Common Ground journals encourages the widest range of submissions and aim at all times to foster the highest standards intellectual excellence. We at Common Ground are highly critical of the serious deficiencies in today’s journal system - deficiencies which go to the very heart of our knowledge ecologies - see Cope and Kalantzis’ article in First Monday and the edited collection on The Future of the Academic Journal. To address these problems, we are building new, web-based publishing software.These are our objectives:
Common Ground’s approach to peer review is open and inclusive, at the same time as it is based on the most rigorous and merit-based ‘blind’ peer review processes. Our referee processes are criterion-referenced and referees selected on the basis of subject matter and disciplinary expertise. Ranking is based on clearly articulated criteria. The result a refereeing process that is scrupulously fair it its assessments at the same time as offering a carefully structured and constructive contribution to the shape of the published paper.Intellectual Excellence
The result is a publishing process which is without prejudice to institutional affiliation, stage in career, national origins or disciplinary perspective. If the paper is excellent, and has been systematically and independently assessed as such, it will be published. This is why Common Ground journals have so much exciting new material, much of it originating from well known research institutions but also a considerable amount of brilliantly insightful and innovative material from academics lesser known institutions in the developing world, emerging researchers, people working in hard-to-classify interdisciplinary spaces and researchers in liberal arts colleges and teaching universities. In recognition of the highest levels of excellence, every year an international prize is awarded for the top-ranked paper in each journal.Practicality
Common Ground is developing a low-cost commercial approach to academic publishing. We believe there are limitations in both the high cost commercial publishing and apparently no-cost open access publishing models. This is why are seeking to find a practical middle way between the idealism of open access and the inefficiencies and greed of which the big journal publishers are increasingly accused. The idealism of open access often creates new problems, leaving academics in the often less-than-happy role of amateur publisher. And ironically, open access journals and discipline repositories sometimes give insider networks even greater control over what gets published than was traditionally the case with the big commercial publishers.
Common Ground journals are highly accessible on the web. They are not hidden behind subscription walls. Every article has its own page; and every author has their own self-maintainable website, which includes any articles and books they have published with Common Ground, a blog, and places to paste their bionote, photo and CV. We have modest subscription charges for libraries and a small per-article charge for electronic access by non-subscribers. Conference participants are granted free electronic access to the corresponding journal for a year. Our journals are also available in print editions.