Monthly Archives: July 2014

A guide to using the Royal Studies Journal

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?

Charlotte: To submit an article, you just have to login. RSJ-login

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. RSJ-for-authors
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.

RSJ-submission-difficultiesIf 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!


Interview with Historian, Michael Hicks

Niki: First, in your opinion, why is the study of royal history important?

Michael: It is central to the national history, politics and high society of all countries until very recent times (say 1900) and in many places, eg Saudi Arabia, still is. Royalty actually ran things.

Niki: Absolutely. Do you think royal history is increasingly becoming more popular and well recognized?

Michael: Not really. Until relatively recently all History was political and therefore generally involved monarchs. Now of course there is much more thematic range to history and  royalty is becoming a theme worthy of academic recognition and definition and all aspects of royalty,eg queens, courts etc are attracting more attention. 

Niki:  Great, now how do you draw conclusions or fill in the gaps on the actions and characters of some of the medieval English monarchs?

Michael: Set them in context, take account of other players, apply standards current at the time. Gaps. Search for more records. Inevitably there are gaps that cannot be filled. Very few straightforward statements of motives or intent. Deduction from actions is the main route. I find that if you keep looking at the same events from different points of view, new perceptions arise. I have a fuller understanding of Richard III now than  ten or twenty years ago.

Niki: Thank you; and lastly, what do you hope to explore and/or work on in the near future?

Michael: Richard III and His Family forthcoming this winter. New biography of Richard III.

Are you interested in publishing in our new journal?

So, you are a researcher in the field of Royal Studies and you just waited for a journal specialising in this field?
Wait no more – the Royal Studies Journal has launched last Friday, and is of now accepting submissions.

The first issue is due end of 2014, if you want to be considered for this issue hurry up and send us your article (8-10,000 words all inclusive) by end of August. See more on submission here.

And now for the formal introduction of the Journal:

The Royal Studies Journal is a new academic publication which was recently launched at the Kings & Queens 3 conference.

This peer-reviewed, open access, interdisciplinary and international journal for the field of Royal Studies will be published twice a year with the initial issue expected at the end of 2014. Articles can be submitted in French, Spanish, Portuguese and German although English is preferred. Optimal length should be between c. 8-10,000 words including notes and bibliography. A full style guide is available on our website and can be downloaded right here: authorsguidelines.
Book reviews will also be featured.

Please visit to find out more about the journal and how to submit articles to the RSJ. If you wish to contact us with any queries about the journal, suggestions of upcoming/recent works in the field to review or the submissions process please email us at

Kings & Queens 3: Entourage

If you’re in Winchester, join us at the Kings & Queens 3 Conference and tweet, blog and tell facebook about it!
If you are somewhere else, join us with questions and comments at Twitter: #KandQ3

Launching a new journal

Today marks the start of a week rich in events concerning the field of Royal Studies. First, from today until Thursday, if you are a medievalist able to get to Leeds, you probaly should visit this years International Medieval Congress. Second, if you are interested in the field of Royal Studies – doesn’t matter your epoch speciality, you should definitely visit Winchester for this years Kings & Queens Conference. Also, Winchester is a pretty nice city to spend some time in, just take a look at the amazing Cathedral

Description: 4am shot of Winchester Cathedral showing west end, central tower & UKs 2nd longest cathedral nave | © by

And –  this week will see the official launch of the Royal Studies Journal at the Kings & Queens III Conference.

The Homepage now stands – take a look at it here:

If you are working in the field, we would like to hear about your submissions!
Articles should be about 6,000-10,000 words, but take also a closer look at our submission guidelines. Or, if you are interested in doing a book review – get in touch with us via the website, this blog or email.