Looking back and Signing Off

The articles included in this year’s English issue of Sosiologia cover a wide range of topics. Anna Alanko and Matilda Hellman examine in their paper the landscape of Finnish mental health care planning during 1960–2000, focusing on the changing roles of experts and service users. The piece by Christopher Brennan raises the question of whether unpaid volunteer work in Finnish Lapland sometimes resembles more precarious employment than traditional tourism by studying advertisements on a work exchange website. The issues of homonormativity and essentialism among young Vietnamese queers are analysed by Yên Mai in her article, which also sheds light on the effects of Vietnam’s colonial history, class, and religion on L G BT identity politics. Finally, François Dépelteau offers a processual-relational adaptation of some of the key aspects of Émile Durkheim’s work, demonstrating that Durkheim’s notion of “social things” can be understood on the basis of fluid social processes.

This will be our final editorial to Sosiologia, and thus we would like to take the opportunity to briefly look in retrospect at the past two years we’ve had the honour to edit the journal. In 2016–2017, 8 issues of the journal came out. Those issues contain 30 articles (in 2014–2015, the number of the articles published was 27) written by 53 authors in all, of whom 60 per cent are assumed women and 40 per cent assumed men. During these past two years, we have received 70 new manuscripts (by the beginning of November 2017). The rejection rate has been 30 per cent, and it typically has taken two or three rounds of peer-review process before papers have been accepted for publication. Out of all the manuscripts reviewed, 64 per cent are by assumed women and 36 per cent by assumed men.

A total of 139 authors contributed to the journal during 2016–2017, when one also takes into account discussion pieces and book reviews. 65 per cent of all these authors held a doctorate, 29 per cent a Master’s degree, and 4 per cent had a Bachelor’s degree. A slightly less than a fifth (19 per cent) of the authors were professors.

The distribution of the authors’ organizations changed to some extent in comparison to the previous two-year period. While in years 2014–2015 as much as a third (33 per cent) of the contributors were affiliated to the University of Helsinki, in 2016– 2017 the number went down to 22 per cent, and 21 per cent of the authors came from the University of Tampere (up from 16 per cent). Further, 13 per cent of authors were affiliated to the University of Eastern Finland, 10 per cent both to the University of Turku and to the University of Lapland, and 6 per cent to the University of Jyväskylä. Other universities (for example, the University of Oulu and Aalto University) in Finland each represented around 1 per cent of the authors. Finally, 6 per cent of the contributors were affiliated to foreign universities, and 7 per cent to other research institutes.

In years 2016–2017 we have published 7 discussion pieces (in 2014–2015, the number was 16), 75 book reviews (60 in 2014–2015), and 8 editorials. The share of book reviews written by assumed women was slightly lower than in articles, with 54 per cent of the authors assumed female and 46 per cent assumed male (in 2014–2015, these numbers were 55 per cent and 45 per cent). Of the books reviewed for the journal, 51 per cent were published in Finland, being either originally authored in Finnish (48 per cent) or Finnish translations of international books (3 per cent), and 49 per cent were published abroad (up from 34 per cent).

Sosiologia still reaches a delightfully wide readership. The amount of subscriptions is roughly 1,200. Further, in 2016 the journal’s articles were downloaded 9,461 times from the electronic Elektra database, and this year’s amount will likely be fairly similar (in comparison, in 2010 the amount of downloads was 5,800, and 9,300 in 2015).

We would like to express our thanks to our authors, who ultimately have made this journal what it is. While without texts we would of course have nothing to publish, the hard and relentless work of the editorial board is significant, too, as the members of the editorial board act not only as gatekeepers guarding and raising the high standards of the journal, but also as midwifes, as it were, working together with authors to improve their manuscripts and help them in bringing the publishable articles into the world.

In the beginning of our editorship, we made the editorial decision to use a greater number of external reviewers than has been customary in the journal in the past. There were mainly two reasons for this. First, as the number of manuscript received peaked especially in the first six months of 2016, we wanted to ease the workload of the members of our editorial board. However, second, this was also to serve the people who submit their manuscripts to us by making sure, whenever possible, that one’s manuscript will be reviewed by an expert in the topic. In 2016–2017, we relied on the expertise of the following external reviewers (in alphabetical order): Anu-Hanna Anttila, Rita Asplund, Jani Erola, Päivi Honkatukia, Paul Jonker-Hoffren, Emily Höckert, Osmo Kivinen, Line Klockars, Kaisa Kuurne, Hanna Kuusela, Panu Lehtovuori, Kirsti Lempiäinen, Harri Melin, Tuija Nykyri, Elina Paju, Irene Prix, Pasi Pyöriä, Jarkko Rasinkangas, Hanna Rautjoki, Hannu Ruonavaara, Ville Savolainen, Outi Sirniö, Melisa Stevanovic, Eero Suoninen, and Soile Veijola. We truly appreciate all your effort and contribution!

Starting from the beginning of 2018, Sosiologia will be edited by Riikka Homanen and Marianne Mäkelin at the University of Helsinki. We are happy to trust the journal in their competent hands and we hereby also wish them many unforgettable and pleasurable moments in editing the journal!

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