Presentation of COMUNITANIA. International Journal of Social Work and Social Sciences
Presentation of COMUNITANIA. International Journal of Social Work and Social Sciences

Dr. Antonio López Peláez*

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*Executive editor. Full Profesor of Social Work and Social Services. Social Work Department. Faculty of Law. National Distance Learning University of Spain (UNED). alopez@der.uned.es

Specialized journals and scientific conferences are two important indicators that reveal the degree of maturity that a discipline has reached, as well as the level of development and excellence achieved by a scientific community. Following the enormous effort involved in publishing the first issue of a journal, it is necessary to analyze the results, plan and program coming issues and continue to strive towards academic excellence from an interdisciplinary perspective open to publishing relevant research in the field of the social sciences and law, with special emphasis on the sphere of social work.

In Spain, the field of social work has gained institutional recognition as a scientific discipline and a profession, while a first degree, masters or doctorate in social work can now be obtained within the European Higher Education Area. In a like manner, the scientific community dedicated to our discipline, and to the broader field of the social sciences, has also reached a level of excellence that calls for projects such as the publication of an international journal. Bearing this in mind, the first aim of our journal is to meet rigorous standards of quality and ensure that Comunitania, which has gotten off the ground with this first issue, is recognized as a prestigious international journal in the field of social work and the social sciences.

The members of the Department of Social Work at the National Distance Learning University (UNED) of Madrid, Spain, have understood from the beginning that due to our increasingly interconnected and digital society, our journal must have a global vision. Thanks to this global approach, our project has met with a very positive response from the international scientific community, to which I am wholly grateful. Since the its inception, renowned professors who teach and conduct research on the five continents have formed part of our Editorial Board and actively participated in the project. It is an honour to have their support for our journal, which publishes research of excellence conducted in countries throughout the world in both English and Spanish. I would also like to express my gratitude to all the authors who have published an article in this first issue and being aware of the difficulties involved in a rigorous anonymous peer review process, have generously sent very interesting articles. To all of you, I give my thanks. I would also like to thank Editorial Universitas for their commitment and dedication to the publication of a journal with a clear scientific vocation such as Comunitania. Without the support of a rigorous and academic publishing house like Universitas, it would have been impossible to undertake a project of this kind; a project we are convinced has a promising future. Thank you Universitas.

This first issue reflects this international vision, analyzing issues at both the local and global level that affect us in an interconnected world. Through the Web we are linked beyond the geographical borders that separate us. Just as the financial capitals of the world’s economies operate in real time, scientific communities are also connected in real time. Today, research that is published throughout the world is also available on the Web by simply clicking on a computer key.

The thematic line of Comunitania is open to a wide range of relevant research in the field of the social sciences and law as many of the processes of social inclusion and exclusion can be analyzed from multiple perspectives. Comunitania also seeks to provide an environment of excellence for publications in the sphere of social work. Our discipline, which is based on experience of a world that is of deep concern to us, also strives to be pragmatically relevant. As an action-oriented scientific discipline, it is necessary to be able to publish rigorous and relevant studies that analyze new challenges and provide deeper insight to guide future actions. Formal education and research in social work have as their aim to train those in the field to become critical observers of reality, but also to be qualified professionals; professionals who are capable of dealing with new and old challenges as well taking advantage of the new and old opportunities around which we develop our life paths.

In short, the social sciences, and social work in particular, encounter the path to knowledge, the logos, through disorder, pathological behaviour, pain, inequality, injustice, that is, through the pathos, or experience. Our discipline, social work, is characterized by being a logos, by action-driven knowledge, which in turn strives to become a techné, a transformative practice. To do so, rigor and excellence in scientific research and academic practice are essential; two goals that Comunitania aims to achieve in coming years.

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