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Policies

Contents

Philosophy of EDGE - A Graduate Journal for German and Scandinavian Studies

For more information, please see EDGE - A Graduate Journal for German and Scandinavian Studies Aims and Scope page.

Who Can Submit?

Anyone may submit an original article to be considered for publication in EDGE - A Graduate Journal for German and Scandinavian Studies provided he or she owns the copyright to the work being submitted or is authorized by the copyright owner or owners to submit the article. Authors are the initial owners of the copyrights to their works (an exception in the non-academic world to this might exist if the authors have, as a condition of employment, agreed to transfer copyright to their employer).

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General Submission Rules

We accept submissions in either English or German. Accepted papers should be between 5000 and 8000 words in length, not including notes and bibliography. Please upload your manuscript as a .doc or .docx file. Submissions must follow all most recent MLA guidelines, using either inline or footnote citations, and should be prepared so that it the referees can read it anonymously.

Submitted articles cannot have been previously published, nor be forthcoming in an archival journal or book (print or electronic). Please note: "publication" in a working-paper series does not constitute prior publication. In addition, by submitting material to EDGE - A Graduate Journal for German and Scandinavian Studies, the author is stipulating that the material is not currently under review at another journal (electronic or print) and that he or she will not submit the material to another journal (electronic or print) until the completion of the editorial decision process at EDGE - A Graduate Journal for German and Scandinavian Studies. If you have concerns about the submission terms for EDGE - A Graduate Journal for German and Scandinavian Studies, please contact the editors.

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Book and Film Review Guidelines

We publish reviews of both creative and scholarly books and films that have been recently published and which are related to the field of German and Scandinavian Studies. We regularly send out lists of books and films which are available for review, but you are welcome to contact the editors if there is another work which you would be interested in reviewing. In your review, please consider the following points:

  • Though it is not necessary to give a detailed plot summary, a critical review of a book or film should introduce readers to the author’s argument, plot, and content. Reviewers should consider the book or film’s strengths and weaknesses, state the author or producer's intentions, and offer an analysis of the content and the method for developing the argument, as well as evidence for this analysis.
  • The review should evaluate the book or film on its quality, meaning and significance to the broader field of German and Scandinavian Studies.
  • Book and film reviews should be in English, typed, 2-3 pages long, and single spaced in 12 pt. Times New Roman font.
  • All reviews should follow current MLA formatting guidelines and should include the reviewer’s name and professional affiliation.
  • Please include the following information in the heading of the review: title, author or director's name, publication information (publishing company, city and year), price, format (e.g. softcover, hardcover, DVD) and ISBN.

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Guidelines for Peer Reviewers

We use a double-blind peer review process, and your review should therefore not contain any references that might reveal your identity. Please keep in mind that your review will be viewed by the author exactly as you submit it, and that the goal of the review process is to provide constructive and helpful feedback to your peers. The following suggestions, which have been adapted from the Dartmouth College Peer Review guidelines, are designed to help you in your evaluation:

Introduction and Thesis
  • Has the writer put forth an interesting intellectual problem or question that will require a complex, thoughtful answer? Is there an original argument that goes beyond personal feelings or simple statements of fact?
  • Does the problem seem impossibly broad or narrow? If so, how might the writer narrow or broaden the topic so that it is more appropriate or manageable?
  • Do you as a reader care about this question? Is there a way that the writer might get a more interesting "take" on the topic or otherwise better engage the reader?
  • Can you clearly pinpoint the thesis statement, and does it use clear, vivid language?
  • Does the introductory paragraph define all terms important to understanding the thesis statement?
  • Does the introductory paragraph define all terms important to understanding the thesis statement?
  • Does the introduction appropriately place the thesis or question within the larger, ongoing scholarly discussion about the topic?
  • Structure
    • Does the organization of the article make sense and does it flow clearly? What works well and are there any points where it is difficult to follow the author’s the argument?
    • Are all of the main points relevant to the thesis? If not, should the writer omit the irrelevant points, or should the writer rewrite the thesis to accommodate these ideas?
    • Is there sufficient support for each point of the argument? Are you convinced by the author or can you identify weakness or gaps in the logical development of the argument?
    • Does the writer acknowledge other points of view about the topic? If not, how and where might the writer do so? Do you have recommendations of additional relevant sources that the author may wish to consider?
    • Is there an appropriate balance between supporting evidence and analysis of that evidence? Is the paper structured in such a way that it is easy for the reader to distinguish these two aspects?
    • Does the author seem at times to “stretch” their evidence too far, and if so, is there a way to persuade the reader that this stretch is worth making?
    • Style
      • Does each paragraph limit itself to a single argument point which is logically developed? If not, is the writer justified in bending this principle?
      • Are the topic sentences clear and interesting? Do they relate directly to the main argument as well as the point of the paragraph? If not, how might they be improved?
      • Are the transitions between paragraphs and ideas easy to follow?
      • Are the sentences clearly written and grammatically correct? Are there any passages where the wording is unclear or more detail could be added?
      • Is the article understandable both to specialists on the topic as well as to scholars in the broader field of German and Scandinavian Studies?
      • Final Recommendation
          You are asked to recommend that the article either be rejected, be accepted for publication with minor revisions, or be accepted for publication with major revisions.
          The editorial team makes every effort to filter out articles for rejection before sending them out for peer review, but it is possible that a reviewer who is a specialist on the topic of the article may recognize major problems which would not immediately be apparent to a more general audience. Reasons for rejection include lack of an original argument or thesis, lack of evidence or evidence that does not support the thesis, failure to engage with prior scholarly work on the topic or plagiarism.
          Recommending minor revisions means that the article makes a strong and original argument that only needs to be polished slightly before it is ready for publication. Examples of minor revisions include formatting or grammatical suggestions, occasional unclear wording, passages that could be expanded to include more detail, or recommendations of additional secondary literature that could strengthen the author’s argument.
          Recommending major revisions means that the argument contains an interesting argument which has the potential to contribute to the field of German and Scandinavian Studies once the structure and/or content of the article has been reworked. Examples include omission of key scholarly sources on the topic, side arguments that distract from the author’s main thesis, or an unclear flow of ideas.

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        Formatting Requirements

        EDGE - A Graduate Journal for German and Scandinavian Studies has no general rules about the formatting of articles upon initial submission. There are, however, rules governing the formatting of the final submission. See Final Manuscript Preparation Guidelines for details. Although bepress can provide limited technical support, it is ultimately the responsibility of the author to produce an electronic version of the article as a high-quality PDF (Adobe's Portable Document Format) file, or a Microsoft Word, WordPerfect or RTF file that can be converted to a PDF file.

        It is understood that the current state of technology of Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF) is such that there are no, and can be no, guarantees that documents in PDF will work perfectly with all possible hardware and software configurations that readers may have.

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        Rights for Authors and ScholarWorks@UMass Amherst

        As further described in our submission agreement (the Submission Agreement), in consideration for publication of the article, the authors assign to ScholarWorks@UMass Amherst all copyright in the article, subject to the expansive personal--use exceptions described below.

        Attribution and Usage Policies

        Reproduction, posting, transmission or other distribution or use of the article or any material therein, in any medium as permitted by a personal-use exemption or by written agreement of ScholarWorks@UMass Amherst, requires credit to ScholarWorks@UMass Amherst as copyright holder (e.g., ScholarWorks@UMass Amherst © 2014).

        Personal-use Exceptions

        The following uses are always permitted to the author(s) and do not require further permission from ScholarWorks@UMass Amherst provided the author does not alter the format or content of the articles, including the copyright notification:

        • Storage and back-up of the article on the author's computer(s) and digital media (e.g., diskettes, back-up servers, Zip disks, etc.), provided that the article stored on these computers and media is not readily accessible by persons other than the author(s);
        • Posting of the article on the author(s) personal website, provided that the website is non-commercial;
        • Posting of the article on the internet as part of a non-commercial open access institutional repository or other non-commercial open access publication site affiliated with the author(s)'s place of employment (e.g., a Phrenology professor at the University of Southern North Dakota can have her article appear in the University of Southern North Dakota's Department of Phrenology online publication series); and
        • Posting of the article on a non-commercial course website for a course being taught by the author at the university or college employing the author.

        People seeking an exception, or who have questions about use, should contact the editors.

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        General Terms and Conditions of Use

        Users of the ScholarWorks@UMass Amherst website and/or software agree not to misuse the ScholarWorks@UMass Amherst service or software in any way.

        The failure of ScholarWorks@UMass Amherst to exercise or enforce any right or provision in the policies or the Submission Agreement does not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any term of the Submission Agreement or these policies is found to be invalid, the parties nevertheless agree that the court should endeavor to give effect to the parties' intentions as reflected in the provision, and the other provisions of the Submission Agreement and these policies remain in full force and effect. These policies and the Submission Agreement constitute the entire agreement between ScholarWorks@UMass Amherst and the Author(s) regarding submission of the Article.

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