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Information For Contributors

In this section:

General Guidance on Submissions.
Conditions of Publication
Format for Submissions
Comments and Discussions

General Guidance on Submissions

Proposals for essays, collections of essays, scholarly/critical editions, and longer works are invited covering all aspects of research in the humanities. Projects that explore the full possibilities of academic text presented as hypertext are particularly encouraged. A 200-word summary of the work proposed should, in the first instance, be sent to the Convenor of the Editorial Collective, Peter Howell, on peter.howell@smuc.ac.uk. If the subject is approved, potential contributors will then be asked to submit their text, with any recommendations such as subject emphasis and word limit, in either of the Word formats (.doc or .docx), or in Plain Text (.txt). All submissions are blind peer-reviewed by two experts in the field, and potential contributors will be allowed to see redacted versions of the reports. It is one of the missions of Otranto.co.uk to speed up the whole editorial process while not sacrificing intellectual rigour. We therefore have as an aim, in the cases of relatively unproblematic submissions, that the time between submission of an article and its appearance on the site be not more than six weeks.

Conditions of Publication

With apologies to Roland Barthes, 'the birth of the reader does not necessarily have to be at the expense of the death of the author'.

If approved for publication, the copyright on and full control of any text will remain with the author(s). The only thing we ask, as a matter of professional courtesy, is that Otranto.co.uk carries the material exclusively for six months from publication. After this, we will always allow material to appear in other locations according to the author's wishes. You may, for example, wish to have an essay published later in a print journal or book; if this is the case, we ask, again as a matter of professional courtesy, that Otranto.co.uk is credited and hyperlinked. However, we are confident that the levels of exposure, engagement and, potentially, income that academic authors are likely to achieve while their work is on this site will be superior to that achieved in most other formats.

The School of Arts and Humanities at St. Mary's University College, Strawberry Hill, London has kindly agreed to sponsor the site until the end of August 2014; after this date, the site will be funded by specific sponsorship deals and general advertising. Once this happens, it is hoped that there will be a surplus, in which contributors (authors, reviewers and editors) will share according to an estimate of their contribution. For authors, this will be mainly based on the number of 'hits' their work achieves, and any specific sponsorship relating to their work. All authors are hence encouraged and incentivised to become involved in the marketing and publicity of their work through social media, learned societies, and the like.

The precise formula by which precentage share of profit will be calculated will be made available in the Spring of 2014.

Format for Submissions.

The Chicago Manual of Style should be followed in most matters of style. For referencing, contributors may choose between the Chicago Style's 'Footnotes and Bibliography' and 'Author-Date' Options. Generally speaking, material of a literary and historical nature will use footnotes and bibliography, whilst content associated with disciplines such as Film Studies, Cultural Studies and the social sciences will use Author-Date, but this rule is by no means hard and fast.

Contributors should, however, note the following important points about the format for their submissions, which act as a supplement to the Chicago Style Guide, and relate to the ultimate destination of their work being hypertext rather than print:

  • Where available, in addition to a citation of a source actually used (often though not always a print source), a url for a freely-available web source should be given. This will be hyperlinked in the final version, so that readers can easily view the sources. For example, if you were citing Macbeth, and if you are using a standard paper edition such as the Arden Shakespeare, you should also provide a reference to a text such as that from the Internet Shakespeare.

  • Authors are encouraged to explore the full potential of the online format by including images, audio and videos, either embedded or linked. Authors should ensure that all appropriate permissions have been granted, and the editors will need to see evidence of this where appropriate. Where material is hyperlinked to the main body of the text, a traditional reference should also be made.

  • New paragraphs should be indented, and there should not be an extra space between paragraphs of the same style. However, it is important that paragraph breaks (^p rather than ^l, or Return rather than Shift+Return in Word) are used between paragraphs; the box 'Don't add space between paragraphs of different styles' should therefore be ticked in the 'Format Paragraph' dialogue box of Word.

Any specifc queries about the format for submissions should be addressed to Peter Howell on peter.howell@smuc.ac.uk.

Comments and Discussions

One of the most important points about Otranto.co.uk is that registered readers may comment on specific aspects of what is being said in published work. As such, the published academic text becomes a dynamic space of dialogue, while the original text retains the authority of peer-reviewed work. Authors are enouraged to check regularly on the state of discussions, and to respond as appropriate to comments made. In the unlikely event that this becomes necessary, authors should also alert the editors to any comments that are inappropriate because they are offensive, abusive, lacking in intellectual seriousness or legally problematic, so that appropriate action can be taken.