Ostour is a peer-reviewed academic journal focused on the academic study of history
(ISSN: 2305 - 2473). The first edition of this bi-annual journal was published by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies in January, 2015. Ostour is overseen by a specialist academic editorial board and an active international advisory board. Publication in Ostour and relations between authors and the editorial staff are all governed by a strict code of ethics. Review of submitted journal articles is overseen by a carefully selected list of approved reviewers who cover a broad range of academic specialisms and is governed by an internal set of by-laws.
The name of the journal draws on the archaic Arabic root s-t-r and also echoes, if only phonetically, the Greek and Latin historia and Istorein which have their contemporary cognates in today's history. In a similar fashion, Ostour seeks to establish a "new Arabic history", one which is rooted in an older tradition of Arabic historical writing and also builds to renew it.
In line with academic titles from across the globe, and in keeping with the standards set by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies across all of its journals, publication in Ostour follows a set of clear guidelines and procedures. Specifically, these include:
Only original work which is drafted exclusively for publication within the journal will be accepted. No work which has been previously published fully or in part will be considered for publication in Ostour, except as part of an approved translation. Similarly, work which was previously presented at academic conferences will not be accepted for publication in the journal, with the exception of conferences hosted by the ACRPS.
Submissions must be accompanied by the author's curriculum vitae (CV), in both Arabic and English versions.
All submissions must include the following elements:
A title in both Arabic and English, as well as the author's correspondence information and institutional affiliation.
An abstract, ranging between 250 and 300 words in length, in both Arabic and English versions as well as a list of keywords. The abstract must explicitly detail the problematic that the research tackles, the methodologies used to cover it and the main conclusions which the author presents.
A clear exposition of the research problematic, the main aims of the paper and the importance of the results must be included. In addition, papers published in Ostour must include a critical review of the literature previously published on the topic. The hypothesis as well as the conceptual framework of the author and an analysis of the answers must all be presented. In addition, any research papers submitted for consideration must include a complete bibliography inclusive of all references, regardless of whether or not these appear in the footnotes. References must be maintained in the original language in which the source was written.
Authors must follow the referencing guidelines adopted by the Arab Center for Research and Policy.
Doctoral theses and other student projects are only published as part of the journal in exceptional circumstances. In such exceptional circumstances, the editorial board will require exhaustive information about the way in which the thesis in question was examined, and institutional correspondence information of those responsible for it.
All works must fall within the broad scope of Ostour.
Book reviews will be considered for submission to the journal provided that the book covers a topic which falls within the scope of the journal and within the reviewer's academic discipline and/or main areas of research. Reviews are accepted for books written in any language. Book reviews are subject to the same standards of rigorous scrutiny which apply to research papers. Book reviews must be between 2,800 and 3,000 words in length. Book reviews/critiques are only accepted for titles published within the three years leading up to the submission.
Ostour carries a special section devoted to the examination of original documents, primary sources and manuscripts which are relevant to the journal's scope of interest. To the extent possible, publication of manuscripts/original documents follows the same standards and guidelines as research articles submitted to the paper. Before the publication of a text related to a manuscript can be considered, the submitting author must include an image of that manuscript (or of its first page), as well as some explanatory details about the nature of the manuscript and the location in which it is archived.
Ostour carries a special section devoted to essays that address a point of contemporary, theoretical debate within the historical sciences. Such essays are between 2,800 and 3,000 words in length, and are subject to all of the same guidelines as regular research papers which apply.
Research papers submitted to Ostour must be between 6,000 and 8,000 words in length, not inclusive of bibliographies, footnotes and appendixes. The editorial board of Ostour reserves the right to publish articles of greater length, in exceptional circumstances where it deems this is merited.
All charts and tables must be submitted in a format compatible with Microsoft Office (specifically Word or Excel), making it possible for the data to be accessed. Submissions will not be accepted if any accompany graphs or charts are included purely as image files (such as JPEGs, GIFs, etc.).
The peer review process for Ostour and for all journals published by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies is treated with the strictest confidence. Two preliminary readers are selected from a short list of approved reader-reviewers. In cases where there is a major discrepancy between the first two readers in terms of a submitted paper's value, it is referred to a third reviewer. The editors undertake to notify all authors of a decision either to publish, to publish after modifications, or to decline to publish, within two months of the receipt of the first draft.
Ostour adheres to a strict code of ethical conduct, which has the clearest respect for the privacy and the confidentiality of authors. For a complete description of the ethical guidelines which adopted by Ostour.
The order of publication of submitted articles follows a set of purely technical determinants, and has no relation to the academic standing of the submitting author.
In keeping with global norms in the academic publishing industry, Ostour neither accepts payment in return for publishing an article nor does it offer payment to authors whose papers are published in the journal.