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Goal and Purposes of the Journal Humanities Open Access—An Introduction by the Editor-in-Chief, Prof. Albrecht Classen

Department of German Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Humanities 2015, 4(3), 319;
Received: 17 August 2015 / Revised: 17 August 2015 / Accepted: 18 August 2015 / Published: 19 August 2015
Humanities Open Access is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal that aims for the highest research standards. It appears online, which is by now almost the common procedure for many, though not yet for most, journals. Neither the authors nor the readers are required to pay for the publication of or access to the articles. We follow the direction blazed by journals in the field of the natural sciences, while in the humanities we are clearly at the vanguard. Online, however, means nothing else but that the journal embraces the new media and is thus much easier to access by any reader in the world who can enter the Internet. Otherwise, Humanities Open Access operates like any other scholarly journal. Papers are submitted to the editorial office or to the guest editor of a special volume. After the editor-in-chief has looked at a paper briefly to assess its validity for the thematic orientation and to gauge its scholarly quality at large, then it is critically reviewed by at least two, sometimes up to four scholars in that field. We strongly encourage authors to revise their work upon the reviewer’s recommendation, unless the paper is rejected outright or it meets all expectations from the start. When the reviewers cannot agree, the editor-in-chief and the editorial staff get involved more deeply. The reviewing process is done anonymously to observe objectivity. In contrast to most other journals in the humanities, the turn-around-time is very fast, especially because of the online publishing mode. This has nothing to do with the quality of the reviews, since we follow all the standard procedures and norms.
Humanities Open Access represents a unique and innovative journal in that it looks at the humanities at large and invites scholars to consider fundamental, sometimes also specific, issues concerning every aspect of our field. This makes it possible for us to support highly interdisciplinary research, without drawing any historical, linguistic, or geographical lines of limitation. Many times we have published papers that intriguingly straddle the gulf between the humanities and the natural sciences. All authors are required to provide an abstract and key words to make their work easily available by bibliographers, librarians, and users.
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