The mission of the Social Publishers Foundation is to build global capacity for social progress and human wellbeing. The Foundation provides an online space for nonprofit publishing of practice-based research evidence (PBRE) such as practitioner research, participatory research, and action research, including new knowledge and materials for attaining positive impacts on educational and other social practices tied to social support systems worldwide.
The Foundation provides a platform for sharing and for the use of new knowledge, materials, and products generated by practitioner-led research. The Foundation does so in order to encourage the use of practice-based knowledge, foster global collaboration among practitioners, and strengthen social practices related to various forms of social supports globally. Social supports include the full array of educational and human service systems established by nation states, geographical regions, and communities to meet the human needs of their populations. Social support systems are essential to civil society and are not driven by a profit-motive but exist based on a commitment to improving the overall quality of life. Social support systems include a focus on human and community development, promoting wellness, preventing social problems, and addressing the remediation of problems interfering with education, health, and the overall quality of life.
The Foundation also provides opportunities for potential social publishers through crowdfunding of research projects and product-development projects and start-up grants to practitioners around the world to facilitate research and development. The Foundation further endeavors to obtain donors to help practitioners produce and disseminate their practice-based research evidence (PBRE) by providing special grants.
The Foundation operates from the fundamental view that publishing by practitioners is crucial for building global solidarity for social progress. Therefore, the Foundation supports social publishers in strengthening socially beneficial practices and encouraging collaborations among practitioners as well as between practitioners and university-based researchers to adapt research-based products to specific needs in local contexts. The ultimate goal of the Foundation is to foster the development of a global network of socially responsible publishers that contributes to sustainable development for individuals, communities, and societies.
This Annual Report presents the activities of Social Publishers Foundation (SPF) in the last year. This coming October, SPF will complete the second year beyond the soft-launch phase of the Foundation’s website. We wish to acknowledge the contributions of time, effort, ideas, and funds provided by members of the SPF Board of Directors, Advisory Board, Review Panel, supporters, and the growing number of practitioner-researchers submitting their work to SPF for dissemination. From the establishment of SPF, our initiatives have maintained a steady focus on developing a platform to provide funding and publishing opportunities for practitioner-researchers.
Global Exposure of SPF Activities
Recently SPF initiated dual-language publications for German, Portuguese, and Spanish projects with English translations. Initial reviewers for non-English submissions (in the three languages shown above) have been secured and more will be added. To date, published projects in English only are from Austria, England, Germany, Sri Lanka, and the US, and authors from Brazil and Mongolia are preparing to submit their research projects.
Sponsorship and Partnership
A prominent international action research Journal, Educational Action Research, became an SPF sponsor this year. The journal initiated sponsorship as a way to show support for the Foundation’s work in promoting practitioner research. EARJ is a peer-reviewed Journal published by Taylor & Francis. The Journal was originated within the European-based Collaborative Action Research Network (CARN) in 1992.
Our effort to disseminate practitioner-researchers’ projects continues through partnerships including the La Mesa-Spring Valley Educational Foundation in San Diego County, California, and Bishop Grosseteste University, located in Lincoln, England. A new partnership with another University is in the works. SPF provides mentorship for practitioner researchers in writing grant proposals for practitioner research and/or for project outcomes for publication in the SPF knowledgebase in collaboration with our partner organizations. In addition, SPF continued as a sponsor of the annual conference of the Action Research Network of the Americas (ARNA).
Funds for collaborative action research, start-up grants, and a specific school district’s (LMSV) practitioner research continued to be available in 2017-2018. SPF continues to seek funders who are interested in funding small to large grants for specific domains or issues.
Most of the published practitioner-research projects continue to be in the Education field. At present, projects in other fields include one in Wellness and Heathcare and one in Social Work and Social Service. SPF continues to seek more projects based in a variety of fields.
Ongoing Outreach Efforts
SPF has continued to present at conferences and to lead workshops encouraging practitioners to become practitioner researchers and to share their work through adding completed projects to the SPF knowledgebase. The Foundation also reaches out to a variety of organizations interested in practitioner research or action research to explore potential partnerships and collaborations. In 2017-2018, conference presentations included CARN and ARNA.
Advisory Board and Review Panel
SPF added another member to the Advisory Board. SPF will continue to include scholars and practitioner researchers from a variety of countries on the Advisory Board and Review Panel. Currently, the Advisory Board and Review Panel include members from 7 countries including Austria, Brazil, Canada, South Africa, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States.