Editorial Responsibility and Process

Overview of the Journal

Words and Silences/Palabras y Silencios is the Digital Edition Journal of the International Oral History Association. Contributions are from a wide range of disciplines. The journal is a means for the oral history community to share projects and current trends of oral history from around the world. It publishes research, case studies, work-in-progress articles, technological developments, and conference keynote addresses and presentations, among other content. Submissions are accepted in English and Spanish.

Journal issues/volumes often follow a theme. Post-conference issues will follow the theme of the most recent conference. The digital edition journal is registered with the ISSN International Centre as ISSN 2222-4181.

Editorial Responsibility

Words and Silences is an editorially-responsible online journal, self-published by IOHA. The journal’s all-volunteer, multilingual editorial team, supported by the IOHA Council, believes in the spirit of open access and knowledge exchange. The journal is currently not affiliated with any formal publishing house.

Editorial Process

Editorial associates include a mix of oral history practitioners and academics. In its current iteration, we follow a simple editorial review and quality control process, which does include peer review of all submitted articles. Step One is an initial pre-review conducted by the English and Spanish Co-Editors. Pre-review considers the following questions:

  • Does the paper fit the aim and scope of the journal and will it be of interest to IOHA members?
  • How prominently does oral history fit in the discussion? 
  • Is the paper of publishable quality (e.g., does it follow a format, does it include substantial citation/documentation, overall is it readable or will it require more work?)
  • Can the author verify permission for use of images/illustrations, and are proper credits attributed?
  • Has the paper been published elsewhere?* 

*Editors are willing to work with authors who wish to include their non-copyrighted work that is not under the license of another publisher, in order to include an article or presentation in IOHA’s journal for various reasons, for example to connect a case study, project or discussion to a specific theme; to reconsider or update a previously-published discussion; to invite IOHA associates to provide comment. 

Pre-review for each initially-accepted submission then leads to the process of assigning a more in-depth peer-review by one of our editorial associates. This will result in one of the following decisions by the co-editors:

  • Accept, no revisions
  • Accept with minor revisions
  • Accept with major revisions (editors may ask authors to conduct their own thorough copyediting or translation)
  • Reject with comments

Accepted articles will then move through a more thorough editorial process to prepare articles for final inclusion in the online issue. This process includes:

  • Copy-editing and proofreading
  • Citation and references review
  • Reformatting for consistency
  • After final proofing, all articles must move through a translation process that translates English articles to Spanish, and Spanish articles into English. IOHA’s bylaws state that published content is to be made available in both languages.

Publication on a Rolling Basis

In order to foster regular engagement with our members and community, as of 2022 the journal will now publish articles on a rolling basis. This means that articles, while connected to the same themed issue, will not be published all at once but rather as they are ready. 

Attribution and Rights

Contributors/authors retain the rights to their article and grant the journal the right to publish under a Creative Commons Attribution License, which means that others may share the work with an acknowledgement of the work’s authorship AND publication in this journal. It is the responsibility of the author-contributor to ensure their submission is not licensed by any other entity before sharing with Words and Silences.