What is a Special Collection?
The Open Library of Humanities (OLH) Special Collections are collections of articles published within the OLH journal dedicated to focussed research topics (see the journal’s homepage). These function in a similar way to special issues of “traditional” journals, with a couple of key differences:
- Articles are published on a “rolling” format, meaning that each article is published as soon as it passes successfully through the double blind peer review process.
- Whilst articles are collated within the Special Collection, which has its own dedicated URL, they also appear within the general issues of the Open Library of Humanities journal, drawing a wider and interdisciplinary humanities readership to the collection.
In addition, OLH Special Collections are flexible with regards to the number of articles published within a particular collection. There is no upper limit to the number of articles that may be published within each collection and Guest Editors have full autonomy to make their own editorial decisions regarding which articles to accept. There are two routes to publishing a Special Collection with the OLH:
- Editors draft a public Call for Articles (or CFP) and edit the submissions they receive.
- Editors produce an invited-only collection of articles (often this results from a conference, workshop, or other academic collaboration). Articles will still need to pass through double blind peer review, but the collection is not open to contributors outside of those invited by the editors themselves.
Once an application to edit a Special Collection has been accepted, editors will work closely with the OLH editorial team to develop their Call For Articles and publicise it via the relevant disciplinary listservs and professional networks. Editors are then assigned OLH Editorial Accounts and can use the online manuscript submissions system to access articles submitted to the collection. Editors are responsible for organising double blind peer review for all of the articles submitted to the collection, and making editorial decisions based on peer reviewers’ feedback. The OLH manages the production process for all articles, including copy-editing, typesetting, and proofreading (in liaison with authors).
All articles within the Special Collection will receive the benefits of the OLH’s unique publishing model, including:
- Full open access publishing without any author- or institutional-facing Article Processing Charges (APCs). This is funded by our international network of partner libraries (see a full list of supporting institutions).
- Being published in a high-quality, internationally recognised, and reputable publishing platform, which draws a wide readership of scholars from across the humanities disciplines.
- More rapid publication – articles are published when they are ready and no articles are held back by delays in the peer review or editorial process for other articles within the collection.
- Fully discoverable articles with robust digital preservation, annotative functionality, article downloads metrics, and easy-to-share social media buttons.
- Multi-lingual publishing – submissions are encouraged in languages other than English.
- Full editorial support from our experienced OLH journal editors.
How can I apply to edit a Special Collection?
The OLH is open to receiving applications to guest edit Special Collections on an ongoing basis. If you are interested in applying to edit a collection on a topic that is relevant to your own research, please complete the OLH Special Collection Application Form and email it to our OLH Editorial Director, Dr Caroline Edwards.