Journal Policies

Editorial Oversight

[in]Transition currently operates as a non-hierarchical co-editorial collective. The journal has no pre-determined service period for editors, but does have a system of 'on-duty editorship', in which an assigned editor works, on a rotating basis, running all correspondence on behalf of the journal and managing editorial operations. The editorial team arrives at collective decisions on submissions through its weekly email consultation process, and occasional video call meetings. These can be, and are not limited to, editorial decisions on incoming submissions and those that have undergone peer review.

The current editors propose, discuss and agree on the appointment of new editors. Guest editors may be invited by the editors to prepare special issues, etc., or they may submit proposals for special issues. These are discussed by the editors who may choose to work with the proposing editor to accept their special issue proposal.

[in]Transition cultivates a broad and experienced editorial team that aims for diversity across different nations, academic institutions, genders and demographics. Since our launch as a journal in 2014, when we had three editors appointed by MediaCommons and Cinema Journal, we have worked to expand, strengthen and diversify the editorial team, which currently consists of eight editors (with two on hiatus for the 2023-24 year). Additionally, we have a small team of Associate Editors, junior scholars who are appointed by the editors to undertake special projects, help run the journal’s outreach, and contribute to theme issues.

Peer Review Process

For most submissions, the editors review the incoming works. Together, the editorial group decides whether the submission is ready to be sent to external reviewers. If the editors decide that the piece meets the journal's standards (particularly the creation of new knowledge through audiovisual methods), the submitter is informed that their work will be sent out to review and two peer reviewers will be approached: one is typically a subject area expert and the other is typically a videographic critic, preferably also with a related subject specialism. If the editorial group members decide the submission is not appropriate to send out to review, they will explain to the submitter why the work is not ready to be sent out, making suggestions for revision so that the work might ultimately be ready to send to external reviewers. The only exemptions to this review process are made for special issues where special issue editors can propose a curated issue, which may not be peer reviewed but reviewed by the editorial team. Special issues that follow this process are noted with a disclaimer. (See the 'Special Issues' section below; such issues have also included student works.)

Peer reviewers will know the name of the person(s) submitting the work and, at the outset of the review process, will be asked to declare any conflicts of interest. If there is a conflict, a new reviewer will be sought. Once a reviewer agrees to evaluate the work (comprising video and research statement) they will be asked to fill our standard reviewer form and make a written recommendation (approximately 200-400 words) to the editors about publication, normally within one month of being sent the work, with four conclusive options: 'Accept Without Revisions', 'Minor Revisions', 'Major Revisions', or 'Reject'.

Following the reviewers' and editors’ approval of the work for publication, video authors will work on any suggested revisions in discussion with one assigned [in]Transition editor, normally within the space of a month. Completed videos will be published alongside the research statement (as revised), as well as edited versions of the peer review reports (signed by the authors of those reports). If a submission is revised and resubmitted after peer review, it is sent to the same reviewers for approval. The editorial team offers the final approval for all submissions, with both the maker and reviewers having the opportunity to proofread and edit their written submissions.

In the case of sharply conflicting reviews, most commonly the reviews are shared with the submitter, along with some comments from the editorial team offering guidance in reconciling the two conflicting reviews. The submitter is then invited to submit a written response, outlining their plan for revision, with the process then moving forward as described above. If the reviewer who offered the negative review still does not support the work, the editorial group may decide whether to solicit a third review or reject the submission.

In all these ways, as the editors of the online practice research journal Screenworks have argued in favour of that publication’s innovative review process (which has informed our own), we are employing an active, dialogic model of criteria generation and research within our 'community of screen media scholar practitioners as to how our research is constituted, defined and disseminated'.

[in]Transition uses double, open, non-anonymous peer review reports that are published alongside the final published article. The goal of presenting these reviews openly is to set the terms of evaluation for videographic work, and contextualize it for acceptance and validation by our discipline.

On very rare occasions (normally when a peer reviewer cannot complete a formal review for publication before our deadline due to a personal emergency), we will publish a piece with one review instead of two. We ask the peer reviewer whether they approve or disapprove of this before doing so.

We also occasionally allow peer reviewers who are offering feedback—typically on a major revision or for a rejection where their review will not be published—to remain anonymous during the first stage of the reviewing process if they feel they must to offer more candid feedback.

Peer Reviewer Sourcing and Materials

The editorial team collectively discusses options for potential peer reviewers, drawing on the journal's advisory board where appropriate. On rare occasions where the subject matter of a submission may be outside the intellectual domain of the editorial team and advisory board, the author might be approached to make suggestions for peer reviewers. The proposed reviewer is asked to self-disclose if they feel they have any conflicts of interest based on their relationship to the author.

Before a peer reviewer accepts, the assigned editor sends an abstract and the name of the author to the prospective reviewer. Once the reviewer has accepted, the editors provide a written statement, abstract, video link, a bio of the author, and a review form to the reviewer.

Final signed peer review reports recommending publication are publicly published alongside the video in the interests of transparency and in furthering the conversations about the videographic method.

Reviewer Guidance

The journal operates using an open peer review process. We ask reviewers to declare at the outset if they have any conflicts of interest that would make providing a fair review difficult. If the submitted work is approved for publication, an edited version of review reports are published alongside the work. After accepting the invitation to complete the review of this article, a review form is sent out to the reviewer which should be completed and returned via the journal's online system, Janeway.

We also direct reviewers to the journal’s website, where peer reviews of each submission are published, so that they can see the range of acceptable ways that a review might be written. Reviewers can also upload additional files containing further comments relevant to the review by completing their review task on the journal system, Janeway.

Organization and Governance

As of 2024, [in]Transition is owned and overseen by Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS), functioning as the official peer-reviewed videographic publication of the SCMS, a not-for-profit scholarly association founded in 1959 and funded by memberships. SCMS 'is the leading scholarly organization in the United States dedicated to promoting a broad understanding of film, television, and related media through research and teaching grounded in the contemporary humanities tradition'. The SCMS board of directors approves the appointment of a Project Manager for [in]Transition, nominated by the journal editors, who will serve a 3-year term.

The Project Manager oversees the logistical operations of the journal, serving as a liaison to the publisher (OLH) and SCMS, as well as regularly meeting with editors. The editorial team is a non-hierarchical group of individuals who collectively work to oversee the journal’s content and administer the open peer review process. A group of associate editors take on special projects, such as the journal's maintenance, as well as helping to promote the journal on social media and assisting with efforts emerging from the editorial and operations team.

The journal has an Editorial Advisory Board consisting of members of the broader scholarly videographic community; while they have no formal duties, they frequently engage with the journal as contributors and/or reviewers. The board was selected by the founding editors in 2014 and did not changed for the next decade. In 2024, the editors revisited the list of board members to update its membership. Editors plan to revisit the list every 5 years after that, updating to include active members of the videographic community and people with sustained engagement with the journal.

The journal was originally published by MediaCommons, an initiative of The Institute for the Future of the Book, from 2014 to 2024, at which point it migrated to Open Library of Humanities.

Business Practices


[in]Transition does not permit any advertising on the journal’s website and will never consider requests of any kind from other parties wishing to advertise in the journal or on its webpages.

Direct Marketing

[in]Transition does not engage in any direct marketing practices.

The [in]Transition editorial team may use social media for the promotion of the journal, however this is done in an unfunded, organic manner and therefore does not constitute direct marketing. Such promotion is also accurate, unintrusive and does not affect the editorial decisions of the journal in any way.

The publisher, the Open Library of Humanities (OLH), employs a Marketing Officer who undertakes general marketing activities for the publisher including the promotion of its journals. The Marketing Officer does not, however, engage in direct marketing for any OLH journals and this does not affect the editorial decisions of OLH journals in any way.

Other Revenue

This journal is funded by OLH’s Library Partnership Subsidy Model and does not generate any additional streams of revenue. The journal may, occasionally, apply for additional grants or funding from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) to fund particular projects related to the journal. However, such funding is not consistent and does not affect the editorial decisions of the journal in any way.

Preprint Policy

[in]Transition does not publish preprints. The journal may consider articles based on work that has already been made openly available as a preprint, including video essays that have been posted online by the creator. However, the submission must successfully pass through the journal’s open peer review process before being published. [in]Transition’s remit is to publish original research that has not been previously published in another journal.

Special Issues

[in]Transition publishes two different kinds of special issues: the first is a non-peer-reviewed curated issue, which has more than once been offered as the record of work produced at a specific event such as a conference or workshop. Videographic work is still accompanied by a maker’s statement and an appreciative 'review' by one of the editorial group, or by an invited person, aiming to contextualize the video’s role as a work of scholarship.

The second, more commonly published special issue, is a topical collection proposed by one or more established scholar/practitioner, who then solicits submissions for the issue tied to the specific theme. In many cases, the proposer already has contributors in mind, but we encourage open calls for contributors as well. Though organized as part of a special issue, these submissions then go through our regular open peer review process and must be approved by the journal's editors for publication.

Special issues are usually suggested to the editors by someone outside the editorial group, who is an active videographic producer, and often someone who has already published work in [in]Transition.

Typically, one of the editorial group members will agree to shepherd a special issue through from proposal to publication. This editor works closely with the special issue editor(s) to coordinate timely submission of work, to offer feedback on submissions, to identify appropriate reviewers, to oversee the process for ethical standards, and to consult on final publication.