CESNUR, the Center for Studies on New Religions, was founded in 1988. In thirty years of activity, more than 1,000 scholarly papers have been presented at its international conferences and seminars. Many of them have been posted on CESNUR’s Web site, others have found their way to international journals.

Acknowledging that many changes have happened in the world of international scholarly publishing, after thirty years of activity CESNUR has decided to launch a new adventure, its own journal.

We have carefully examined other journals for months and have finally decided for an online open access journal. Open access journals do not require a password or request a fee to readers. They are sustained by a fee paid by the authors of the articles or their universities.

By definition, the world of open access journals is plagued by predatory publishers, which prey on young scholars offering publication in worthless journals for significant fees. An overview is offered by the Wikipedia article on predatory publishers at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predatory_open_access_publishing.

On the other hand, the most respected scholarly publishers in the field of humanities also switched to open access, with the quality of their publications guaranteed by unimpeachable peer review. See for example Oxford University Press (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access) and Brill (http://www.brill.com/resources/authors/publishing-journals-brill/brill-open-access-journals). CESNUR’s director, Massimo Introvigne, has matured himself an experience as member of the editorial board of Brill’s open access publications.

In the field of religious studies, the high Article Processing Charges (APC) requested by some of the large academic presses prevent scholars whose institutions would not fund them from publishing in reputable open access journals. This is a pity, since open access articles are read by thousands, while articles in printed journals or restricted access online journals have a very limited readership. Some have argued that they are now read by an average of ten people only (http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/why-professors-are-writing-crap-nobody-reads), which shows how much things have changed since CESNUR started in 1988.

The Journal of CESNUR, edited by Marco Respinti and with an editorial board chaired by Massimo Introvigne, would ask an APC of Euro 275/article. We will publish both mono-thematic and multi-thematic issues. English will be the primary language, but we will publish issues in other languages too. Articles should be from 8 to 20 pages, although room would be made for exceptions and we plan to publish special issues with one long article only (with a corresponding higher APC).

We noticed that the “Notes and bibliography” model used by most journals in the humanities makes for difficult reading online, and decided for the “Author-Date” model. Both models are regarded as appropriate in The Chicago Manual of Style, and the basic rules of the “Author-Date Model” are transcribed at the end of this announcement.

We welcome articles, and proposals for special issues, in the fields of religious pluralism, new religious movements, esoteric movements, alternative spirituality, religious and spiritual movements and the arts. Articles will be accepted for peer review only if they are written in good academic English (or the other language applicant would select) and follow the Author-Date reference model. Neither CESNUR nor the peer reviewers would rewrite your articles for you. Once accepted for peer review, articles will be sent to peer reviewers. Only when accepted in their final form, the APC will become due and publication will follow.


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