We are looking for a proposal which covers the following key areas:
- Editorial aims and scope
- Rationale for the journal (why the journal is needed)
- Editorial board and administration
- Format of the journal
- Market profile/potential and business model
- Contact information
Editorial aims and scope
- What are the aims and scope of the journal?
- Who is it for, at what intellectual level and what disciplines?
- What disciplines or subdisciplines will be covered?
- It is worth noting that a journal which is extremely diffuse in its cross-disciplinarity is usually the most difficult to make commercially viable, since it requires considerable (and therefore expensive) promotional coverage of a number of different areas. If at all possible, you should try and identify some 'core' target fields within which would be found the main audiences for the journal.
- How international will the journal be and how will this be reflected in the editorial objectives? For example, how will you ensure that you receive contributions from other European (and Scandinavian) countries and the USA?
Again, you should note that it is generally important to us that a journal is truly international in its scope, both in terms of contributions and editorial structure. It is also a 'fact of journal life' that in most instances a journal's long term financial viability is dependent on obtaining a significant proportion of its subscriptions in America. You should address the need to appeal to the American market and any implications, for example, of possible key differences, approaches and interests in the field(s) covered between the States and Europe.
What intentions, if any, do you have regarding foreign-language contributions? We would encourage you, for a range of practical reasons, to consider certainly initially, limiting contributions to the English language. If you wish to translate articles, you need to consider a) who would undertake translation and b) how will decisions be reached on articles in languages not known by the Editors?
Rationale for the journal
- Why is the journal needed?
- What is the background to the proposal in terms of the current and future development of the field?
- How will the journal relate to relevant existing journals in Europe and the States and what will your journal offer that these do not?
- How confident are you of not only finding an audience for the journal, but also of generating sufficient high quality contributions?
Editorial board and administration
- Who would be the journal's editors?
As the journal is to be international, we would wish to see international scholars in prominent editorial positions. There are several ways to do this. For example, you could have one or more editors based in different regions (e.g. UK, Continental Europe and America) or an editor based in one of these locations with a couple of Co-editors based in the others.
- Whom would you invite to be members of the editorial board?
- How do you propose to handle the administration of the journal and what role, if any, do you see the editorial board as playing in this process?
Format of the journal
Here, we would appreciate some more details of how you see the content and structure of the journal. For example:
- What will be the balance between theoretical, empirical/research based and 'practice-oriented' papers
- What will the journal feature? For example, book reviews, review essays, special thematic issues, translations of articles not yet translated into English etc.? Please include mock contents of the first two issues of the journal. These need not be real titles of actual articles but more the sort of spread of areas and authors you are planning to approach.
- How will you deal with any issues of interdisciplinarity?
- How many issues would you envisage annually (We would encourage you to think about a quarterly journal. For open access titles continuous publication is required batching each year with a minimum of 30 papers published in year 1.).
Many of the following issues will have been addressed explicitly or implicitly in the above sections but we need to have at some point in the proposal, as detailed an account as possible of the market profile and potential for the journal. For example:
- An assessment of who, and in what fields, would subscribe to the journal.
We would be relying heavily on individual subscribers at the beginning of the journal's life as well as institutions. Could you quantify (approximately) your sense of the size of the overall market in terms of numbers of potential individual subscribers?
- For open access titles, details for funders in the area and potential institutional sponsorship is required.
- Would the market be easy to reach? For example, which associations/societies would the readership belong to? Which major international conferences would they attend?
- What relatedly, is the estimated potential institutional base of the journal?
- Where is the work in this area being done, at what sort of institutions?
- What is the geographical spread of the work, in terms of different countries and thus the international spread of potential institutional subscribers? In particular, what is the state of the field in the USA and Europe?
- Is there currently and/or will there be, a teaching as well as a research base for this Work to solidify the library demand?
- When would you see the first issue of the journal being published?
To discuss your proposal, contact:
Associate Vice President, HSS and STM