Academic journals are periodicals in which scholarly material relating to a certain academic discipline is published and reviewed. These peer-reviewed periodicals provide a platform through which new topics or ideas pertaining to that particular discipline can be introduced, researched and debated upon. The articles published are details of original research conducted by one or a group of stakeholders, reviews of book publications related to the discipline, and are therefore sometimes commonly referred to as professional magazines. They range from journals of science to applied technology, journalism, social sciences and humanities.
In the professional circles, there is a habit of any willing interested party making unsolicited submissions of their research and discoveries, opinions or articles to these professional magazines. Usually, a bench of editors peruses the submitted entries to determine their quality and relevance and therefore choose which entries they are going to publish and those that are going to be published. Once an article has been published, any interested parties are free to respond either in support or criticizing the information published therein. This is what is called peer reviewing (Effs. org, 2009).
Reviewing involves the checking of progress on the research of topics published in these professional journals. This process covers progressive research either on a long term or short term depending on the topic concerned. The reason for journal awards is that the prestige of an academic journal’s award establishes itself over time; the dominant academic journals consequently receive the highest number of submissions and are consequently the preferred choice of seeking the relevant information and opinion regarding a certain topical issue. It is for this reason that certain journals dominate over others in terms of relevancy and credibility.
For example in the United States of America, the American Historical Review and the Journal of American History have been able to stamp their authority over most of the other related journals. The ranking of journals is based on the prestige derived from their accuracy, relevance and professional reverence of their most frequent contributors. In the fields of technology and applied science, it is easier to establish the top most journals but when it comes to the social sciences, it becomes very hard to rank these journals mostly on account of the diverse nature of the opinions available and the scope of the discipline.
The approach used here is estimating the impact factor, that is counting the total number of submissions following the publishing of all particular original submissions and also counting the number of citations based on the publications (Carl, 2000). The duration through which submissions are continually cited, also called the half life, is an important criteria of gauging the impact of a particular journal. In virtually every professional discipline, it is very important that the industry players get a feedback to gauge the standards and the levels of professionally time over time.
To increase competitiveness, progress and professional integrity, different foundations have initiated programs of awarding excellence (Clapp, 2003). Individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary professional standards are awarded depending on merit and this acts as a source of motivation to the recipients but also to their competitors and partners to put the specific industry on the course of achieving greater heights.
The importance of the media on contemporary society cannot under any circumstances be underestimated. It is the media that is on the forefront of creating awareness on the most relevant topical issues directly affecting people. From politics to the economy, human rights to diseases and education, the influence of the media is the most significant. It is not a surprise that most people base their interpretation of topical issues almost always based on how the media has put the facts on paper (Wheeler, 2009).
It is for this reason that there has been a lot of effort geared towards ensuring that the media is impartial, relevant and correct on the issues that are of most significance to society as its role in determining how they are received by society in general is insurmountable. To increase integrity in this important industry, very many civil, corporate, governmental and even private organizations have come up with numerous awards all aimed at rewarding excellence and increasing journalistic standards. Among these, perhaps the most significant is the award gala night organized by the International Centre for Journalists (ICJ).
Each and every year, the ICT holds an award dinner in honor of the achievements and feats accomplished by its fellows. These awards honor those journalists who have, for the preceding year, demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the cause and have exhibited the most commendable professional standards (Mackenzie, 2007). This colorful event brings together those journalism professionals from the United States of America as well as from overseas countries, who have made the headlines, constantly putting their lives and safety on the line to bring in the news as it is from the harshest and most hostile locations around the world.
They are a perfect demonstration of a passionate commitment of excellent news collection and pointblank reporting. Another significant excellence award by the journalism industry is held by The Canadian Journalism Foundation. Started just over ten years ago, the Excellence in Journalism Award has continued to gain credibility over the years. It is now one of the most prestigious journalistic awards held annually and is the only award of its kind given to a media organization for exhibiting an overall excellence in journalistic performance (Chism, 2006).
The Excellence in Journalism Award aims to recognize an outstanding dedication to the cause of journalism. Sponsored jointly by the Jackman Foundation and the Canadian Journalism Foundation, the Excellence in Journalism Award has the overall objective of embracing and enhancing the social and political ideals of citizenship under a working democratic system, rigor and professionalism in journalistic practice, honesty and independence in ideology, accuracy in information collection and accountability (Fredrick, 1995).
The award also rewards initiative and an artistic flair in information presentation and clarity. The excellence in Journalism award has winners in two separate categories. One award is dedicated to small and medium sized media houses from the locality (that is within Canada) and the North American region while the second category is for the large national and international media houses. The next awards are scheduled to be held on the fifth day of March this year.
The Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Journal Awards are the other main journalistic awards. Specifically targeting the radio broadcasting industry, he awards are aimed at recognizing those radio companies that have stood out from among their competitors in terms of successfully using the technology of Radio Frequency Identification. The RIFD journal, to ensure a relevant and trustworthy, has put in place a panel of qualified judges who undertake the work of evaluating all competitors and eventually choosing the winner (Burnett, 2000).
The aim of these awards is to encourage the application of the radio frequency identification in radio broadcasting and award the winner in this sector. The RIFD has five distinct award categories fro the best implementers of the radio frequency identification technology, the company that has best used frequency identification to enhance their service and the quality of their service to their clients and a special achievement award (PressRelease. com, 2009).
Other influential journals include the Harvard Law Review, The Academy of Management Journal and the American Journal of Sociology for the discipline of Social Sciences, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the Proceedings of the Royal Society and Science in the area of general sciences. In the specific sciences, the leading journals are the Archives of Sexual behavior, Industrial Engineering and Industry Research and the Journal of the American Mathematical Society (Wankat, 2005).
The reason why journals hold award giving events is to award leading contributors for their commitment and research in a particular discipline and therefore encouraging research and progress. The prestige of any intellectual society is directly derived from the relevance and applicability of their findings; therefore by awarding leading researchers, there is every potential of encouraging further leaders and nurturing the aspirations of future scholars and therefore ensuring intellectual continuity.