Transitioning Through Time: Celebrating Atla’s Collaboration with Wiley/
September 10, 2020
In 1946, a newly-formed Atla began one of its longest-running publisher relationships; a dynamic relationship that would make several transitions and transformations through the years. Beginning with fifty licensed religion and theology titles indexed in Atla’s early research tools, three of those journals – Modern Theology, Journal of Religious Ethics, and Zygon – have been a continuous part of the core Atla collection ever since. Today, these journals are published by research and education leader John Wiley & Sons, an international publisher that spans scholarly, trade, and educational publishing. Atla Product Specialist Cristina Ochoa recently spoke with the Wiley team to discuss the past, present, and future of the Atla/Wiley relationship.
Transitioning Through Time
Atla’s relationship with Wiley experienced its first major transition during the initial licensing of fifty full-text titles for AtlaSerials® (Atlas®). Atla had originally signed a series of these licenses with Blackwell Publishing, notably including Modern Theology, Journal of Religious Ethics, and Zygon. In 2006, Wiley acquired Blackwell, absorbing all original licenses made with Atla. With this acquisition, ensuring the continuity of content quality was key. Wiley has remained committed to the same standards of content integrity, quality, acquisition, and development that Blackwell brought to its journal portfolio. Today, Wiley’s relationship with Atla has expanded to include full-text licenses for even more of Wiley’s portfolio of scholarly journals in religion and theology.
Partnering with Atla
Wiley values its partnerships and invests in high levels of service to ensure content delivery to all audiences, through all channels. When it comes to partnering with Atla, being able to extend the reach of Wiley content has been a major advantage.
With the collaboration of Atla Licensing Manager Gregg Taylor, the Wiley team works to license new content to supplement coverage gaps, revive dormant licenses for previously licensed journals, and continue ongoing agreements for existing content. In fact, journals that were included in Atla’s first published index, reaching back to 1949, are still being published by Wiley. As part of this content selection process, Wiley supplies the content, and Atla provides feedback on how the content is performing, allowing for a clear and consistent review process.
Maintaining a journal is the work of many dedicated editors, authors, board members, reviewers, and publishing teams, all committed to advancing scholarship and community in a specific area, in this case, religion and theology. Atla is grateful to have such a diligent publishing partner in Wiley, allowing users a consistent and robust collection of scholarly content in religion and theology.
Expanding Scope: Acquisitions & Development
The Wiley portfolio today continues to maintain independent editorial boards, reviewers, and general management by external groups. Wiley’s value as a publisher is realized by bringing economies of scale, leading the way in open access, and enhancing the publishing experiences for various societies and authors around the world.
Wiley currently publishes fourteen journals in religion and theology in partnership with many associations, seminaries, and religious organizations.
'In the current publishing environment, we’re focusing our efforts on developing existing journals,' said Eric Piper, Wiley’s senior editorial manager for Humanities journals. 'We are also working with journals to internationalize and diversify their author base and editorial boards. Scholarship has become a global endeavor, and it’s essential for journals to reflect the wider conversation.'
Examples of these expansion and diversification initiatives include publishing special issues to address topics such as Black Muslim portraiture in the early modern Atlantic, and strategies for teaching religion and theology in an intercultural and international context.
This dedication to global expansion, diversity, and inclusion matches Atla’s commitment to include as many diverse sources, forms, and types of content possible in Atla’s research tools. In their role as publisher, Wiley acts as a conduit for the organizations they partner with to understand what’s going on in the wider publishing world. This includes building strategies for working in non-traditional submitting countries and with emerging business models, such as open access. Wiley’s current religion and theology publishing partners include the World Council of Churches, Graduate Theological Union, the Dominican Council (UK), the Jesuits in Britain, the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science, and Hartford Seminary.
Wiley’s religion journal portfolio covers topics that range from ecumenical matters and interreligious dialogue to philosophy and modern theology. All of Wiley’s journals are peer-reviewed, and the list includes both specialist and broad-focused titles. Two journals, New Blackfriars (available in Atlas PLUS) and The Muslim World (available in Atlas), have published continuously for more than one hundred years and have complete digital archives.
Bridging the Gap
How does content get from the publisher into the Atla collection? Wiley cultivates new and existing partnerships with the organizations previously mentioned (and others) in order to license content into a focused portfolio in religion and theology. By collaborating with Wiley, Atla gives its users uninterrupted access to a reliable portfolio of key scholarship in religion and theology.
With a deep reach into the religion and theology scholarly community and a strong reputation among users, Atla is a robust channel partner for publishers like Wiley. Because of Atla’s established relationships and credible research tools, coupled with its global nonprofit mission, Atla extends the reach of Wiley’s journals, getting content into the hands of people who may otherwise not be able to access this important scholarly content. This collaboration between Atla and Wiley helps scholarly societies move their discipline forward, make an impact, and introduce more people to the impact their work is having on the scholarly community and discourse. These partnerships enrich the publications beyond an individual journal.
Because of Atla’s established relationships and credible research tools, coupled with its global nonprofit mission, Atla extends the reach of Wiley’s journals, getting content into the hands of people who may otherwise not be able to access this important scholarly content.
New & Improved
Below are a few newly relicensed titles within the Atla/Wiley publishing relationship. They showcase the diversity of content and collaboration that both Atla and Wiley constantly strive for in both their individual endeavors and their collaborative partnership.
The Journal of Religious Ethics is both globally and methodologically diverse. Not many journals publish issues that contain essays on both Kierkegaard and Confucian ethics, or essays that use insights from fieldwork in Southeast Asia and insights from analytic philosophy of religion. The JRE’s mission statement is a broad one, and the editors take that breadth seriously. In recent years, JRE has expanded its relationship with international scholars, especially in Asia, and increased the international representation on its editorial board. Journal of Religious Ethics is indexed back to volume 1 / issue 1 and is available in Atlas.
Modern Theology’s international reputation as a leading journal in the field is a result of two primary factors. Firstly, its founding editor, Ken Surin, and its international editorial board comprising some of the top theologians of the time (1980s), set a very high bar by inviting only articles that were substantive and ground-breaking. Since then, subsequent editors have always insisted on maintaining very high standards of academic rigor and originality. Secondly, Modern Theology has consciously made efforts to expand its readership by publishing special issues on themes of current theological interest and by making a concerted effort to invite submissions from scholars of more diverse and international backgrounds. Modern Theology is indexed back to volume 1 / issue 1 and is available in Atlas.
Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science is a peer-reviewed journal with now over fifty-five years of world leadership in relating and exploring religion and science from multiple perspectives. The journal has had a number of distinguished past editors and has established itself through a continuous focus on quality and a concern for the future of the field of “science and religion” as the oldest and highly distinguished journal in this field. Authorship and readership are global. While the nonprofit corporation that publishes Zygon is based in the United States, the governance and operations of the journal are global too. This all is contributing to the journal being able to maintain its international reputation and appeal over the years. Straddling different disciplines has turned out to be a source of strength, with science libraries being just as interested as theology and religion libraries. Zygon is indexed back to volume 1 / issue 1 and is available in Atlas.
New Blackfriars was founded in 1920 as a focus of Catholic Christian reflection on current events. Its content emphasizes theology, philosophy, and cultural studies. For New Blackfriars, theology is ecumenical. The journal welcomes contributions in moral and ethical theology, with an emphasis on matters of social justice. New Blackfriars is indexed back to volume 1 / issue 1 and is available in Atlas PLUS.
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion is a multi-disciplinary journal that publishes articles, research notes, and book reviews on the social scientific study of religion. While many articles published in the journal are sociological, the journal also publishes the work of scholars in anthropology, economics, health sciences, religious studies, psychology, and political science. The journal is published on behalf of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, which was founded in 1949 to stimulate and communicate significant scientific research on religious institutions and experience. Journal for the Scientific Study in Religion is indexed back to volume 1 / issue 1 and is available in Atlas.
For a full list of Wiley titles included in Atla’s research tools, please review the Atla Products Title Lists.
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