The Australian Research Council (Annual Review only)
In 2011 the New Directions in the Humanities Collection had an acceptance rate of 28%. This number reflects the percentage of paper proposals that were ultimately accepted for publication as articles, after the peer review process, in one of the journals in the collection.
We want to make a general comment, however, about the ways in which academic knowledge is valued. The current system, based mainly on rejection rates and citation counts, is seriously fraught. Rejection rates, for instance, are an arbitrary supply-and-demand relation of submissions to publication slots. They tell little of intellectual quality of a journal. The other conventional measure of scholarly value, the citation count, is just as fraught. Just how fraught is a long story, the intricacies of which we explain in the publications below.
In a number of ways, we at Common Ground have been working to create a peer evaluation system which is more reliable and which produces better quality publications. Our measure of quality is the process itself and the rigorous application of explicit criteria of intellectual excellence. In our quest to publish only the best, Common Ground takes a work through multiple steps in a collaborative knowledge creation process. Our goal is to implement innovative peer review practices, using a process of what we call ‘synergistic feedback’ through processes of proposal review, conference presentation and feedback, criterion referenced review, revision and publication. Our new media publishing tools also provide high levels of Internet exposure and potentials for web interactivity around your work.
All journals in the Humanities Collection encourage the widest range of submissions and aim at all times to foster the highest standards intellectual excellence in our journal publishing program. These are our objectives:
Common Ground’s approach to peer review is open and inclusive, at the same time as it is based on the most rigorous and merit-based anonymous peer review processes. Our peer review processes are criterion-referenced and peer reviewers are selected on the basis of subject matter and disciplinary expertise. Ranking is based on clearly articulated criteria. The result is a peer review process that is scrupulously fair in its assessments at the same time as offering a carefully structured and constructive contribution to the shape of the published paper.
The result is a publishing process which is without prejudice to institutional affiliation, stage in career, national origins or disciplinary perspective. If the paper is excellent, and has been systematically and independently assessed as such, it will be published. This is why Common Ground journals have so much exciting new material, much of it originating from well known research institutions but also a considerable amount of brilliantly insightful and innovative material from academics in lesser known institutions in the developing world, emerging researchers, people working in hard-to-classify interdisciplinary spaces and researchers in liberal arts colleges and teaching universities. In recognition of the highest levels of excellence, every year an international prize is awarded for the top-ranked paper in each journal.
Common Ground is developing a low-cost commercial approach to academic publishing. We believe there are limitations in both the high cost commercial publishing and status-quo open access publishing models. Our desire to find a practical middle way between the idealism of open access and the inefficiencies and greed of the big journal publishers inspired the launch of of our Hybrid Open Access and Institutional Open Access initiatives. Hybrid Open Access allows authors to pay a modest fee to make their work freely available to anyone. Institutional Open Access allows institutions to transact directly with Common Ground to support the open access publication efforts of their students and faculty and include the typeset versions of published articles in their institutional repositories.
However, Common Ground's non-open access content remains highly accessible. We have modest subscription charges for libraries and a small per-article charge for electronic access by non-subscribers. Every journal article has its own page; and every author has their own self-maintainable website, which includes any articles and books they have published with Common Ground, a blog, and places to paste their bionote, photo, and CV. Conference participants are granted free electronic access to the corresponding journal for a year. All our journals are available in both print and electronic formats.
The journals in the New Directions in the Humanities collection are great resources for researchers, students, and academics. If you would like to recommend the New Directions in the Humanities collection of journals to your institution’s library, you can download a recommendation form.