Special Collections

What is a Special Collection?

Open Library of Humanities journal (OLHJ) Special Collections are collections of articles published within OLHJ, dedicated to focused research topics (see the full list of OLHJ Special Collections). These function in a similar way to special issues of 'traditional' journals, with two key differences:

  1. 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;
  2. While articles are collated within the Special Collection, which has its own dedicated URL, they also appear within the general issues of the OLHJ, drawing a wider and interdisciplinary humanities readership to the collection.

In addition, OLHJ 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 Special Collection editors have full autonomy to make their own editorial decisions regarding which articles to accept. For a behind the scenes peek at what it is like to edit a Special Collection with OLH, see 'Choosing the Open Library of Humanities journal (OLHJ) as the Publisher for your Special Collection'.  

There are two routes to publishing a Special Collection in OLHJ:

  1. Editors draft a public Call for Articles (or CfP) and edit the submissions they receive;
  2. Editors produce an invite-only collection of articles (often this results from a conference, workshop, or other academic collaboration). Articles will still need to pass through OLHJ's double-blind peer review process, 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 professional networks. Editors are then assigned OLHJ editorial accounts and can use the online manuscript submissions system, Janeway,  to access articles submitted to the collection. Special Collection editors are responsible for organising double-blind peer review for all of the articles submitted to the collection, and for making editorial decisions based on the peer reviewers’ feedback. The OLH editorial team manages the production process for all articles, including part of the copyediting process, the typesetting and proofreading processes (in liaison with authors), and prepublication checks.

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 editorial team.

How Can I Apply to Edit a Special Collection?

The OLH editorial team 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 OLHJ Special Collection Application Form and email it to our OLH Editorial Officer, Dr Simon Everett.