Gregory, Anne (2012) Reviewing public relations research and scholarship in the 21st century. Public Relations Review, 38 (1). pp. 1-4. ISSN 0363-8111

I have been prompted to write this Commentary piece following a period of reflection on the field of public relations as a whole. My thoughts have been focused by sharing Meet the Editor platforms with a number of respected colleagues
including Ray Hiebert, the long-standing editor of this journal and an analysis of papers coming to my own journal and to others where I serve as an editorial board member. It is also informed by attending numerous academic conferences around
the world, an ongoing involvement with the practitioner community over the past 10 years and my current role as Chair Elect of the Global Alliance.1
After the first decade of the 21st century it is appropriate to take stock of our field. The main lens through which I do this, the papers that are being submitted to journals in the field, provides an insight into what topics are taking up the time and energy of many in the academy, and the too few practitioners that submit their work to our refereed publications. This Commentary might also partially explain the dearth of practitioner contributions to our journals and it is certainly a plea for more.
I confess I have been goaded into writing this piece, partly out of frustration about what I see as some issues in our field of scholarship that are not being honestly confronted, and partly because I see many opportunities being missed. My wish is that this piece stimulates debate, possibly even a conference to address some of the topics raised. It is driven out of a deep desire for our field to advance, to be respected and to take its place as an academic field of note and a practice of the same standing. I make no apology about the stance I take in this Commentary as an academic who has spent many years in practice and who happily straddles the divide between the academy and those who work in the increasingly challenging and complex world of practice. We are an academic field that has arisen from the practice and my unashamed ambition is for the practice to be more rigorous and respected. I also recognise there are many areas left unconsidered in this piece, but I am hopeful it will serve as a starting point and others will delve below the surface I have skimmed, and venture much wider.

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