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Professor Rick Hoefer Named Founding Editor

Richard Hoefer, Professor in the School of Social Work
Richard Hoefer, Professor in the School of Social Work

School of Social Work Professor Richard Hoefer has been named Founding Editor of the new Springer journal, The Journal of Policy Practice and Research.

The Journal of Policy Practice and Research brings together research and practice insights that can inform, develop, and affect social policy. The Journal is an outlet for research and scholarship on policy practice, macro-social work practice, community practice, social policy, social policy analysis, the creation and administration of social policy and programs and related topics. It also includes research on the education of students and practitioners on these topics.

Hoefer began working with The Journal of Policy Practice and Research about 20 years ago.

“I was involved with a small group of social work policy professors and one early morning meeting at a conference, the group decided that we should approach a publisher about starting a journal for our specialty area,” Hoefer said. “The big-name people at the meeting, people like Bruce Jansson, who literally started the idea of policy practice and coined the term, asked me to take the initial steps.

Shortly after that initial meeting, Hoefer wrote a letter to the President of Haworth Press, and there was a green light given to begin the journal on the topic of policy practice and social policy. Hoefer became the founding editor of The Social Policy Journal, and began soliciting articles and marketing the journal along with assigning reviewers and deciding what to publish.

For the next 17 years, Hoefer remained as editor of the journal which later had its name changed to The Journal of Policy Practice. However, in December 2016 Hawforth Press decided to cease publishing the journal.

“This caused a bit of an uproar within the social work education community, and I was asked to explore options for another publisher to take over The Journal of Policy Practice,” Hoefer said. “Fortunately, Springer, was eager to take up the challenge.”

According to Hoefer, the new iteration of the journal is more academically rigorous while keeping an emphasis on “practical research” that could be translated to addressing social issues and problems in a way that practitioners would understand and could apply.

Hoefer did not seek out becoming the founding editor for The Journal of Policy Practice. The Springer Journal wanted an editor with experience to lead the new publication. Hoefer, with more than 17 years of journal editor experience and having written dozens of journal articles and several books on the topic, was asked by the editors to become the founding editor of the new publication.

“Not too many professors will ever have the opportunity to found one journal, so for this to happen to me twice is quite an honor and a testament that authors and publishers trust my ability to discern the best articles to put into print,” Hoefer said. “It is a source of pride for me.”

It is also a source of pride for the School of Social Work, as having a faculty member with journal editor experience helps faculty and students in the classroom and in their research.

“As UTA reaches for Tier 1 status, having faculty journal editors brings prominence to the SSW,” Hoefer said.  I’m also available to assist colleagues and graduate students understand better how to approach journal article submissions, and that has a ripple effect as more professors get more work published and themselves become more prominent.”

News Topics: Faculty, Awards, Research