An Interview with Charlotte Backerra, technical editor of the journal
Charlotte Backerra is about to finish her PhD in early modern European history at the University of Mainz, Germany. She writes about international relations in the early 18th c. and the relations between Vienna and London in the late 1720s and early 1730s – the complex relationship between George II – who is at the same time king of Great Britain and prince-elector of Hanover – and Emperor Charles VI.
She is also the technical editor of the Royal Studies Journal – the one answering your “help, the system crashed on me” e-mails. We asked her to tell us a bit more about the system, and what authors, reviewers and staff can expect.
Niki & Cathleen: Hi Charlotte, thank you for doing this interview. To begin, could you tell us which system the Journal is using, and why you decided to go with it?
Charlotte: Thank you for the opportunity to be on the blog! We are using the Open Journal Systems (OJS). It is an open access, free software with an international community for support and can be used in many different languages (even at the same time!). Many journals world-wide are using OJS. It is a very stable system and will be maintained – hopefully – for a long time to come. At the same time, it quite easy to use for everyone – which is a must for every online publishing software! The OJS is hosted locally at the University of Winchester, and we are very grateful for the IT department’s help in setting it up. The web design was done by Manu Fruteau, and I think it is done very well, don’t you think?
Niki & Cathleen: So to be clear, everything occurs within the Open Journal Systems?
Charlotte: Yes, everything, and I really mean everything happens within the OJS! It is meant to be used for the whole publishing process, for submission, reviews, (copy) editing; contacting everyone involved during the process, creating an issue and – finally – publishes a journal’s issues. Afterwards, authors (and editors) are even able to track citations and references made to their articles and issues.
Niki & Cathleen: And how does an author get his article inside?
So if you are not an registered author, click on register and create your profile with username and your actual name, and state that you would like to register as an author (and reader, of course!). You will get a mail to confirm your e-mail address (sometimes it will be seen as spam by your mail server), and you will be able to set your own password.
As a registered author, go to “submit” and work your way through the five step submission process. READ carefully what you need for it (e.g. an abstract in English and some clear keywords), when you go step by step, it is really straight forward.
Niki & Cathleen: Okay, but what happens after I have submitted an article?
Charlotte: Well, you as the author are able to track your article throughout the process within the OJS. To do it, you have to login, click on “user home” (top of the page, arrow beside your name) and then you will see the different roles you have with the Royal Studies Journal. Clicking on “author” will bring you to a page where you do have an overview over your articles.
When you click on any one article, it will show you the data inserted during the submission process and additional information. So you will for example always see who the section editor is and, under “status”, if it is in review, in copyediting etc. You are also able to contact your section editor via mail by clicking on the little envelope sign beside the name.
Niki & Cathleen: And how does the process work for the Royal Studies Journal team?
Charlotte: Internally, the submission editor(s) will have a look and assign the article to the appropriate section editor. The section editor will then contact 2 reviewers for the double blind review. Only she/ he will know their name(s) and identity and are able to see their participation for a specific article. The reviewers fill out a form to approve or disapprove an article and to suggest/ demand changes. The section editor then contacts the author via the OJS with the feedback if changes are needed or reassigns the article for copyediting and proofreading.
Niki & Cathleen: Great, thank you for everything so far; now the last and most important question: what does an author/ reviewer do if something doesn’t work? How do you get in touch with the right person?
Charlotte: If there are any technical problems, with registration, logging in, submission etc., just contact me via the OJS by clicking on the link with my name.
If you do have any question like “Why does it take so long to review my article?” or “I don’t understand the reviewers’ feedback!”, please contact the section editor responsible for your article by clicking on her/ his name within the OJS (remember, you need to be logged in, go to “user home” and “author” to see your articles). For any general remarks or suggestions for the Royal Studies Journal, use the “Email RSJ” button in the right column or contact the editor, Ellie Woodacre (“About” – “Editor-in-chief”).
Niki & Cathleen: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Charlotte: Just a big thank you to everyone involved until now and in future, and I am very much looking forward to reading our first issue of the Royal Studies Journal!