The Korean Association for Business Communication (KABC) has been growing through the cooperation and efforts of its members and through conferences held twice a year for 7 years since its inaugural meeting and its first academic conference in 2011. The next year, we hosted the Asia-Pacific Conference of Association for Business Communication, in which we communicated with leading experts from both domestic and international academic societies. Since then, our MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Japan Business Communication Association (JBCA) in 2014 and the Association for Business Communication (ABC) in 2016 have fostered activities on the international stage. In Korea, KABC has not only held its own independent conferences but has also participated in the annual conferences of the Korean Academic Society of Business Association (KASBA), which sees the participation of over 30 academic associations in business fields. Our society is now playing an important role in the business major, specifically in business communication, and we go one step further and publish the journal, Business Communication Research and Practice (BCRP).
An academic society is an association of scholars who study the same discipline in depth and develop the discipline (National Korean Language Institute, 2008). The publication of academic journals is essential in enabling the academic society to disseminate the outcomes of research and demonstrate the development of the academic field. In other words, an academic journal represents the academic identity and level of the academic society that publishes the journal and the influence it has on the academic field. In this context, the establishment of BCRP by the KABC means that KABC can play a fundamental and important role as an academic society. In addition, the fact that KABC has established an official channel to publish its academic achievements demonstrates the academic excellence of KABC. The main implications of establishing BCRP are as follows.
A Landmark Publication
First, the title of our journal, BCRP, reflects its identity as the official journal of the KABC. The first step in the establishment of an academic journal is to determine the title and its aims and scope of the journal. The title of our journal, BCRP, covers not only the theoretical and academic areas related to business communication but also the areas of practice in which these theoretical and academic concepts are applied and in which research questions are raised and studied. The title, Business Communication Research and Practice, represents KABC’s academic tradition, which encompasses both academic and practical fields. BCRP seeks to serve as a virtuous cycle linking academic knowledge with applied practice not only in academic research but also in business practice, and the process in practice deepens academic knowledge.
Second, BCRP is established as an English-language-only journal. Publishing a journal containing only articles written in English not only limits the number of authors who can contribute but also increases the work burden of the reviewers as well as the cost of manuscript editing, English proof reading, and developing a journal archive. This anticipates various heavy burdens for KABC. Nonetheless, the decision to establish the BCRP as an English-language-only journal means that the ultimate goal is not to stay at a domestic level but to build a reputation at the global level. Publishing an English-only journal achieves 90% of the preparations required to be a global journal (Huh, 2011). Currently, the top-level journals with international influence are almost all English-language-only journals. Considering that the primary work of many domestic journals seeking globalization is the English translation of their journals, the BCRP is much more proactive in the international scientific journal publishing environment.
Third, BCRP is published as an Open Access (OA) journal, complying with the Creative Commons License. The definition of OA can be described as “the accessibility of various documents, research outputs and other literature free of any charges and having fewer restrictions on their use, citation, reproduction and onward transmission” (Chakravorty, Datta, & Sinha, 2016). This means that readers worldwide who are interested in business communication can easily access, read, and cite research articles published in the BCRP, with the limitation that the KABC retains the copyright for articles published in the BCRP. In general, OA papers have a higher impact factors than non-OA papers (Antelman, 2004; Oh et al., 2017). Therefore, it will contribute to establish the global identity of the KABC through the international distribution of its academic achievements through the BCRP.
A Global Outlook
The BCRP has been working with the aim of being registered in internationally renowned academic databases such as Scopus (Elsevier, 2018), the Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) (Clarivate Analytics, 2017a), and the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) (Clarivate Analytics, 2017b). The journal selection criteria for Scopus, ESCI and SSCI have been carefully reviewed and efforts have been made to meet the criteria for quality, format, and structural aspects as an academic journal. With the full support of the KABC and its executive members, BCRP has established a cooperative system with experts in manuscript editing, scientific journal design, and journal archive development, who all have a lot of know-how and actual experience in registering academic journals in the academic databases. BCRP has actively recruited scholars with a global reputation in business communication as editorial board members, authors, and reviewers.
The inclusion of an academic journal in internationally renowned citation index databases such as Scopus, ESCI, and SSCI proves the academic superiority and scientific influence of the journal. It also means that the journal will occupy a relatively favorable position in the competition among academic journals (Huh, 2010). It includes the additional benefit of helping the academic society’s members who publish papers in the journal to get jobs, meet the criteria of achievement evaluation, and be promoted into higher positions (Kim, Huh, & Chu, 2014). The number of domestic journals indexed in prominent international citation index databases such as Scopus, ESCI, Science Citation Index (Expanded) (SCI(E)), Arts and Humanities Citation Index (A & HCI), and SSCI is very small (Kim, Rho, Park, & Choi, 2011; Shin, 2011). In particular, business communication journals indexed in these databases are extremely rare domestically and internationally. Therefore, the fact that the BCRP has devoted its best efforts from the preparatory stage to its early indexing in these databases shows it to be the leading type of publication.
Building our Foundation Together
After such efforts, the BCRP finally made its debut in the world. In order for the BCRP to become one of the best academic journals with a global influence and reputation, dedicated and ongoing support is needed from business communication researchers at home and abroad. In particular, all members of the KABC, JBCA, ABC, and other academic societies should be active authors, readers, and reviewers of BCRP, and should further play a role in publicizing the BCRP.
Submitting and publishing study articles to the BCRP that have not been indexed in domestic and international academic databases can be regarded as a considerable sacrifice, considering that most potential contributors of BCRP belong to universities and other academic institutions. Nonetheless, the excellence of BCRP can be established more quickly by publishing good articles based on research activities of excellent scientists, research funded by domestic and overseas renowned institutions, and collaborations with researchers of various nationalities. As a result, if BCRP is indexed into the renowned academic databases, it will reward members who were dedicated to BCRP.
In conclusion, BCRP is the face that reveals the academic excellence of KABC to the world. We hope that BCRP, which now is just a bud, will grow faithfully with the nutrients provided by KABC members and international scholars and will be able to get produce abundant fruit in the near future.