Sunday, 16 September 2012

Notes from the Design History Society publishing workshop 2012

On Thursday 13th September I went along to the first ever publishing workshop held by the Design History Society, at the University of Brighton. A useful day, where a small group of postgraduates and early career researchers were lucky enough to meet editors and publishers from a selection of design history journals. The editors gave advice on submitting an article to a journal and the selection process. They explained the double-blind peer review system which involves an article being read by two unknown peer reviewers. They have a grading system of 1-5 (or even 1-6)  No. 1 is apparently rarely/never used and is when an article is accepted without any alterations.  5 (or 6) means it's not suitable for publication in that particular journal. The numbers in between range from - needs tweaking, to - needs a complete overhaul. The peer reviewers also write a report which is then sent to the author who has to make alterations based on their advice. The peer reviewers are selected because they are experts in a particular field.

General advice 

  • Think about people outside your own field of interest if submitting to a non-specialist design journal 
  • Most journals are not interested in articles on research methods or teaching methods
  • Keywords and a tight abstract are the key to catching a readers attention
  • When considering a journal to submit to, look at a few complete issues of the journal and check they haven't already published something similar. If there is something similar, does your article add something new to the debate?
  • Always stick to the word count and publishing guidelines as set out in the advice to authors section
  • Responsibility for getting permissions to use images lies with the author (payment for images is also the responsibility of the author)

One of the journals we were introduced to is West 86th which has additional information on its website, a facebook page & twitter feed

Another was Design and Culture

Visual Culture in Britain

The Journal of Modern Craft

Journal of Design History

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