Regular versus Open Peer Commentary (OPC)
For both regular and special issues of JIMS, authors can choose
between regular and OPC submissions.
The format of the submission is the same in both cases, including
the length and format of the abstract. The abstract includes background
paragraphs in two main disciplines - one in humanities and one in
sciences. These paragraphs are expanded upon in the main text to
demonstrate a synergy between humanities and sciences.
Regular submissions have at least two authors, of which the first
two are a humanities scholar and a scientist in either order. There is
no limit on the length of regular submissions, but reviewers may
recommend changing the length.
OPC submissions differ from regular submissions as follows.
1) There is no restriction on the authorship of OPC submissions. We
accept single-author submissions and submissions whose authors are only
humanities scholars or only scientists
2) The length of an OPC submission (all text including title page,
abstract, tables, references, biographies, figure captions) is limited
to 8000 words. The limit is relaxed to 9000 words following review to
allow authors to respond to reviewers` suggestions.
3) OPC submissions are accompanied by an email with a list of three
colleagues who have accepted to write peer commentaries if the
submission is accepted for publication. If the submission is proposed by
a humanities scholar, all three suggested commentators should belong to
the sciences, and vice versa. Additional suggestions from any discipline
are welcome. The email should include the email addresses and homepage
addresses (or CVs) of all proposed commentators.
4) Reviewers of OPC submissions are informed about the OPC procedure
and asked whether, in their opinion and according to their own criteria,
the submission is suitable for publication with OPC. If one humanities
reviewer and one sciences reviewer independently answer `no` to this
question and back up their decision with plausible arguments, and the
submission does not meet the criteria for regular submissions, the
submission is rejected.
Once an OPC submission is accepted for publication and revised
satisfactorily, the action editor/s begins to invite commentaries of up
to 500 words from experts in relevant areas of humanities and sciences,
including one or more of the commentators proposed by the author/s. The
reviewers are also given the revised manuscript and an opportunity to
write peer commentaries with the option of concealing the fact that they
reviewed the original submission. In addition, an open call (including
titles and abstracts, but not authors) is launched on the JIMS website
and sent to relevant email lists, in which interested commentators with
a doctorate in a relevant discipline are asked contact the action
editor. The open call requires potential commentators to provide their
homepage address or CV and a summary of the planned commentary in 2-3
sentences. The action editor accepts or rejects such requests depending
on the commentator`s qualification and suitability, and the number and
quality of existing commentaries. Upon acceptance, the requester
receives the complete revised text for comment. Commentaries should
generally be submitted within three weeks, otherwise the invitation
The action editor selects for publication two to six peer
commentaries from the humanities and two to six from the sciences. For
papers whose first author is a humanities scholar, the number of
commentaries by scientists must equal or exceed the number of
commentaries by humanities scholars, and vice-versa for papers whose
first author is a scientist.
The action editor ensures that commentaries meet the following
criteria: substantive, constructive, plausible criticism or
interpretation; polite formulation; focus on the issues rather than the
authors (no ad hominem arguments); and reference to appropriate
literature. Commentaries that are not revised satisfactorily according
to the suggestions of the action editor may be rejected.
Following the final selection and revision of peer commentaries,
they are sent to the (first) author with a request for a reply of up to
1500 words within three weeks. At this point, neither the original text
nor the commentaries can be changed. If it is necessary to correct a
factual error or to omit part of the text for well-substantiated legal
reasons, and the action editor agrees to the change, the (first) author
may do that provided s/he also informs those commentators (if any) who
referred to the changed part of the text in their commentaries. They may
then change their commentaries accordingly, provided the action editor
approves the change.
If the original submission has more than one author, the reply may
be written by the first author alone. In their reply, the author/s
provide an integrated overview of the commentaries. They then respond to
the main points of all commentators, referring to the author of each
point by name. The action editor applies the same editorial principles
to the author`s reply as s/he did to the commentaries, and the author/s
is/are similarly bound to comply with her/his recommendations.
Finally, the action editor forwards the complete text of the
article, all commentaries that have been selected for publication, and
the author`s reply to the administrative editor (for regular
submissions) or guest editor/s (for special issues). They may ask for
further revisions or for the deletion of any passage or commentary.
- Research versus practice
JIMS primarily aims to bridge the gap between humanities and
sciences in music research, but we also encourage interactions
between research and practice. Musical practice includes
performance, composition, education, therapy, and medicine; music
research involves both humanities and sciences. Practical aspects of
the musical humanities include (for example) the history of
performance practice, compositionally oriented music theory, and the
teaching of ethnomusicology. Practical aspects of the musical
sciences include the psychology of music performance, music
medicine, and musically relevant engineering applications.
Common problems and suggestions
Submissions whose (first) author is a scientist are often
considered to be weak by humanities reviewers, and vice-versa. To
avoid this problem, make sure that every point made in the two
background sections of your abstract is carefully elaborated in the
main text, focusing on aspects that lie outside the primary
expertise of the (first) author. As the main text proceeds, a
balanced synergy should emerge between those background sections.
Towards the end of the paper, consider the implications of the main
conclusions for both sciences and humanities. If the central part of
the paper is biased toward sciences, pay particular attention in the
final part of the paper to implications for humanities, or to
placing the findings in a humanities context; and vice versa.
Reviews of books and conferences
JIMS also publishes reviews of books and conferences that
primarily address musical issues, promote synergetic interactions
among humanities and sciences, are internationally clearly visible,
and control the quality of academic content by an acceptable
peer-review procedure. Reviews are limited to
2000 words and may be subject to a separate peer-review procedure.
Authors of relevant books, organizers of relevant conferences, and
potential reviewers are invited to contact to the review editor.
Accepted papers are first published online with DOI numbers and
later in print. Print publication is biannual in November and May.
Note. These guidelines were revised in June 2012 by Ali Cenk
Gedik, Richard Parncutt, Barbara Tillmann, and Frans Wiering to
include the option of OPC. They may be changed at any time without