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Focus and Scope

The Journal of Open Humanities Data (JOHD) features peer reviewed publications describing humanities data or techniques with high potential for reuse. The journal currently publishes two types of papers:

1. Metapapers that describe humanities datasets with high reuse potential. Data includes quantitative and qualitative data, software, algorithms, maps, simulations, ontologies etc.

2. Full length research papers that describe different aspects or methods used to create, process, evaluate, or curate humanities data.

Both types of JOHD papers are fully peer reviewed to ensure that they are accurate and that the data or technique that they describe meet the journal’s criteria for publication. Data are not reviewed in terms of validity or importance, but rather to ensure that the descriptions or instructions for reuse are valuable to a community of interest. JOHD does not publish papers presenting results of or claims made by empirical research, nor do we publish reviews of existing literature.

Humanities subjects of interest to JOHD include, but are not limited to Art History, History, Linguistics, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Film, Religious Studies, etc. Data that crosses one or more of these traditional disciplines are highly encouraged.

Publication Frequency

This journal publishes continuously, with papers coming online as soon as they have passed peer review.

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. There is no embargo on the journal’s publications. Submission and acceptance dates, along with publication dates, are made available on the PDF format for each paper.

Authors of articles published remain the copyright holders and grant third parties the right to use, reproduce, and share the article according to the Creative Commons license agreement.

Authors are encouraged to publish their data in recommended repositories. For a list of generic and subject specific repositories that meet our peer review criteria, see here.

Archiving Policy

The journal’s publisher, Ubiquity Press, focuses on making content discoverable and accessible through indexing services. Content is also archived around the world to ensure long-term availability.

The Journal of Open Humanities Data is indexed by the following services:

Chronos, Center for Open Science, OpenAIRE, ExLibris, Journal TOCs, CNKICrossRef, JISC KB+, SHERPA RoMEOEBSCOHost, Cengage Learning and Google Scholar. In addition, all journals are available for harvesting via OAI-PMH.

To ensure permanency of all publications, this journal also utilises CLOCKSS, and LOCKSS archiving systems to create permanent archives for the purposes of preservation and restoration.

If the Journal of Open Humanities Data is not indexed by your preferred service, please let us know by emailing or alternatively by making an indexing request directly with the service.

Recommended Repositories

The list of recommended repositories is currently being developed. Please contact us with suggestions. In the meantime, please visit our sister journal, the Journal of Open Archaeology Data, for a list of relevant general repositories.


What kinds of data can I publish?

All kinds of data are welcome, providing it is relevant to the humanities, as broadly defined. We are particularly interested in data that may have reuse potential or which is required to validate your research.

What is a data paper?

A data paper is a publication that is designed to make other researchers aware of data that is of potential use to them. As such it describes the methods used to create the dataset, its structure, its reuse potential, and a link to its location in a repository. It is important to note that a data paper does not replace a research article, but rather complements it. When mentioning the data behind a study, a research paper should reference the data paper for further details. The data paper similarly should contain references to any research papers associated with the dataset.

How do I submit a data paper?

Please see our ‘how to submit a data paper’ page.

How does JOHD peer review work?

Please see our overview of the peer review process.

Which open license should I apply to my data?

We recommend the following licenses for open data:

All of the above licenses carry an obligation for anyone using the data to properly attribute it. The main differences are whether this is a social requirement (CC0 and PDDL) or a legal one (CC-BY and ODC-BY). The less restrictive your license, the greater the potential for reuse.

We do not recommend licenses that impose commercial or other restrictions on the use of data. Generally, such licenses can prevent use of data by charities and the media, and make the remixing of data from various international sources legally problematic. At the same time, why impose commercial restrictions on publicly funded data, such that the public themselves are not able to build profitable or sustainable solutions that utilise it? There are of course some situations in which data must have a more restrictive license (e.g. funder requirements), and the editorial team will consider these on a case-by-case basis.

Which repositories do you recommend for humanities data?

Please see our list of recommended repositories for examples. Other repositories may be acceptable, provided they meet the criteria below. Please contact us if you would like to discuss adding a new repository to the recommended list.

What are the criteria for a repository to be accepted?

Data must be made available via a suitable repository. To meet our acceptance criteria, repositories must:

  • be suitable for the type of data involved
  • be sustainable (i.e. it must have funding and plans in place to ensure the long-term preservation of the data)
  • allow open licences
  • provide persistent identifiers (e.g. DOI, handle, ARC etc.)

What does ‘open’ mean?

The term ‘open’ in this context is well described by the Open Knowledge Foundation: “A piece of content or data is open if anyone is free to use, reuse, and redistribute it — subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share-alike.”

What are the benefits of publishing data?

Allowing others to reuse your data leads to more efficient science, as well as new kinds of studies previously not possible that involve the combination of multiple data sources. At the same time open data can be reused by the wider public for a range of purposes including teaching, journalism and citizen science projects. These and other benefits are summarised in the diagram on our about page.

Making research outputs available for others to work with and build upon is part of the social contract of academia. Data papers mean that data you have released can be cited and that those citations can be tracked. This is not only an indirect measure of impact and therefore important for career progression, but it can also help you understand who is using the data, and lead to new collaborations.

Do I have to make my data open?

It is difficult to argue that the results of publicly funded research should not be made publicly available, and many funding bodies are increasing the degree to which they encourage open archiving. We believe that the benefits listed aboveare already a strong incentive to publish data openly, but there are some occasions (e.g. source material copyright issues, subject privacy concerns) where it may not be possible.

JOHD will however only publish data papers for datasets archived with open licenses. Datasets that need to be partially redacted for legal reasons will be considered by the editorial team on a case by case basis.

How do I cite data?

If you use data from a repository that has been released under an open license then you are obliged to cite it (even under a CC0 license). By citing the data paper you also reward the author for sharing their data, as these citations can be tracked as for any scholarly paper (unfortunately there is no system for tracking the data citations themselves yet, which is another reason that a data paper is so useful). You should therefore include a reference to the data paper describing the data, followed by a reference to the data in the repository itself. In order for this to work it is essential that the citations are in the references section of the article and include the DOIs (or any other identifier the repository might use), e.g.:


Bevan, A. and Conolly, J. (2012) Intensive Survey Data from Antikythera, Greece. Journal of Open Archaeology Data 1(1), DOI:

Bevan, A. and Conolly, J. (2012) The Antikythera Survey Project [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] (

Do I have to pay to publish in this journal?

If your paper is accepted for publication, you will be asked to pay an Article Publication Charge (APC) of £100 to cover publications costs. This fee can normally be sourced from your funder or institution, and we recommend approaching them about this at the time of submission.

You will be able to pay any amount from nothing to full charge, as we recognise that not all authors have access to funding, and we do not want fees to prevent the publication of worthy work. The editor and peer reviewers of the journal will not know what amount (if any) you have paid, and this will in no way influence whether your article is published or not.

Publication Ethics

Ubiquity Press, the journal’s publisher, is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP). The Press recognises its responsibility as a guardian of the scholarly record and takes an active role in establishing standards and policies in publication ethics.

The Editors of Journal of Open Humanities Data have committed to maintaining high editorial standards through rigorous peer review and strict ethical policies. The Editors follow the COPE code of conduct and refer to COPE for guidance as appropriate. The journal and the publisher ensure that advertising and commercial interests do not impact or influence editorial decisions.

The journal uses anti-plagiarism software to ensure academic integrity.


Annotation and post-publication comment

The journal platform permits readers to leave comments on the publication page, via the Disqus service. Readers will need a Disqus account to leave comments. Comments may be moderated by the journal, however, if they are non-offensive and relevant to the publication subject, comments will remain online without edit.

The journal platform also includes in-browser annotation and text highlighting options on full text formats via Readers will require a account to create annotations, and will have the option to make these publicly available, available to a group, or private.

Advertisement Policy

The journal only displays advertisements that are of relevance to its scope and will be of interest to the readership (e.g. upcoming conferences). All advertising space is provided free of charge and the editor and publisher have the right to decline or withdraw adverts at any point. Adverts will include a text heading to make it clear that they are adverts not related to the journal.

If you wish to propose a potential advert then please contact the editorial team. All advert images will have to be provided to the publisher.

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