The New Directions in the Humanities Collection was founded in 2003.
The International Journal of the Humanities: Annual Review
The International Journal of Civic, Political, and Community Studies
The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies
The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies
The International Journal of Humanities Education
The International Journal of Literary Humanities
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.
Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement
Common Ground takes intellectual integrity very seriously. The publisher, editors, reviewers, and authors all agree upon the following standards of expected ethical behavior, which are based on COPES’s Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors.
Common Ground’s editorial team, in consultation with the journal or journal collection's editor(s), is responsible for deciding which submitted articles should be published. The editorial team may confer with the journal editor and will strongly consider peer reviewers' comments and recommendations as part of this decision-making process.
Submitted articles will be evaluated according to their intellectual merit, without regard to the race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, ethnic origin, citizenship, political philosophy, or institutional affiliation of the author(s).
Editorial staff will not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, or other editorial advisors.
Disclosures of Conflicts of Interest
Unpublished material must not be used in an editor's own research without the written consent of the author.
Contribution to Editorial Decisions
Recommendations by peer reviewers are the single most important determining factor in whether a manuscript is accepted for publication. They may also help the author improve a manuscript that has been accepted pending revisions.
Peer reviewers are asked to complete their reviews within two weeks of receiving a refereeing assignment. If they cannot complete the report within two weeks, they may ask for an extension. If a peer reviewer feels unqualified to review a particular manuscript, he or she may notify a member of Common Ground’s editorial team to be excused from the assignment.
Any manuscript received for review will be treated as confidential. It must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorized by Common Ground’s editorial team.
Standards of Objectivity
Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
Acknowledgment of Sources
Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Reports of statements, observations, or arguments that have been noted elsewhere should be accompanied by a relevant citation. A reviewer should also call the editor's attention to any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.
Disclosure and Conflict of Interest
Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not be used for personal benefit. Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, our institutions connected to the papers under review.
Authors of reports of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed, as well as an objective discussion of its significance.
Data Access and Retention
Authors are asked to provide the raw data in connection with the paper for editorial review, and should be prepared to provide public access to such data, whenever possible. In any event, authors should be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable amount of time after publication.
Originality and Plagiarism
The authors should ensure that they have written entirely original work, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others that this has been appropriately cited or quoted. Articles found to have plagiarized material will be withdrawn from publication consideration. If plagiarism is found after an article is published, the publisher will contact the author for a response to the allegations. In cases of proven plagiarism or non-response/non-adequate response, the offending paper will be retracted and a statement from the publisher will be inserted in its place in the relevant journal issue.
Multiple, Redundant, or Concurrent Publication
Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behavior and it is unacceptable. Manuscripts must only be peer reviewed by a one journal at a time. Common Ground will consider publishing articles that have been published elsewhere previously, provided that they have undergone substantial revision or reworking. In such cases, 70% of the article must consist of new or significantly revised material.
Acknowledgment of Sources
Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given. Authors should cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work.
Authorship of the Paper
Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. Where there are others who participated in certain substantial aspects of the research project, they should be acknowledged are listed as contributors. The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the paper, and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and agreed to its submission for publication.
Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest
All authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might be construed to influence the results or interpretation of the manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed.
Fundamental Errors in Published Works
When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his or her own published work, it is the author's obligation to promptly notify the publisher and cooperate with Common Ground’s editorial team to correct or retract the paper.