In light of the ongoing concerns for the global spread of COVID-19 and the increasing restrictions that are necessary to combat it, we have decided to postpone the sixth conference of The International Journal of Press/Politics to 21-22 September 2020.
Colleagues who have submitted a proposal in the previous call for papers do not need to submit their proposal again if they are interested in attending the conference on 21-22 September 2020. We will contact all these colleagues shortly before the 12 June deadline to ask them to confirm whether they still want their proposals to be considered for the new conference dates. If you already know, feel free to reach out now, but there is no immediate need to do this.
The call for papers for the conference will now be re-opened until 12 June 2020. Attendees will be notified of acceptance by 19 June 2020.
We hope that, in three months’ time, we will be able to assess the situation and decide that we can safely meet our colleagues again and renew the unique spirit of the community that gathers around The International Journal of Press/Politics and its conference. However, if by that time the situation in the UK and around the world has not shown enough signs of improvement that make us confident that we can run the conference without any risks for individual and public health, and that colleagues can safely travel to Loughborough without any concerns for their health, safety, and finances, we will cancel the 2020 edition of the conference altogether.
The call for papers for the sixth conference of IJPP closed on 13 March 2020 and we received a large number of promising submissions. However, it has become clear that the need to combat the spread of COVID-19 requires restrictions to travel and gatherings that would severely hamper our ability to organize the conference, and of colleagues to attend it, on the original dates of 29-30 June 2020. The UK government’s estimation that the COVID-19 epidemic should reach its peak in three months’ time, roughly coinciding with the conference dates, further suggested that the risks to colleagues’ health, as well as to public health, would be too severe, as would be the likelihood that the event be later canceled due to further government restrictions.
While we could have provisionally confirmed the original conference dates and waited to see how the situation develops, we are very concerned that any activities we conduct may have negative implications for public health, in the UK and elsewhere. We are also not comfortable asking colleagues to pay registration fees for an event that may not take place and book travel and accommodation that had a high likelihood of being canceled.
We take this opportunity to reassure colleagues that we are processing manuscripts as usual during this period. As our Editorial Team and reviewers are coping with the adjustments required by this unique situation, some manuscripts may experience some delays, which we will try to manage and reduce as much as possible. We trust that authors waiting for a decision will understand this. We are also committed to supporting authors who are revising their manuscripts and reviewers who have generously agreed to assess them. If you need more time to complete your work in a way that meets your aspirations and the standards of the journal, please get in touch with us. More importantly, we hope colleagues will not feel that any of their generous contributions to the journal take an excessive toll on them during these difficult times, but if that were the case, we wholeheartedly encourage you to prioritize your and your loved ones’ health and wellbeing.
Our conference is a relatively young event but the community our journal brings together is strong, inclusive, and supportive. We are committed to serving this community in the best way we can, and we hope we can count on your continuing support as we navigate these difficult times.
The Editorial Team of The International Journal of Press/Politics