posted May 2021, to be revisited annually or more often
Kairos recognizes that scholarly publishing traditionally functions within white supremacy and works to actively reject those systems of oppression by creating anti-racist publishing practices that are inclusive and equitable for authors, staff, and peer reviewers. For Kairos, anti-racism interrupts systemic racial injustice that dismisses the capacious view of who can be a scholar–expert, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender identity, ability, sexual identity, and other identity markers. That is, anti-racism is intersectional in its approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Specifically, in the submission and peer-review process Kairos staff aims to practice anti-racist mentoring work with authors by encouraging and supporting the submission of webtexts with genres, research questions, methodologies, and citation practices from diverse cultural and academic backgrounds. We ask all authors to ensure they are drawing from a range of relevant feminist and cultural rhetorical traditions to support their research questions and methodology, and to include scholars from multiple identities (gender, race, disability, etc.), if known. We also ask authors to reference multiple forms of scholarly publication (open v. closed-access) as well as popular/trade publications, when necessary for their argument. Kairos will continue to engage in outreach efforts to inform authors of our inclusive submission guidelines and seek out BIPOC and other marginalized scholars to mentor into the field and into digital publishing specifically.
Kairos’s peer-review criteria and open review process reflect these anti-racist mentoring and inclusive citational practices, which helps us avoid publishing webtexts that rely heavily or exclusively on print books by cishet white male authors, unless that is truly necessary for an author’s argument. Kairos will continue to invite and train editorial board members from diverse races, ethnicities, cultures, and identities, adding and replacing members whenever a needed area for review presents itself, or annually, whichever comes first.
In the peer-review and copy-editing process, Kairos supports Black linguistic justice and other cultural knowledge enactments. Where editorial work in English has historically attempted perfection in its publications, we have come to recognize that perfection is part of a white supremacist agenda. Our copyediting attends to grammar and usage issues insofar as the author’s meaning needs to be made clear, as we recognize the plurality of styles and welcome that in submissions. The senior editorial team trains all new copyeditors to follow our inclusive style guide and make inquiries to the editors (and authors, if needed) regarding alternate usages.
In hiring, Kairos strives to hire and mentor volunteer staff and editorial board members from diverse racial, cultural, and ethnic lineages; dis/abilities, gender identities, and sexual identities; professional ranks, institutional types, and geographies; as well as other identity markers that help Kairos serve its readership in digital writing studies and related fields. To accomplish this, we are continually growing our mentoring and outreach efforts and making our publishing guidelines explicit and accessible for anyone interested in joining Kairos’s authoring or editorial community.
Annually, the senior editorial team will review our status on each of these action items to gauge the success or failure of our efforts and revise our plans, as needed. As the journal becomes a more inclusive place to work and publish and we continue to learn how to be more proactive anti-racists in academic and publishing circles (as well as our own lives), we invite conversation and feedback on these items.