By Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D
Founding Editor, bSci21.org
Tell us a little about yourself. What is your background in behavior analysis and could you tell us about your position at editor of the OBMN Newsletter?
My role includes finding individuals interested in submitting articles that discuss pertinent topics in OBM as well as sharing important information about the OBM Network to its members. For example, for upcoming conferences, we create a spread that summarizes the important information about the conference for our members and provide a “cheat sheet” of what OBM-related talks are happening. Once I have authors for articles, I work with each author to proof-read and provide feedback. Then, I assemble all the pieces together into a customized newsletter layout. Thanks to some of the other officers, Brian Molina, (Content Development Officer) and Yngvi Einarsson (Membership Coordinator), the newsletter then is posted to our OBM Network website and a notice is sent out to our members encouraging them to read up on the latest news and conversations in our field.
The newsletter does not have a mission statement in-and-of-itself. However, it is a branch of the larger OBM Network, whose mission statement is “to develop, enhance, and support the growth and vitality of Organizational Behavior Management through research, education, practice, and collaboration.” As such, the newsletter is just one of the vehicles by which the OBM Network strives to operate within its mission statement.
What is the history of newsletter and how does it relate to JOBM and the OBM Network?
The OBM Network newsletter has historically been the primary way for members to learn more about what’s happening within the Network (e.g., business meeting minutes, conference announcements, etc.). Over the years it has evolved to include more conceptual and short empirical papers about the field, as well as practical articles advising our student readers in professional matters. The Journal of Organizational Behavior Management (JOBM) is the official scholarly peer-reviewed journal for OBM. While both publications promote OBM and share important conversations and studies with interested readers, their functions are separate. The newsletter has a much less formal, conversational, tone, and covers the popular side of OBM (Amber Candido’s “Leaders in OBM” regular interviews, for example).JOBM articles are more academic, and progress the field in some manner, either conceptually or empirically. The review process is also much more rigorous with a peer-reviewed journal like JOBM; thus, it is easier to get more, and more current information out into our newsletter, which is not peer-reviewed. I would strongly recommend anyone with OBM experience and interested in submitting to the newsletter to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org). We’re always looking for new authors and new perspectives.
The editor is the primary person responsible for the newsletter. As with any complicated project, there is a dedicated team that supports the creation and distribution of the newsletter. The other OBM Network officers are helpful with providing feedback and technical support for the newsletter. The Membership Coordinator communicates to the membership when the newsletter is looking for article submissions and when the new issue is available online. The Website Administrator and Content Development Officers put the newsletter on the website. Dr. Heather McGee as the executive director of the OBM Network, gives the final approval to post the latest issue.As for my specific duties, the editor invites OBM Network members to submit articles, and in the case of the January issue, I specifically asked certain individuals to contribute. Amber Candido is becoming a fixture in our newsletter with her regular piece on interviewing leaders in OBM, so I can always count on her to bring in a fascinating conversation with a prominent person in our field. Ultimately, the newsletter would not be possible without those who contribute to it. Anyone in the field is welcome to submit an article, and can find more information article specifics at obmnetwork.com, or click here.
As editor, what is your long-term vision for the newsletter?
The former editor, Anna Conard, did an excellent job in encouraging contributors to share articles on a wide variety of topics. Specifically, she added a neat segment called “The Null Zone,” to encourage students and faculty to discuss a conducted study that did not produce an effect. This is helpful because it informs the reader on a number of levels on what not to do, which can sometimes be just as helpful as a successful trial.As part of my tenure as editor, I want to continue the trend that Anna has started and have segments of the newsletter dedicated to particular themes. Also, I want to take steps to increase the visibility and enhance the prestige of submitting to the newsletter. In a small community like the OBM Network, it’s easy to appeal to the same people to contribute. I will be working on pulling from a wider pool of potential authors in efforts to diversify the topics and discussions presented. Hopefully, by doing so, we will heighten the interest in our newsletter, as well as in the Network, itself.
What would you like bSci21.org readers to take away from this interview?
3) Finally, we accept article submissions from students, faculty, and professionals that have something to say about OBM-related topics. Even if it is not your specialization, if you would like to write an article about your business, organizational systems, management or cultural trends in the workplace, contact me to see if it would be a good fit for the newsletter!
How can interested readers get in touch with you and the newsletter?
Interested readers can find out much more about the OBM Network, becoming a member and the newsletter on our website: obmnetwork.com. Anyone with specific questions about the newsletter, can contact me directly by e-mail: email@example.com.
Let us know about your experiences with the JOBM Newsletter in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe to bSci21 via email to receive the latest articles, and free monthly issues, directly to your inbox!