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Sources. Materials and fieldwork in African Studies

Sources. Matériaux et terrains en études africaines

Permanent call for special issues

Appel à contribution permanent pour des numéros spéciaux

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Published on Friday, April 22, 2022 by Elsa Zotian

Summary

Sources grew out of the observation that academic journals tend to encourage theoretical and epistemological advances at the expense of the field materials under analysis. This journal’s mission is twofold: first, to resituate at the core of the articles the materials upon which researchers produce their reflections, while providing direct access to these materials; and second, to present analyses focusing on the contexts surrounding the production of these materials and their uses. This return to sources deriving from field work takes place in conjunction with topical thematics in African and Africana studies in the social sciences and humanities and promotes interdisciplinary dialogue. Sources is thus adopting a particularly unusual mission, one not currently existing in the academic field on Africa: to make available texts, images, sounds, interviews, field notes, and documents in the broadest sense, which become data that form the basis for researchers’ theoretical developments, and which thus constitute field research archives.

Announcement

Presentation

The Editors-in-Chief of Sources: Materials & Fieldwork in African Studies are inviting junior and senior researchers as well as PhD students to submit proposals for special issues in line with the editorial project of the journal focused on materials and sources in the social sciences, humanities and archaeology: https://www.sources-journal.org/161

Sources was created in 2019 and is supported by the Institut national des sciences humaines (INSHS) of the CNRS. The journal publishes all its articles in Open Access and promotes publication in the languages spoken in Africa (English, Arabic, French, Portuguese, Swahili, Wolof, Xhosa and any others upon proposal), when accompanied by a translation.

Editorial Purposes

Sources grew out of the observation that academic journals tend to encourage theoretical and epistemological advances at the expense of the field materials under analysis. This journal’s mission is twofold: first, to resituate at the core of the articles the materials upon which researchers produce their reflections, while providing direct access to these materials; and second, to present analyses focusing on the contexts surrounding the production of these materials and their uses. This return to sources deriving from field work takes place in conjunction with topical thematics in African and Africana studies in the social sciences and humanities and promotes interdisciplinary dialogue.

Sources is thus adopting a particularly unusual mission, one not currently existing in the academic field on Africa: to make available texts, images, sounds, interviews, field notes, and documents in the broadest sense, which become data that form the basis for researchers’ theoretical developments, and which thus constitute field research archives. This project also has a political dimension. The difficulties involved in accessing sources in Africa, especially textual, cartographic and demographic sources, are manifest and well-known, not to mention the challenges of preservation. The need to make these sources more visible, to provide long-term accessibility and availability for the continent seems imperative for the objective of reducing asymmetries in the access to knowledge.

Materials treated may be of a very diverse nature. To cite a few examples, these might be private archives collected in the field or consulted in institutions—whether ancient or recent; writing produced locally (notebooks, journals, autobiographies, political tracts or pamphlets, museum guestbooks, etc.); excerpts from interviews, conversations, life stories; field notes written up, in particular, those coming out of participant observations; maps, outlines, sketches produced by the researcher in the field or by his interlocutors (such as participatory maps); photographs or videos; excerpts from “grey” literature (reports, evaluations) or the press; data pulled from social media, etc.

The increasingly broad range of sources reflects the wide variety of modes of empirical investigation that lie at the core of the social and human sciences. They also reflect the multiplicity of objects of study and the growing inventiveness by researchers who collect materials and produce data previously ignored, and use often pluridisciplinary approaches.

Materials are reproduced in the journal, and accompanied by texts providing information on the context and their collection/production in the field, their producers, the local issues they might raise, their interest in the investigation being conducted and the reasons for selecting them, as well as on their importance for research in general and their theoretical or epistemological advances. In addition to these methodological reflections, the articles provide, within the framework of special issues, new analyses based on unpublished materials and their intersection through pluridisciplinary perspectives. Thus, we are not seeking to replicate what already exists in excellent journals.

The journal supports the following scientific missions:

  • Promote the widest possible diffusion of knowledge in open access venues for the purpose of contributing to universalizing research.
  • Favor interdisciplinarity based on an intersection of sources used in different disciplines and brought together through a common thread in themed issues.
  • Encourage, by highlighting scientific networks in Africa, publications by African academics and those working in Africa.

Submission guidelines

Proposals for special issues can be submitted at any time of the year.

The journal will be particularly open to proposals (co-)edited by colleagues based on the African continent and/or valorizing research programs carried out in African institutions.

Proposals (10 000 signs) should be sent in pdf /docx /odt by email to: sources@services.cnrs.fr

Evaluation's process

The Editorial Board will examine the proposals and discuss them with the authors in order to draw up a call for articles open to all, both in English and French at least.

Storing and Sharing Sources

The materials are stored and described in digital repository dedicated to the archiving of scientific data, adapted thematically, and applying the principles of FAIR data to the greatest extent possible (go-fair.org/fair-principles). Disclosure of these data are limited only by legal and ethical considerations, especially to protect private life, to protect personal data, and to protect intellectual property. To respect these principles, sources made publicly available may be partially anonymized. The responsibility for the use and representation of primary sources, especially those of a sensitive political nature or jeopardizing the protection of individuals, are discussed in consultation with the author.

With regard to scientific ethics, the editorial team at Sources is committed to adhering to the principles of transparency and best practices for scholarly publishing suggested by the Committee on Publication Ethics (see publicationethics.org).

Further information concerning the author’s guidelines can be found here: https://www.sources-journal.org/382


Date(s)

  • Saturday, December 31, 2022

Keywords

  • Afrique, science ouverte, études africaines

Information source

  • Bastien Miraucourt
    courriel : sources [at] services [dot] cnrs [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« Sources. Materials and fieldwork in African Studies », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Friday, April 22, 2022, https://calenda.org/989240

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