New editor-in-chief at Ageing journal is Southern Cross researcher

Published 23 January 2023
A man sitting at a desk with laptop in a library

Professor Mark Hughes of Southern Cross University has been appointed as the new Editor-in-Chief of the Australasian Journal on Ageing, effective from January 2023.

It is the first appointment of a Southern Cross University academic to the role.

The Australasian Journal on Ageing is an international peer-reviewed journal in gerontology and geriatric medicine. It has a global readership, with around 250,000 articles downloaded each year.

Based at the University’s Gold Coast campus, Professor Hughes said he was thrilled to lead an experienced team of Deputy Editors, Associate Editors and an international Editorial Board.

The appointment comes at a critical time in terms of both the reform of the aged care system and the changes occurring in academic publishing.

“The AJA plays a crucial role in building the knowledge base to deepen our understanding of ageing, interrogate the factors that impact on older people’s health and social inclusion, and create innovative and evidence-based programs and interventions,” Professor Hughes said.

As Professor of Social Work at Southern Cross University, his research interests include ageing experiences among LGBTQ+ communities, recognition of gender and sexual diversity in aged care policy and practice, and social work practice with older people.

The AJA was listed as Q1 in Community and Home Care, Q2 in Geriatrics and Gerontology and also Q2 in Medicine in the 2021 Scimago journal rankings.

The AJA aspires to publish the world’s best and most timely ageing research. It publishes original research on a wide range of topics related to ageing, as well as systematic reviews and research reporting innovations in policy and practice. It attracts a large number of submissions each year and has an acceptance rate of about 35%.

“In 2022, about 50% of all articles published in the AJA were free to access, mainly due to a new Read and Publishing agreement negotiated between Wiley and the Council of Australian University Librarians,” said Professor Hughes.

“This means that older people, professionals and policy makers can access much of the latest knowledge from the AJA without worrying about a paywall.”

The most widely read articles in 2022 were on dementia and social exclusion, sexuality in later life, the impact of COVID-19 on people receiving community-based aged care, age-friendly communities, and exercise for people with sarcopenia.

At the same time, its most widely-cited articles included papers on the prevalence of dementia in the Torres Strait, the validity of the FRAIL scale, texture-modified diets in residential aged care, and the characteristics of nursing homes with COVID-19 outbreaks. 

Professor Hughes is a former Editor of Australian Social Work. At Southern Cross University he has previously held the roles of Dean of Arts and Social Sciences and Chair of Academic Board.

Media contact: Sharlene King, media office at Southern Cross University 0429 661 349 or scumedia@scu.edu.au