The International Laboratory for Visitor Studies Review (ILVS Review)

Harris Shettel (shown below with co-founder Chan Screven) writes about the founding of ILVS:

The growth and development of a professional field of study can be measured in many ways, but certainly one of them would have to be the number of publications devoted to furthering its mission. The gold star in this regard would be a peer-reviewed journal that published high quality research papers. In the late 1980s the rapidly expanding visitor studies community had no such journal, relying on outlets that had multiple agendas and audiences (e.g., Visitor Behavior, a newsletter edited by Steve Bitgood, and Curator). Into this breech stepped the one person who was probably in the best position to pull together the myriad strings needed to produce a high quality research journal, Dr. Chandler Screven, known to all as Chan. His leading role as teacher, mentor and practitioner put him in an ideal position to tap into the best work that was being done at the time. When he asked me to join him as co-editor, I gladly accepted. For help, we approached a number of our research-oriented colleagues to be on the editorial board. Their names represent many of the key people who were making major contributors to the field Steven Bitgood, Minda Borun, Marilyn Hood, John Koran, Ross Loomis, Roger Miles and Ridgeley Williams.

I will let the content of the four issues of ILVS Review: A Journal of Visitor Behavior that were published speak for themselves. That we could not continue beyond the four issues is not a reflection on the effort and dedication of those involved but a result of the shear burden of jumping through all the hoops that are part of the publication process. However, the need for such a publication did not go away as evidenced by the fact that the Visitor Studies Association is embarking on a similar journey with the publication of Visitor Studies. I wish them well!

Many thanks to the VSA Publications Committee for making this valuable resource available to a wider audience of interested readers.

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