The beginning of 2021 marks the 49th year of Nationalities Papers and my third year as Editor in Chief. It has been a challenging year for our staff, contributors, and reviewers but one that has also produced some exciting new scholarship and an expansion of our outreach to readers. The journal has seen a number of changes. In March 2019, our Managing Editor Danielle Judith Price left the journal to pursue new opportunities. Danielle was instrumental in helping with the journal’s onboarding with Cambridge University Press, smoothing out the peer review workflow, and updating the journal’s procedures. A few weeks later, Ned Whalley joined and quickly became indispensable for the journal’s operation. Ned and I have reworked our Instructions for Contributors and updated the workflow and style guide. We continue to make improvements refining our editing procedures in collaboration with our amazing colleagues at Cambridge University Press, Ann Avouris and Katrina Swartz.
Despite the heavy burden that the pandemic has visited on many of our reviewers and editors, we have strived to provide our authors a speedier turnaround. Improvements have also been made in the time between acceptance and publication. In 2019, articles took between 51 and 414 days to appear online. In 2020, FirstView turnaround times have dropped, with articles publishing as soon as 19 days after acceptance.
Nationalities Papers is committed to publishing both research that is relevant to contemporary debates and cutting-edge multidisciplinary work in various social scientific fields. As an example of the former, our Associate Editor for Special Issues Julie George is working together with Guest Editor Bridget Coggins on a forthcoming Special Issue on “Nationalism and Racial Hierarchies.” The latter is exemplified by Mark T. Kettler's article “Designing Empire for the Civilized East: Colonialism, Polish Nationhood, and German War Aims in the First World War,” (47:6), winner of the 2020 Huttenbach Prize for best article published in Nationalities Papers. In addition, CUP has provided free open access publication of several COVID-19 related manuscripts, which have been among our most downloaded articles this year and will form the basis of an upcoming special issue. We’ve also begun to periodically assemble collections of articles from our archive in Virtual Issues that may help shed light on current events.
In these difficult times, we have expanded our efforts to stay in touch with our authors and readers in multiple ways. In 2020 Nationalities Papers increased its presence on the revamped ASN website at https://nationalities.org, publishing more interviews with authors and guest editors. We continued our active presence on social media, both on Facebook (@NationalitiesPapers) and Twitter (@NationalitiesP). Follow us! Finally, Nationalities Papers has been collaborating closely with the new virtual ASN initiative to produce high quality content, including a virtual forum for prospective authors attended by more than 400 people and watched by over 3,800 so far.
Overcoming the challenges of the past year would have been impossible without the unwavering efforts of our associate editors, reviewers, authors, editorial board, publishers, and of course the ASN community. I would like to thank everyone for helping make this year a success. As we approach our 50th anniversary, it is heartening to see that the commitment to our readership and our growing field remains as strong as ever.