Current Issue

Editorial Remarks

“Daylight doesn’t understand the darkness at night” is a line from a popular song in China. If one asks a fish “how is the water?” The fish is very likely to reply with “What water? Why do you asked me that? “What do you mean?”

It has been more than a year since the International Journal of Cultural and Creative Industries (IJCCI) made its first call for papers in search of original manuscripts written in languages other than English, namely Chinese, Indonesian, and Japanese. The main goal of this multilingual call for papers is to pay respect to the values of different cultures. IJCCI does believe that the essence of a culture can only be expressed and revealed in its own language. By translating into English, or indeed, any other language, the underlying meanings may vary and the values might be distorted.

Since the announcement, we received quite a few submissions which were sent for blind reviews. In the beginning, I naively thought that there would only be a language difference. As long as we can find reviewers who are proficient in the specific languages, arguments that meet our readers’ interests and have good academic quality can be identified for translation and finally be published. Only recently did I realize that the above approach indeed has its limits. Though review takes place, translation alone cannot maintain the meaning and ideas intact across the entire whole process, especially after final editing. In translation, if the translator does not have a deep enough understanding of the language itself and its underlying cultural value system, then the authentic meaning might be distorted or the knowledge it conveys could be reduced. In the final editing stage, if the proofreader does not have sufficient knowledge in the language and understanding about concerned cultures, then they might make mistakes on words that are correct in the first place or guide readers in the wrong direction.

After identifying the flaws, we redefined the reviewing process as follows, which consists of four procedures: In the first step, IJCCI sends the manuscripts written in the specific languages for blind review by experts who are proficient in the specified language. Second, with at least two approvals out of three review decisions, the author(s) are required to translate the manuscript into English for a ‘double check’. Third, a ‘double check’ on the context is applied by sending the English translation version to one of the reviewers who, in relative terms, is more proficient in English and shows more interest and appreciation of the argument in the reviewed article. During the third step, maybe some back and forths will be necessary to ensure that the content in English covers all key issues and exhibits the whole idea in its original language. Fourth, the English version is sent for copy-editing and the editor is expected to act as a cultural conservator whose task is to maintain content integrity so that future readers can gain a holistic understanding of the argument.

IJCCI posits itself as a platform for exchanging and sharing the latest developments and achievements in research into the creative and cultural industries. Coincidently, articles by authors from five continents are published in this issue. We hope that our revised review process can assure the retention of the intended cultural values in the argument and deliver to our readers a better and deeper understanding and appreciation of the advancement of creativity and culture around the world.



Ding-Bang LUH