines under the leadership of Katherine Boydell, Senior Scientist and Scientific Director of Qualitative Inquiry in Child Health and Evaluative Sciences at The Hospital for Sick Children and Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Dalla Lana School of Public Health at The University of Toronto.

With new projects underway and the recent release of the first book in the CAIP Research Series, "Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice, Inquiries for Hope and Change" and the scheduled release of our second book in the CAIP Research Series, "Creative Research for Community and Cultural Change" we enter into the New Year with a sense of great pride and optimism for the future.

Our mission when we launched our journal in 2006 was to publish, disseminate and make accessible worldwide, quality information, research and knowledge about the creative arts in research and interdisciplinary practice. We have helped contribute to a field of study that stresses the vital importance of creativity and the arts in research and practice for change, added new resources and research to a growing body of knowledge that seeks to give voice to the silenced, the oppressed and the marginalized, offered a place to express the human story and provided new opportunities to share those deeply personal research based accounts with a world in desperate need of truth and authenticity.

As a publishing organization we have demonstrated that in these challenging and changing times the arts matter and have a fundamental role to play in creating communities that care for their citizens. We invite you to join us and support IJCAIP and our ongoing efforts to raise awareness about the creative arts in research and interdisciplinary practice. Visit our website at and share in our issues and archives where you will witness the creative arts in research and action for hope and change. Invite your friends to subscribe, without charge, to IJCAIP Journal with an email to "please subscribe. Visit our blogs. Learn more about our books and introduce The Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice CAIP Series to your students. Pass along the good word and share the news with colleagues.