It now seems the right time to unveil a project which we hope will enthuse and excite a great number of you. We have been working, over the past few months, to put together a new, very different, journal of Pynchon scholarship.
The journal aims to publish high quality, rigorously reviewed and innovative scholarly material on the works of Thomas Pynchon, related authors and adjacent fields, free-of-charge at point of access to institutions and independent scholars by being a Gold, Libre Open Access journal. We aim to review and publish material received within five months by abandoning the traditional “issue” model in favour of a rolling system and to, consequentially, fare well under research assessment metrics. The journal is entitled Orbit: Writing Around Pynchon, with ISSN number 2047-2870 and hosted at https://www.pynchon.net.
The journal is online-only and free at point-of-access. This ensures that availability is not a problem given institutional budget concerns. It has also been shown, in several studies, that Open Access publications obtain higher citation rates because of this openness (see: http://opcit.eprints.org/oacitation-biblio.html), which should be of value to anybody concerned about citation metrics in research assessment frameworks. We are also abandoning the traditional “Issue” format for all but special cases, meaning that we have a Volume and Issue number assigned, in advance, and articles are added to the current volume as soon as they are ready. In this way, we hope to thoroughly review and publish articles within a five month timeframe.
We have several mechanisms in place for archival and safeguarding purposes. Once our first “issue” is published, Orbit will be archived and preserved through the LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe) system pioneered by Stanford University. See: http://lockss.stanford.edu/lockss/Home for more info. This distributed network of libraries and university systems will each keep a copy of every article published in Orbit. Should Orbit cease production, or be unavailable for technical reasons, LOCKSS will automatically and transparently provide access through institutional catalogues and resolvers. In addition, we recommend that all authors lodge a copy of their article with their institutional repository. Orbit will furthermore deposit articles with the British Library (the UK deposit library) as per http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/stratpolprog/legaldep/. These three backup archival sources, incorporating multiple physical locations worldwide, backed by reputable institutions, provide continued worldwide reach in the event of folding/downtime via an internationally recognised mechanism.
In relation to how this journal will work alongside Pynchon Notes, for which we have nothing but the utmost respect and gratitude, we have been in touch with Duffy and John throughout. The journals work on very different principles; we are online-only, while PN remains in print, but we certainly felt, in light of the 50th anniversary of Pynchon's V., that 2013 would be a good point for the two projects to work together to make a positive contribution to this momentous occasion and we remain in dialogue on this front.
The sheer volume of material and number of people working on Pynchon was the justification for this project in our minds. We hope that this excites you. Please see our first CFP and we hope you’ll consider helping us begin by submitting your work for our launch next Spring. Likewise, if you are interested in acting as a peer reviewer, please get in touch.
Martin Paul Eve, University of Sussex
Dr. Doug Haynes, University of Sussex
Dr. Sam Thomas, Durham University
Professor Hanjo Berressem, University of Cologne
Dr. Simon de Bourcier, University of East Anglia
Professor David Cowart, University of South Carolina
Professor Luc Herman, University of Antwerp
Dr. Zofia Kolbuszewska, University of Lublin
Dr. Sascha Pöhlmann, University of Munich
Dr. Jeff Severs, University of British Columbia
Dr. Birger Vanwesenbeeck, SUNY Fredonia