Focus and Scope
VERB is an interdisciplinary print and online journal published and sponsored by the Humanities Center at Lehigh University. Its goals are to encourage, collect, and make available writing from a variety of disciplinary perspectives on topics that lend themselves to socially significant and original academic work. Our audience consists of undergraduate and graduate students, university faculty, and dedicated nonspecialists.
Peer Review Process
All submitted manuscripts will be screened by in-house staff (Editors, Section Editors, or Reviewers) to determine whether the article fits VERB’s scope and focus and whether the authors have provided all required items and information. If the submission is clearly outside VERB’s scope or focus the article will normally be rejected outright without in-depth peer review. If it is unclear whether the article fits, the Editor or Section Editor will consult with a suitably qualified Reviewer.
All not-immediately-rejected articles in peer-reviewed sections are submitted for formal peer-review, and will be assigned to at least two Reviewers, of which one may be the Section Editor and of which at least one will be a suitably qualified expert in the appropriate field. Publication decisions will be made by the Section Editor. There are several types of possible decisions ranging from acceptance without revision to unconditional rejection – typically because the article does not in the judgment of several Reviewers or Editors adhere to one or more of the Criteria for Publication (see below).
If a submitted article is accepted it will be published in the online journal and, as a matter of editorial decision, may be published in the print journal; article length and layout constraints, rather than matters of academic worth, decide publication in VERB's print journal. All articles published in VERB, regardless of whether they appear in print or online, are subject to the same review and editorial policies.
The review process is strictly confidential and should be treated as such by Reviewers. Because the author may have chosen to exclude some people from this process, those not directly involved with the manuscript, including colleagues or other experts in the field, should be consulted by the reviewer unless such consultations have first been discussed with the Editor.
Editing Reviewers’ Reports
VERB will not edit any comments made by reviewers that have been intended to be read by the authors. We encourage reviewers to be honest and courteous in their language.
As far as possible we respect requests by authors to exclude reviewers whom they consider to be unsuitable. We also, as much as possible, try to rule out those Reviewers who may have an obvious competing interest, such as those who may have been collaborators on other projects with the authors, those who may be direct competitors (for instance for teaching or research positions), those who have a known history of antipathy with the author(s), or those who might profit financially from the publication of the article under review. We request that Reviewers who recognize a potential competing interest inform the Section Editor and recuse themselves if they feel that are unable to offer an impartial review.
Criteria for Publication
As a rule, publications in VERB should meet the following criteria:
Relevance: The manuscript should focus on VERB’s topic (e.g. waste); the connection of the manuscript's content to the theme for each issue of VERB should be immediate and clear.
Significance: The manuscript should address an issue or several issues of social or academic significance, broadly defined.
Originality: The manuscript should make a contribution to the academic discipline or disciplines in which it works.
Perceptiveness: The manuscript’s treatment of its subject or subjects should be non-trivial and non-obvious to an expert in the field.
Accessibility: The manuscript’s style, tone, and subject should be accessible to our readers: discipline-specific theory and jargon should be avoided or explained; discipline-specific understandings of subjects and events should be broadened to fit an audience of intellectually able and academically interested nonspecialists.
VERB is published quarterly, in a newspaper format and online; the print edition contains selections from the peer-reviewed online journal as well as information pertaining to related events at the Lehigh University Humanities Center and articles of local interest.
Open Access Policy
This journal's content is free to readers; authors are free to archive their work published in this journal in institutional or personal repositories and e-print archives, and to submit their work published here to other publications. The only rights we reserve with respect to authors is the right to print their submitted work in our paper journal and online archive and to provide their work to readers without charge.
Becoming a Reviewer
As an interdisciplinary journal, VERB is always looking for reviewers. If you are interested in being a reviewer, please send a CV and a brief description of your reviewing interests via email.