February 13, 2020, by ahzsa

The Midlands Historical Review–Editor Lucy Mounfield describes Nottingham University’s own interdisciplinary arts and humanities journal!

Midlands Historical Review was established in 2017 by a group of PhD students from the History department at the University of Nottingham. Their original aim to start a peer-review interdisciplinary journal providing a platform and learning repository to showcase excellent research in the field of the arts and humanities is still at the forefront of our mission today. We welcome submissions that explore history through innovative methodologies, utilise new evidence, and traverse different disciplines.

I am a third year Art History PhD student here at the University of Nottingham. Having been editor at the Midlands Historical Review since January 2019, I have had the privilege to work alongside talented scholars from the midlands. The team has grown this year to encompass 5 editors, myself (Editor), Emily Chambers (Deputy Editor), Darcie Mawby (Lead Editor, Research Articles), Michael Noble (Lead Editor, Research Articles), Robert Frost (Lead Editor, Other Research Outputs). Darcie, Michael and Emily are second-year PhD History students whilst Robert is a PhD student in the Geography department. Our team are based at Nottingham, but we have assistant editors from other Midlands based universities such as Nottingham Trent and Birmingham University among others.

Working on a journal gives us a valuable insight into the ‘other side’ of the review and publication process. Darcie says she has “enjoyed working with the Midlands Historical Review for the past two years. Not only do I get to read fascinating papers on subjects that I never would have had reason to explore myself, but I have gained valuable experience and have been able to improve my own academic writing. The process of reviewing papers, and even having my own work reviewed for publication, has heightened my attention to detail, grammar, and consistency and helped me to gain a position as an editorial assistant for a renowned academic journal.”

Michael and Emily are both new to the journal, only taking up the roles in the last month. Both are keen to learn more about the publishing process, taking their editing and critical reading skills gained from their PhD and implementing them in reading and accessing the diverse submissions we receive. Publishing is an important aspect of an academic career; fostering debate, offering credible and easily accessible research and disseminating knowledge. Therefore, MHR is committed to publishing work that would not ordinarily have an audience.

MHR would not be able to function as a peer-review journal without our legion of assistant editors who anonymously read, review and provide constructive and educative comments for each article that is published on our online journal. Indeed, many of us started as assistant editors.

With each submission, either myself or Emily will read through it to check it follows our MHR style guide and remit. Each article is peer-reviewed three times with a different assistant editor each time offering feedback. Once the comments have been implemented by the author the Lead Editor will check that it is ready to be sent back to either myself or the deputy for a final read through. Book reviews have a maximum of 2 rounds of peer-review as they are shorter pieces of writing. As an art historian, I want to widen the scope of the journal to include exhibition reviews and catalogue book reviews. If you are interested in submitting to the journal please do check out our submission page: http://www.midlandshistoricalreview.com/submissions/.

The Midlands Historical Review has grown considerably since Darcie joined the team at its outset in 2017. We have attracted a large editorial team and have compiled two full volumes—including special issue coverage of the 2018 Medieval Midlands conference—that are regularly accessed all over the globe. The goal for me during my editorship is to establish a second editorial team at

another institution, broaden our exposure to ECR’s and students who actively engage with the historical from an interdisciplinary point of view outside of the departmental classification of a History degree.

At the moment, we have several BA Undergraduate dissertations from students at Midlands institutions going through peer-review for a special issue. These are outstanding examples of Undergraduate research, three of whom won prizes at the East Midlands Dissertation Showcase at Derby University in June. Here is the link to our current volume: http://www.midlandshistoricalreview.com/current-volume/ including an article adapted from a BA dissertation written by Joshua Thorpe.

We are still in need of a Website and Social Media Editor to upload finished articles onto the website and maintain the wordpress site as well as promote MHR on various social media platforms. The role requires a good knowledge of HTML and wordpress technology as well as a keen eye for social media promotion. If you are interested then please do contact us for more information: midlandshistoricalreview@gmail.com.

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