Other Voices is an independent, award-winning, electronic journal of cultural criticism published at the University of Pennsylvania. Founded in March 1997, Other Voices regularly publishes provocative essays, interviews, roundtable discussions, lecture transcriptions, audio lectures, multimedia projects, translations and reviews in the arts and humanities. Other Voices is dedicated to fostering interdisciplinary dialogues while simultaneously maintaining respect for the strengths of traditional academic disciplines. In so far as this publication is successful, its existence questions the role of the for-profit academic press in the normalized process of scholastic publication. In face of real world distribution shortfalls and the exorbitant cost of many print publications, this project shall remain freely accessible to all. We strive to produce quality by utilizing a distributed collective to accomplish all administrative, production and editorial duties required by the journal with a minimum of overhead. In keeping with this the journal is home to a far-ranging group of contributors and editorial professionals including academics, independent scholars, graduate and undergraduate students.
In lieu of standard paper publication, the journal takes advantage of the capabilities of the Internet for author/reader interaction, public debate, and multimedia presentation.
Submissions that pass an initial editorial inspection are subject to strict lateral peer-review (that is, all essays are reviewed by peers of equal or greater standing, e.g., a contribution from a graduate student would be reviewed by one or more graduate students, PhD independent scholars, and/or faculty members).
March 1999, Other Voices officially affiliated with the International Consortium for the Advancement of Academic Publication (ICAAP). The ICAAP is a unique Canadian initiative dedicated to the development of an international scholarly communication system outside of the commercial mainstream. ICAAP affiliated journals are freeware or low cost shareware publications. This move will not only help ensure the longevity and quality of Other Voices, but facilitate our implementation of current and future technological standards and innovations.
During the Summer 2001, Other Voices joined the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ), the leading international society for journal editors. We support the CELJ's efforts for the advancement of academic publication.
In December 2003 Other Voices was honored with inclusion in the new LOCKSS archive of electronic humanities publications. The LOCKSS initiative will create a distributed array of persistent, digital "caches" of online content, enabling institutions to locally collect, store, preserve and archive authorized content, thus safeguarding their community's access to that content in perpetuity. LOCKSS is currently supported by over 130 participating libraries and publishers as well as by funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Stanford University and Sun Microsystems.
Other Voices is currently indexed in the MLA International Bibliography, the Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL). The journal is listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals and India's OPEN J-Gate archive of English-language journals. In 2005 the journal was included in EBSCO's International Humanities Index and provided as full-text through their International Humanities Complete service. Other Voices is consistently well placed in both Internet search engines and online directories and has been selected as a Best of the Web resource in the Arts & Humanities by the New York Public Library.
We wish to thank the English department of the University of Pennsylvania for generously providing support for this project between 1997 and 2001.