Approved by the Urban History Editorial Board, March 2007
The widespread recognition of digital publishing as a legitimate venue for peer-reviewed scholarship of the highest quality presents an opportunity for Urban History and Cambridge University Press. An increasing number of scholarsespecially those in interdisciplinary fields such as urban historyare creating original multimedia works that include graphics, sound, and other elements that are impossible or cost-prohibitive to publish in paper form. More profoundly, the digital medium opens up possibilities to structure works of original scholarship in new ways, not limited to the linear narrative of a traditional journal article. Multimedia articles provide authors with the opportunity to analyze, interpret, and present maps, photographs and other materials that are especially helpful for the study of urban places. The academic publishing world is moving cautiously but deliberately toward a future in which large proportions of scholarship are available only in digital format. The Editorial Board of Urban History in 2004 decided to publish online companion multimedia articles that will supplement print journal articles with additional materials and interactive features, when authors are willing to produce such companions.
The Editors of Urban History encourage authors of paper-printed articles to produce peer-reviewed, online-only companion multimedia essays, which will be self-contained web sites published by Cambridge Journals Online (CJO) at approximately the same time as the shipment of the Urban History issue in which their article appears. These multimedia companions are produced, evaluated, and published in tandem with the review and acceptance of a print journal article.
Authors wishing to produce a multimedia companion to their Urban History submissions will make this intent known at the time their print article is accepted. Approval to start development of their multimedia companion is dependent upon acceptance of the print article, but the Editors may consider other criteria and approval to develop a Multimedia Companion must be given by the Editor who handled the editorial review process for the print article. No additional peer review will be required for the Companion, but the Companion site shall be subject to review and approval by the Editor. During the usual one-year period between acceptance and the publication of an article, authors will have ample time to plan and develop their Multimedia Companion. All development costs for the production of the website shall be assumed by the author(s). Timing of the websites completion will be set to coincide with the publication of the print version. The multimedia companion will be referenced in the print version on the first page and in the abstract, and also hot linked to the digital version of the same article in CJO. The Multimedia Companion, however, will be published separately from the electronic version of the print article on CJO.
Multimedia Companions must conform to the following general policies and procedures:
1) COSTS. The author(s) will assume all costs incurred for the production of the multimedia site. The Editors of Urban History and the Publisher, Cambridge University Press recognize that multimedia development can be costly, but they do not at present have funds to supply to authors to support the development of the Companions. The basic assumption is that authors can find sufficient support from their home institutions and through granting agencies that support such scholarship.
2) PERMISSIONS. Author(s) must obtain written permissions for all materials covered by international copyright laws, and assume all licensing fees for such materials, where applicable, from the copyright holders. Authors must be clear with the copyright owners that this is to be an online publication. Many copyright holders have different policies for online publications. Permissions shall be transmitted to the Editor handling a Companion project, prior to the go live date.
4) DEVELOPMENT. Authors shall develop and test their Multimedia Companion websites on their own computers and servers. Once the site is finished, it shall be sent to the Editor who handled their print article (hereafter, the handling Editor) on a CD-ROM, under a single root folder (directory).
5) EDITORIAL REVIEW. The Editors of Urban History do not require a separate peer-review process for the Companions. Instead, the Editor shall assume responsibility for assuring that the companion maintains the same high scholarly standards required in the editorial review process for the print article.
Once the Multimedia Companion is substantially finished, the author(s) shall submit it to the handling Editor. That Editor shall test the site for technical operability and evaluate its substantive content by the following criteria:
a) The site should conform to the online style standards listed in this document. Navigation should be intuitive and free of bugs or inoperative links.
b) The site should expand on, but stay focused on the central argument of the print article for which it is a companion.
c) The site should add something substantial to the argument and material already offered in the print article. This additive function can come in many forms. At the simplest level, the Companion can offer images and graphics that were impossible to include in the print article. The Companion can also offer readers the opportunity to explore the argument and materials interactively.
At this stage, the handling Editor may ask the author(s) to revise the website along any of the criteria listed above. The handling Editor will also, with the help of the author(s), identify the written material in the site that needs to be copyedited, separately from the copyediting for the print article. The handling Editor shall ask the author(s) to prepare the text for copyediting, as described in (6) below.
6) COPYEDITING. All text in the Companion site shall be copyedited by the Urban History copyeditor. This includes titles, menus, captions, and any extended text in the site, such as essays. The Editors of Urban History are currently planning to implement a process of copyediting in which the copyeditor makes corrections directly into the site, but this system is not yet implemented. Until then, authors must extract all caption and extended text from the site, print it with double spaces, and send it to the handling Editor, for the copyeditor. Once the copyeditor has made corrections, the author(s) shall make the required corrections in the electronic format of the website.
7) TRANSFER OF SITE TO CAMBRIDGE JOURNALS ONLINE. Once the Editorial Review and Copyediting processes are completed, and the authors have made their final revisions and repairs, the entire site shall be saved to a CD-ROM and sent to the Editor, who shall forward it to the offices of Cambridge Journals Online.
8) FINAL TESTING AND REPAIRS. Once the Cambridge Journals Online staff have loaded the site on the CJO server, the handling Editor and author(s) shall be alerted to use the loaded site intensively for at least several days before the go live date, to search for any remaining bugs or dysfunctional links. If minor errors are discovered, it may be possible for the authors to send a repaired file via e-mail to the CJO staff as a patch or replacement. If more substantial repairs are required, then the author(s) may need to send a new CD-ROM containing the entire revised site.
9) APPROVAL TO GO LIVE. The site will not actually be published (go live) until the handling Editor certifies to the CJO staff that a) all necessary permissions have been secured, and b) all necessary repairs have been made and that the site has no more known errors.
10) PUBLICITY. The handling Editor and Author(s) shall work with the Cambridge University Press marketing specialist to develop a plan to publicize the Companion via e-mail lists and other known venues. All such publicity must include a direct URL link to the Multimedia Companion.
Technical and Stylistic Guidelines for Authors of Multimedia Companions:
1) Multimedia Companions are to take the form of a single, self-contained web site, organized under a single root director. Author(s) should minimize the use of external links, but if these are necessary, they should be set to open a pop-up window instead of taking the readers entire browser to another site.
2) Author(s) must use standard formats for all aspects of their Companion site, including markup language and file types.
3) Multimedia Companions shall not require users to download software plug-ins that are not commonly included in most web browsers. For example, Adobe Reader and QuickTime have both become standard for most users. In questionable cases, the author(s) shall request approval from the Editor.
4) There is no limit on the overall size of the Companion site, but anything larger than 250 megabytes will require approval from the handling and the staff of CJO.
5) Files that must be downloaded to the readers computer (such as images and movies) must be kept to reasonable sizes. For static images, this should be no larger than 1 megabyte, and for video and audio files, 5 megabytes.
6) Except where otherwise indicated, author(s) shall conform to the style standards posted for Urban History print articles. English spelling and punctuation rules apply, for example.
7) Color and font decisions are left to the discretion of the author(s), and subject only to approval by the handling Editor. The Editors of Urban History recognize that these decisions are intrinsic to website design and architecture, and will make every effort to respect the choices by the author(s).