Today sees the launch online of our new journal The International Journal of Traditional Arts.

Over a year in design, it is the result of many discussions about academic publishing, open access and interdisciplinarity.

For a long time I’ve felt that I would like to have a journal that focuses upon contemporary practice and policy, with a strong interdisciplinary audience, focused upon traditional arts. The wholesale changes that have been happening in academic publishing, alongside the digitalisation of disciplines, teaching and research have committed me personally, to open access.

Time was, a while back, that articles published in some niche journals might have only been read by tens of peer scholars across the globe who were lucky enough to have an institution that subscribed to that journal, and paid a large publishing house to host, distribute and maintain the journal. Today, many of us now recognise that this model is in many ways difficult to sustain. Almost all editorial work in niche disciplines in the arts and humanities is undertaken for free (unlike other larger disciplinary clusters where there are honorariums and time off from institutional duties are built into big editorial jobs). Furthermore, very few of our participants in research, or people who were genuinely interested could read our published research because it sat behind paywalls and academic subscriptions.

An open access journal such as the one we are launching today, means that it is free to read for anyone in the world, and the LOCKSS system of distributed archiving online means that published, peer-reviewed articles will be available to read online forever, regardless of what happens to the author, the journal or the web hosts.

You can read more about this new journal, and our first Call for Papers here, and I genuinely hope that some of you who read this will think about contributing.

Simon McKerrell (Co-Editor, The International Journal of Traditional Arts).


CFP: The International Journal of Traditional Arts. 

The editors wish to call for papers for the first issue of The International Journal of Traditional Arts.

 In line with our journal’s focus, we wish to attract interesting articles from around the world with a focus on the contemporary practice and policy of traditional music, dance, drama, oral narrative and crafts. We define ‘traditional arts’ as artistic and creative practices that function as a marker of identity for a particular cultural group and that have grown out of their oral tradition or that have been newly created using characteristics derived from oral tradition (although we would also welcome submissions that look to expand such definitions). We are an interdisciplinary journal, interested in publishing high quality scholarship from across the following disciplines: ethnomusicology, cultural sociology, anthropology, ethnology, ethnochoreology, cultural policy, folklore, musicology, cultural studies, cultural economics, heritage and tourism studies or indeed beyond, that focus upon contemporary policy and practice in the traditional arts.

The key incentives for authors to publish in our journal are as follows:

1.     Your article, if accepted, will be published on the Open Journal Systems with a unique DOI which effectively guarantees its availability permanently on the internet, via the LOCKSS backup system of distributed archiving. Once published, your article will remain available even if the journal folds or the site disappears through distributed backup of the material via the unique DOI.
2.     The review time for articles will be no more than 6 weeks from submission to decision. For more information on why and how this will work see our submission guidance here.
3.     As a Gold Open Access journal, your published article will be free to read, for anyone in the world, permanently. This means that there are no paywalls or other barriers limiting access to your research: you will not need to pay (i.e. Author Publication Charges) to publish in the journal; and readers do not need to pay (i.e. through subscription) to gain access to your work. The International Journal of Traditional Arts operates on a Gold Open Access double blind peer-review basis. This peer review process therefore supports the highest international standards of scholarship whilst providing an outlet to the widest possible global audience. Studies suggest that Open Access articles are very much more popular and highly cited, and furthermore, many of us who work within communities around the world can be confident that the results of our research will be available to our participants and friends in the field, forever. For researchers in the UK and other national systems that require Open Access publications as a condition of grant funding, this journal satisfies those requirements, as it is freely available to anyone at any time.
4.     We welcome traditional articles with relevant sound files to illustrate if needed. And because we are an online-only journal, sound or links to video files can be an integral part of the paper.
5.     In addition to traditional articles of around 8000 words, we also wish to attract shorter policy and briefing papers of no more than 2,000 words (including title, abstract, and reference list), which should provide brief commentary on a specific, topical development in the field of cultural policy as it relates to traditional arts practice, or national updates on innovative or notable practices in traditional arts from around the world. These are not peer-reviewed, but are reviewed by an editor.

The IJTA benefits from an international advisory panel, who form the advisory group for the Journal and a core group of reviewers (although we will also solicit reviews from experts beyond this group). The Journal is not tied to any large commercial publishing house, or to any academic or scholarly association, and the editors are free to make editorial decisions based solely upon the rigour, originality and potential significance of the work via the informed assessments of expert reviewers. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

yours sincerely,

The Editors,
(Dr Simon McKerrell, Newcastle University & Dr Simon Keegan Phipps, University of Sheffield, UK).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.