For the past three years, the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media has been publishing a peer-reviewed journal, Current Research in Digital History. Over those three years, our mission for CRDH has been consistent. We think that digital history needs more scholarship that makes interpretative or argumentative claims within specific fields of history. Digital history methods, in other words, ought to produce new historical insights, and those new historical insights ought to be shared with, say, scholars of American legal history or of Ottoman culture. CRDH exists to provide a home for—or sometimes a waypoint to—such scholarship. We publish short-form essays of about 3,000 words. We have built a platform which we will continue to expand that can host whatever kind of digital history content an author can imagine. We publish the articles open access. And we envision this as a place where scholars can either write up the interpretative aspects of a digital history project or publish a brief version of an idea that they will develop more fully elsewhere. Part of that is that we publish quickly: less than a year from submission through peer review to publication, and faster if we can.
For the first few years we published CRDH in conjunction with an annual conference that we held at RRCHNM in Virginia. The purpose of the conference was to bootstrap the journal, by helping provide guidance to digital historians who were applying their digital methods to argumentative history for the first time. We have found CRDH to be a modest success. A number of scholars have seen how we are trying to enable their work and have taken advantage of the venue. We are especially pleased that the journal has been a useful home for graduate students and early career scholars who want to publish work in digital history.
Today we published the 2020 issue, but we are also making a step to a new publication model. We will begin accepting and publishing submissions on a rolling basis. In other words, instead of waiting to publish all the articles we receive all at the same time, we will publish them as they become ready for publication. And the journal will now be completely decoupled from the conference, which we will no longer hold. We are making these steps for two reasons. First, there were always scholars who could not attend the conference, and we will be able to draw from a wider pool of scholars now. And second, we like to keep the current in CRDH, and this move will allow us to publish articles faster.
If CRDH sounds like a venue in which you could publish your work, we encourage you to send submissions or even just questions to the editors.
We have another important piece of news about CRDH as well. For the past three years, Greta Swain has been the journal’s editorial assistant. No one has done more for the success of the journal—or of its authors—than Greta. Starting now, she will join the journal as an editor alongside Stephen Robertson and Lincoln Mullen. She is a gifted scholar of early Americas and of digital history, and will bring a keen eye for both historical argumentation and the craft of digital history to editing the journal. As a PhD candidate at George Mason University, she will also be a part of the journal’s strategy in reaching out to graduate students and early career scholars. We are grateful that Swain is taking on this new role as the journal transitions to a new publication model.
While CRDH is finalizing its editorial board, we are grateful that the following scholars have agreed to join the editorial board. All of them have been long-time supporters of the journal’s mission, and they will bring their wide-ranging experience to bear in helping us accomplish that mission.