There is common consensus that innovation in technology, large cuts in public expenditure for higher education, as well as major demographic and geopolitical changes that occurred over the last decades deeply affected the way we carry out research today. This is particularly true in the field of labour relations, due to ongoing innovation in production and work processes.
However, although resulting in many limitations and constraints, this state of affairs laid the foundations for new opportunities, as entailing the establishment of renewed relations either between the members of the international academic community, and among various actors from universities, businesses, trade unions and public institutions.
We firmly believe that there is a continuing need for ways of disseminating information and ideas and we think that a journal easily accessible on line will provide a much wider distribution network for researchers to publicise and share their work. This is the reason for the establishment of an innovative journal that will be free to all those with on line access and who have registered their interest. As recently pointed out by the Association of American University Presses (Sustaining Scholarly Publishing: New Business Models for University Presses, March 2011) “monographs remain largely static objects, isolated from the interconnections of social computing, instead of being vibrant hubs for discussion and engagement”. The same can be said for the majority of academic journals as, notwithstanding their high level of excellence, are at risk of being self-referential, seemingly ignoring the dynamic nature of the world of work. Further, contributions in this field are often published long after changes occurred, without being able to keep up with the evolution of relevant regulatory and institutional framework, and therefore providing for outdated analyses.
In this connection, the digital format of the E-Journal of International and Comparative Labour Studies and the internet platform serving as a hub for a well established international network are intended to provide an open area where it will be possible to promote the exchange of new ideas, information and relevant documentation as a starting point for further cooperation between institutions of higher education, social partners, practitioners and companies.
Our international network of correspondents will be supported by a scientific committee and by more than 200 researchers and doctoral students of ADAPT, the non-profit organization founded in 2000 by Prof. Marco Biagi with the aim of promoting studies and research in the field of labour law and industrial relations from an international and comparative perspective. Our purpose is to encourage and implement a new approach to academic research, by establishing ongoing relationships with other universities and advanced research institutes, and by promoting academic and scientific exchange programmes with enterprises, trade unions, institutions, foundations and associations.
Generally, we are concerned with issues in employment relations, human resource management, health and safety, psychology, sociology, labour economics, politics, labour law and history. More specifically, this might include research and new developments with regard to comparative collective and individual labour issues, equality and discrimination, transitions to work, public policy and labour regulation, vulnerable workers and precarious working, employment productivity and international labour institutions; and any other material concerned with any aspect of labour studies. Such an investigation is intended to cast light on main issues flowing from the debate in these research fields, sharing a platform for interdisciplinary discussion and creative hints for research, with a view to building the future of work together.
The EJICLS is committed to rigorous scholarship and quality. All articles will be subject to independent refereeing before being accepted for publication.