Does your editorial team operate a website or blog associated with your journal? If so, we would like to collaborate with you on ways to make all of your journal's web channels work together effectively. We provide some suggestions and best practices on these pages, but you may also contact us with questions.
Your journal can have a wide-ranging presence on the web, with some sites maintained by Duke University Press and others maintained by editors, authors, and readers. A well-managed web community will help your journal reach its best and widest audience by building effective connections among these sites.
A constellation of sites brings your journal to life online. (Roll over boxes to learn more.)
Developing a vital web presence helps readers discover your publication. However, we urge caution in the creation of community websites that overlap with the journal's content. As you know, content published in the journal proper is reviewed and formally published. The journal must also meet obligations and standards regarding production values, subscriptions, archiving, and copyright that may not apply to your community website. Therefore, while your journal benefits from being associated with vibrant web content from other sources, it is important to protect the rigor and prestige of the journal as a discrete scholarly project.
Link visitors to the journal Wherever possible, please link the community website to the journal's primary content site on dukejournals.org or projecteuclid.org. In particular, it's helpful to link to the tables of contents of specific issues, and even more helpful to link to specific articles.
Teaser content It's great to provide samples of content on your website, but copyright and permissions protections apply to your site just as they do elsewhere. You may republish textual excerpts of the pieces in your journal, but they may not exceed 10 percent of the pieces' total word count. If you would like to quote excerpts of greater length, please contact the journals editorial manager.
Supplemental journal content As you make editorial decisions regarding your authors' use of multimedia material, please keep in mind that all material published in the journal, including digital media like video or sound clips, must be hosted on the journal's online content site, alongside the primary article. If substantive elements of articles are housed on external sites—including sites run by the journal's editors—the Press cannot guarantee the stability and accessibility of that content for all subscribers and reference tools. If you would like to discuss including digital media in your journal, please let us know.
Naming The community website should avoid using the journal title as its formal name or as the URL. Rather, differentiate the website from published material through qualifiers, such as "JournalTitle Forum," "JournalTitle Blog," or "JournalTitle—Digital Community." Consider that the online journal at dukejournals.org or projecteuclid.org is the journal and not merely an archive of the "print journal."
Here are some ideas to consider when working on your editorial team's community website or blog.
Objectives What are your goals? Your website or blog may be intended to
Does the design hierarchy of your page reflect your main objectives? For example, if your main goal is to attract submissions, is that information easy to find without scrolling down the page or clicking away? If your objective is to direct readers to the journal, do you provide links to the content wherever possible?
Audience Who is your primary audience? Prioritize content that meets that audience's interests. Examples include
Tone Your intended audience should also inform your tone and word choice. For example, does your language need to be accessible to new or nonspecialist readers? Would the titles and labels on your website make sense to a person who has not read the most recent issues? Use informal or conversational language if it would be clearer.
Analytics Use analytics tools to evaluate your success in meeting your website's goals. We highly recommend Google Analytics, a free commercial-grade web analytics service that provides data on how your users find your site and how they behave after they arrive. Please see the Additional Resources tab for further information.
Maintenance Be realistic about how much and how often you can maintain the site. The Press website at dukeupress.edu is regularly updated with current issues, subscription and ordering information, and your journal's submission guidelines. You can reduce pressure on your editorial team by linking to this information rather than maintaining it yourself. You can also use widgets to automate updates of your journal's table of contents or most-read articles.
Search engine optimization SEO strategies help search tools like Google or Bing feature your website in their results. These recommendations should make your site more discoverable:
Social media Link your page to social media channels relevant to your community, including Twitter feeds or Facebook, Mendeley, Academia.edu, ResearchGate, or LinkedIn accounts.
Your journal's subscriptions rely on online usage statistics reported to libraries, and your readers will be counted only if they access your journal's content on its official online platform.
Tips and best practices
We've collected some additional resources that you might find helpful. Please contact us if you have other questions or would like to discuss your web project in more detail.