Journal of Interpretation Research

The Journal is available online to NAI members in the member area of the website.

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The purposes of the Journal of Interpretation Research are to communicate original empirical research dealing with interpretation and to provide a forum for scholarly discourse about issues facing the profession of interpretation. The Journal should strive to link research with practice. The Journal of Interpretation Research is published by the National Association for Interpretation, the preeminent professional association representing the heritage interpretation profession.

The primary function of the Journal is to disseminate original empirical research regarding interpretation. However, the Journal of Interpretation Research takes a broad view of the field of interpretation and publishes manuscripts from a wide-range of academic disciplines. The primary criteria for deeming a manuscript appropriate for the Journal are whether it adds to the current state-of-knowledge for practitioners, researchers, academics, or administrators who work in the field of interpretation.

In recognition of how diverse the relevant literature is, the Journal will also publish reviews of recent books, government publications, original literature reviews, and bibliographies dealing with interpretation. Abstracts from dissertations, private consultant materials, and reports from public agencies will be published in the Journal in a section called, “In short: Reports and Reviews”. This section will also provide an outlet for summaries of research studies with limited scope. Interpretation research often consists of small "in-house" program evaluations and basic visitor studies. The purpose of this section is to communicate current research activities, allow readers to identify colleagues with similar interests, and provide practitioners and administrators with useful information and direction for conducting their own mini-research projects. Submissions for the “In short: Reports and Reviews” section should be limited to 600 to 800 words and will be reviewed by the Editor and two Associate Editors.

Additionally, the Journal will publish thought pieces that exhibit excellence and offer original or relevant philosophical discourse on the state of heritage interpretation. The “In my Opinion” section of the Journal encourages the development of the profession and the practice of interpretation by fostering discussion and debate. Submissions for the “In my Opinion” section should be limited to 400-600 words and will be reviewed by the Editor and two Associate Editors.


Marc J. Stern, PhD
Professor, Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
College of Natural Resources and Environment
Virginia Tech

Bob Powell
Director-Institute for Parks
George B. Hartzog, Jr. Endowed Professor
Dept. of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management; and Dept. of Forestry and Environmental Conservation
Clemson University

JIR Editors Present at the 2021 NAI National Conference