We continue on the expert interviews in this week´s CBRA supply chain security-blog: Dr. Andrew R. Thomas & Journal of Transportation Security.
Hello Andrew, and thanks for agreeing to be interviewed by CBRA. Can you please tell first who are you, what have you done in your professional life?
For the past 13 years I have been a professor of marketing and international business at the University of Akron. Many of my 18 books are in the area of transportation security, including GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN SECURITY, AVIATION INSECURITY, AIR RAGE, and AVIATION SECURITY MANAGEMENT- 3 volumes. I currently serve as co-chair for the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Subcommittee on Global Supply Chain Security. Prior to my academic career, I was a principal in the first firm to ever export motor vehicles from China. I have travelled to and done business in 120 countries on all 7 continents.
It is now the 8th year for Journal of Transportation Security, if I remember correctly? How did you become the (founding) Chief Editor of the journal?
I have been writing on transportation security issues since 1999. Even back then, I was staggered by the lack of outlets for new research and “best practices” in this space. Following 9/11, when the subject moved front and centre, I was waiting- hoping, really- for someone to step-up and create a peer-reviewed journal for researchers and practitioners alike. I guess after a few years of seeing nothing materialize, I decided to take the leap. I reached out to Springer, the largest and most successful publisher of scientific thoughts and ideas, to run the idea by them. They had already published a few of my books and saw the need clearly as I did. Their support in starting the journal and sustaining it over the years has been phenomenal.
Could you provide an overview of the types of articles published in the journal during since the beginning – any specific facets of transport security which have been “thoroughly covered” so far?
As transportation security remains a new, emerging discipline, we – by which I mean all of us who research, study, teach, or practice within the discipline today- are still seeking to lay the foundational pillars that the next generation will take a higher level. I view this as at least a 20-year endeavour, by which measure we are not even halfway there yet. Given the new ground we are breaking every day, I would not say that any one area has been thoroughly covered. Instead, what we are learning is that new areas, which maybe weren’t originally considered part of transportation security, are finding reason to join in. Articles have ranged across the spectrum of disciplines, from authors who are physicists, lawyers, policy makers, supply chain professionals, economists, historians, transportation specialists, chemists, political scientists, engineers, sociologists, and many, many more. Most exciting to me is that our multi-disciplinary approach to scientific discovery is further enhanced by the truly global nature of the journal. Our authors and editorial board members come from all over the world.
Can you please share with us some of the key moments of success as well as “uncertain / risky moments” during the seven years you have worked with the journal?
Maybe it is my stubborn streak, but I never factor success or failure into my calculus. With the Journal, as well my other pursuits, I find that regularly working hard and doing whatever needs to be done is a pretty good formula. Once I have done all that I can do, the results are what they are. And, then, I’ll decide what to do next.
Any specific plans or objectives you can share with us regarding year 2015?
Great question and timing! This year is designed to be one of significant change, with the goal of taking the journal to the next level. This means that we will enhance the peer-review process by expanding the number and quality of reviewers. Also, we will be announcing some forthcoming special editions with guest editors in the coming months. To these ends, we will publish two, rather than the normal four, issues in 2015. In 2016, we plan to return to the regular quarterly publishing schedule.
Thanks a lot Andrew for the interview – and all the best to you and the Journal of Transportation Security for the future!
Thank you, Juha, for this opportunity, and for all that you do to advance the pursuit of knowledge and discovery in this most important field!
PS. More information on the Journal of Transportation Security can be found at: