Editorial Update; Lane

Historical Geography Volume 40 (2012): vi-vii. © 2012, Historical Geography Specialty Group, Association of American Geographers.


With this Vol. 40 (2012) issue, we are moving Historical Geography into the all-digital realm in order to  reach the widest possible audience at the lowest cost and with the least resource consumption. We will continue to operate as an annual journal, with Distinguished Historical Geographer lectures, special theme articles, research articles, and book reviews, but all of our content will now be provided solely in digital formats.  As always, we encourage the submission of research articles at any time to either Garth Myers or Maria Lane.

As we explore the new possibilities for disseminating historical-geographical scholarship without the constraints of a paper printing process, we are especially grateful to this year's Special Guest Editor Margaret Pearce for sharing her vision for "digital historical geography" in our inaugural all-digital issue.  We hope that the diverse uses of digital media in our theme articles will inspire potential HG contributors to consider how their own scholarship might take advantage of new media forms for both analysis and presentation.  We are truly excited about the opportunities a digital platform presents to deepen, and also broaden, HG readers' engagement with geographical perspectives on the past.

As might be expected, our digital transition has not been painless, nor is it fully complete. Aside from the need to conceptualize and formalize new layout templates that can accommodate various media formats within (and in connection with) our articles, we must also rethink the way we deliver these articles to the reader. This year, we have opted to use the Open Journals Systems, which is open source journal management and publishing software developed, supported, and freely distributed by the Public Knowledge Project under the GNU General Public License. This platform provides article access, subscription management, and editing functions in a simple content management system.  For this inaugural all-digital issue, we have decided to provide articles in both PDF and html formats, with one of our theme articles also presented in a video format.  Readers can choose to engage with the articles in any of these formats, and we have endeavored to provide a functional and well-designed reading/viewing experience in all formats.  In the future, we envision that our web presence will continue to evolve in terms of design, function, and content. 

As has been true since we launched the original HG website, each issue of the journal is available only to subscribers in the first 12 months after publication. In the past, we sent the printed journas to all subscribers and then waited to upload digital content until after the one-year "embargo" period had passed. Now that we have ceased printing hard copies of the journal, however, subscribers will need to access the newest journal content at https://ejournals.unm.edu/index.php/historicalgeography/ using a digital username and password.  Notifications concerning access and subscription management will be sent via email to existing subscribers, including all members of the Historical Geography Specialty Group (HGSG) of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), who receive subscriptions as a benefit of their membership in the HGSG.  One year after publication, each issue of the journal will be provided in a completely open-access format, with unlimited free article downloads.

Finally, a few acknowledgements. First, Historical Geography is extremely grateful for the many efforts of Karen Morin, who stepped down as co-editor immediately following the publication of the 2011 issue. During her five years as a co-editor, Karen was instrumental not only in helping the journal find its feet after Hurricane Katrina had washed it out of its LSU home, but also in preparing it for this year's big leap into all-digital status. Second, many thanks to Graeme Wynn for a very nice essay based on the Distinguished Historical Geography Lecture he delivered at the Annual Meeting of the AAG earlier this year in New York.  We are proud, as a journal, to sponsor this lecture series and to disseminate recipients' excellent work to our subscribers and readers. Third, as always, we appreciate the considerable financial assistance provided by the HGSG through member dues.  Editorial services for Historical Geography depend on this support. 

And last but not least, let me acknowledge the very substantial help we have received in bringing this volume to fruition after a troubled start to our production process in a difficult transition year.  David Robinson and his Journal of Latin American Geography staff worked tirelessly through the winter break to help us complete the copy-editing and layout process. Kilko Paz, from the University of New Mexico's Department of Geography & Environmental Studies, provided critical assistance in updating our web presence.  And Jon Wheeler and Kevin Comerford at the University of New Mexico Libraries provided extensive support to get the journal up and running on the OJS system, with Jon in particular guiding us through some complicated decision-making about formats, designs, and media functionality.  We owe all of these supporters a great debt of gratitude.  

Maria Lane, Co-Editor
University of New Mexico





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ISSN: 2331-7523