Professor Kara Finnigan named editor-chief of AERA Open

AERA Open graphic

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) has announced Kara Finnigan, professor of education policy at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education, as the new editor-chief for AERA Open for 2022-24. Warner School alumna Cecilia Rios-Aguilar ‘03W (MS), '07W (PhD), professor of education and associate dean of equity, diversity, and inclusion at the School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, has also been appointed to the editorial team, serving as co-editor with five other scholars. 
AERA launched the publication in 2014 as one of the first open access journals published by social and behavioral science associations. In 2019, AERA Open was named the “Best New Journal in Social Sciences” by the Association of American Publishers. Since 2014, the journal has received over 3,000 submissions with over 400 published.
In a press release, AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine shared that she is thrilled with the appointment of such an outstanding team of prominent scholars. “Under their leadership, the journal will build on the success of the inaugural team as they advance AERA Open’s tradition of rapid peer review, open access, and broad dissemination of research to a worldwide audience,” said Levine.
With an emphasis on rapid review and dissemination, AERA Open aims to advance knowledge related to education and learning through rigorous empirical and theoretical study, conducted in a wide range of academic disciplines. The journal publishes studies of education and learning in various contexts, such as early childhood, after-school, primary and secondary, and postsecondary education. 
2020–21 AERA President Shaun Harper appointed the new editor team for AERA Open. This appointment culminated an extensive search driven by the AERA Journal Publications Committee, which is charged with making editorial recommendations to the president. As editors, Finnigan and her colleagues will begin receiving new manuscripts on October 1, 2021.
Kara Finnigan headshot photo Finnigan has been on the faculty of the Warner School of Education since 2003. She is also a faculty fellow with the University’s Office of Equity and Inclusion and co-chair of the University’s Community Engagement for Racial Justice and Faculty Senate Research Policy Committees. She has conducted research and evaluations of K–12 educational policies and programs at the local, state, and federal levels. Her research blends perspectives in education, sociology, and political science; employs qualitative and quantitative methods, including social network analysis and GIS mapping; and focuses on urban school districts. She has published two edited books and co-authored Striving in Common: A Regional Equity Framework for Urban Schools  (Harvard Ed. Press, 2018), an ed policy book that looks closely at the racial and economic inequities contributing to the deepening segregation and inequality in schools across the United States.
Cecilia Rios-Aguilar headshot photo Rios-Aguilar also serves as a faculty co-director of Policy Analysis for California Education, as a board member of the Spencer Foundation, and as a research affiliate of Wheelhouse: The Center for Community College Leadership and Research at the University of California, Davis. With diversity, equity, and inclusion as her focus, her research is multidisciplinary and uses a variety of asset-based conceptual frameworks and statistical approaches to study the educational and occupational trajectories of marginalized students. She received her doctorate in educational policy and theory and master’s in educational administration, both from the Warner School.
The new editor team, announced by AERA on July 9, 2021, will succeed the inaugural team led by editor-chief Mark Warschauer, of University of California, Irvine. Read the full AERA press release announcing the new editor team for AERA Open
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national interdisciplinary research association devoted to the scientific study of education and learning. Founded in 1916, AERA advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education, and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good. Learn more about AERA.

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Tags: academic research, AERA, Kara Finnigan