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Criminocorpus is an online, open-access, scholarly journal published in French. It publishes articles based on empirical research, on surveys of recent research and historiographical debates, as well as providing shorter “notes” relating to online resources (archives, books and articles, databases, etc.). It covers every aspect of criminal justice history and welcomes contributions relating to all periods and geographical areas. Contributions should be submitted in French but may additionally be published in any other language.
Publishing online is not a fall-back solution for the journal, but a deliberate attempt to experiment with new forms of writing and disseminating historical knowledge. The particular form of open-access diffusion of knowledge chosen by the editors of Criminocorpus imposes certain constraints as well as offering some exciting opportunities:
When a scholarly article is published online it is likely to be read by a general as well as a specialised, academic audience.
Online publishing offers opportunities for authors to provide links to other sources of both primary and secondary materials, offering a new way of learning about history, enabling the reader to deepen his or her knowledge by pursuing in detail specific aspects of a given subject.
However, if the implications of these new technologies are not thought through properly, there is a real risk of an incoherent and fragmentary approach to the treatment of historical topics.
The journal’s editorial policy thus aims to reconcile three objectives:
Given that the themes addressed by criminal justice historians frequently feed into contemporary debates in the public sphere, the “dossiers” produced by Criminocorpus are aimed at both an academic audience and the interested general reader. Contributions should therefore meet the academic standards of the best scholarly publications while retaining a clear, accessible style.
Where possible, authors are encouraged to provide hyperlinks to other resources linked to article content. This is facilitated by the ability of the Criminocorpus platform to host some or all of the source materials in question or by the use of hypertext links offering access to online content available elsewhere on the Web or via certain online databases (such as Jean-Claude Farcy’s bibliography of French criminal justice history, 1789-2008). With so many online resources now available, the journal gives high priority to only referencing external resources the quality and reliability of which is beyond reproach.
Given the wide area of study covered by the journal, editorial policy since the inception of Criminocorpus has been to organise subject matter around a number of thematic “dossiers”, the content of which has gradually been added to over time. Each dossier reflects a distinctive approach to the criminal justice field. It includes surveys of research in a field of major importance to criminal justice historians, along with original empirical research and commentaries on key source materials, many of which are being made available online for the first time. The Criminocorpus dossiers are also intended to provide a means of making available papers and discussion from academic seminars and conferences.
Finally, it should be noted that the online dossiers are never “closed”, and the journal welcomes new contributions to existing subjects.
The opinions expressed in the articles published by Criminocorpus, les dossiers are the responsibility of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the journal’s editors.