- Journal Details
- Open Access
- First Published
- 20 Dec 2021
- Publication timeframe
- 1 time per year
- Journal Subjects
- Computer Sciences, Human-Machine Interaction, Cultural Studies, Cultural Theory, General Cultural Theory, Topics in Cultural Studies, Human-Animal Studies, Linguistics and Semiotics, Semiotics, Biosemiotics
A hallmark of human civilization has been to see ‘culture’ as a defining feature of humanity, epitomized in approaching the ‘humanities’ as the study of culture. Cultural Science: A multidisciplinary journal for the study of more-than-human culture radically breaks with this tradition and extends the domain of the study of culture beyond the human, both in the dimensions of multi-species and machine culture, and by considering all forms of cultural hybridization in a more-than human world. ‘Cultural Science’ investigates structures, interactions, and processes of cultural systems at all levels of analysis and scales of application. It approaches culture as a semiotic medium integrating creative processes in the biosphere, anthroposphere and technosphere as constitutive layers in the life of planet Earth.
‘Cultural Science’ promotes inter- and transdisciplinary methodological pluralism, reaching from the classical sciences such as biology or ecology to established approaches in the social sciences and the humanities and beyond, venturing into posthumanist alternatives that investigate more-than-human forms of cultural creativity, diffusion, and tradition. ‘Cultural science’ endorses theoretical innovations that stand in line with coevolutionary theories bridging the natural and the human sciences and with novel views on agency and materiality that pursue ontological unification of human and non-human domains of meaning. It encourages active dialogue with science and technology studies, evolutionary and institutional economics, cultural evolution studies, biosemiotics, complexity science, or network analysis, specifying the ‘uses of culture’ from personal meanings to planetary platforms and systems of meaning. In doing so, we assign a crucial role to culture as medium of more-than-human action meeting the existential challenges of the Anthropocene.
‘Cultural Science’ looks forward to publishing new work that may be critical, analytical and/or empirical, but is most often dialogical; interested in the production and translation of new ideas and knowledge, especially across perceived and disputed borders between systems, groups, and identities as well as academic disciplines.
Contributions to the journal transcend specialist topical foci while remaining on the firm ground of the respective disciplinary methodologies. Exemplary topical fields include:
- The study of non-human cultures in the biosphere and the role of naturecultures in the interactions between humans and non-humans;
- The role of digital media in the emergence of naturecultures;
- Explorations of human cultural creativity mediating biosphere and technosphere.
- Investigations into the emerging forms of cultural creativity of Artificial Intelligence.
- Research on interspecies media of cultural expression, such as interspecies art and play.
- New theoretical approaches to coevolution and cocreation of cultural media in the more-than-human world.
Cultural Science Journal was launched in 2008 as part of the research program of the ARC (Australian Research Council) Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, and John Hartley’s ARC Federation Fellowship. It published 14 issues between 2008 and 2016, before transferring to Ubiquity Press where it continued until 2021. In 2021, the journal moved on to a new home at the Cultural Data Analytics Open Lab (CUDAN) Tallinn University, Estonia. The editors-in-chief were Indrek Ibrus and Maximilian Schich. The journal is now published on the Sciendo platform, a subsidiary of De Gruyter. In 2023, the journal moved on to its third transformation, while remaining on the Sciendo platform, with new editor-in-chief Carsten Herrmann-Pillath, and a second editorial office at the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies at Erfurt University, Germany, working in tandem with the Tallinn offfice.
Building on the work of Raymond Williams, ‘Cultural Science 2.0’, as it was framed by founding editor John Hartley, sought advances not only in the micro-contexts of culture, but also in systematic and general processes and the mutually conditioning relationships of micro, meso and macro contexts. Hartley and colleagues (Jason Potts, Lucy Montgomery, Carsten Herrmann-Pillath, Paul Ormerod and others) launched an effort aimed at conceptualising and studying such relationships systematically. The journal worked towards transdisciplinary frameworks linking the study of culture with evolutionary and institutional economics, complexity science and other evolutionary approaches to creative change.
This work has been pathbreaking, feeding into new approaches and further studies into evolutionary processes in media markets and cultural industries internationally (emergent fields of media innovation studies, cross-innovation systems, open publishing and so on). At the same time, parallel approaches have emerged linking the study of culture with other disciplines especially evolutionary biosciences, but also mathematics, physics, data science and network science, etc., resulting in novel and epoch making approaches such as cultural analytics, cultural evolution studies, computational humanities and social science, etc. ‘Cultural Science’, it can be argued, is evolving into an intensely dialogic, multidisciplinary and an ‘explosively’ (to use a Juri Lotman’s term) evolving domain.
With the third transformation, Cultural Science 3.0, the journal further expands its reach, redefining and co-creating cultural science in the Anthropocene, embracing cutting edge developments in the posthumanist movement, while keeping its roots in emphasising the coevolutionary systems-based approach to culture explored since 2008.
In this dynamically developing context, Cultural Science: A multidisciplinary journal for the study of more-than human culture wants to provide an arena where the relevant dialogues are held, where centuries of humanities-based knowledge on culture’s forms, languages and systems of meaning can meet the most contemporary scientific methods, where new questions are asked, where novel conceptualisations can meet or emerge from rigorous empirical or analytical work.
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The editorial board is participating in a growing community of Similarity Check System's users in order to ensure that the content published is original and trustworthy. Similarity Check is a medium that allows for comprehensive manuscripts screening, aimed to eliminate plagiarism and provide a high standard and quality peer-review process.
Carsten Herrmann-Pillath, Max Weber Center, Erfurt University, Germany
Cameron Neylon, Curtin University, Australia
Jason Potts, RMIT, Australia
Lucy Montgomery, Curtin University, Australia
Editorial Advisory Board
Indrek Ibrus, Tallinn University, Estonia
Lev Manovich, City University of New York (CUNY), Unites States
Crystal Abidin, Curtin University, Australia
Nancy Baym, Microsoft Labs, New England, United States
Sarah Banet-Weiser, University of Pennsylvania, United States
Brian Boyd, Auckland University, New Zealand
Claire Colebrook, Pennsylvania State University, United States
Mark Deuze, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Anthony Fung, Chinese University of Hong Kong; Beijing Normal University, China
Mark Gibson, RMIT University, Australia
Larry Gross, Annenberg School, USC, United States
John Hartley, John Curtin Distinguished Emeritus Professor, Curtin University, and Visiting Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science, Australia Founding Editor, Cultural Science Journal
Emma Jane, University of New South Wales, Australia
Vikki Katz, Chapman University, United States
Kalevi Kull, University of Tartu, Estonia
Joan Leach, Australian National University
Catharine Lumby, University of Sydney, Australia
Siniša Malešević, University College Dublin, Ireland
Matthew Matsaganis, Rutgers University, United States
Stefania Milan, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Maarja Ojamaa, University of Tartu, Estonia
Paul Ormerod, Volterra Ltd, United Kingdom
Thomas Petzold, HMKW Hochschule für Medien, Kommunikation und Wirtschaft, Germany
Burcu Simsek, Haceteppe University, Turkey
Cassidy Sugimoto, The Georgia Institute of Technology, United States
Michael Twidale, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, United States
McKenzie Wark, The New School, New York, United States
Matthew Chrulew, Curtin University, Australia
Anna-Katharina Laboissière, Ecole Normale Supérieure, France and Curtin University, Australia
Katie Ellis, Curtin University, Australia
Tama Leaver, Curtin University, Australia
Henry Li, Curtin University, Australia
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Please download and read the detailed author guidelines before you submit your work to this journal.
Peer Review Process
All submissions are initially assessed by an Editor, who decides whether or not the article fits the scope of the journal and is suitable for peer review. Submissions considered suitable are assigned to one or more independent experts, who assess the article for clarity, validity, and sound methodology.
Authors may be invited to recommend or ask for the exclusion of specific individuals from the peer review process. The journal does not guarantee to use these suggestions. All reviewers must be independent from the submission and will be asked to declare all competing interests.
The journal operates a double-blind peer review process, meaning that authors and reviewers remain anonymous for the review process. The review period is expected to take around four weeks, once reviewers are secured, although the process can take longer. Reviewers are asked to provide formative feedback, even if an article is not deemed suitable for publication in the journal.
Based on the reviewer reports the editor will make a recommendation for rejection, minor or major revisions, or acceptance. Overall editorial responsibility rests with the journal’s Editor-in-Chief, who is supported by an expert, international Editorial Board.
The journal is happy to accept submissions of papers that have been loaded onto preprint servers or personal websites, have been presented at conferences, or other informal communication channels. These formats will not be deemed prior publication. Authors must retain copyright to such postings. Authors are encouraged to link any prior posting of their paper to the final published version within the journal, if it is editorially accepted.
Members of the editorial team/board are permitted to submit their own papers to the journal. In cases where an author is associated with the journal, they will be removed from all editorial tasks for that paper and another member of the team will be assigned responsibility for overseeing peer review. A competing interest must also be declared within the submission and any resulting publication.
Reviewers are asked to provide comment on the below topics and guidelines:
- Content: Does the article fit within the scope of the journal? Is the submission original, relevant and rigorous? Is the author’s depth of understanding of the issues researched adequate? Are the sources and references adequate? Has the existing knowledge base been explored and built upon? Are the chosen methodologies appropriate and have they and the evidential base been appropriately used? Does the conclusion reflect the argument in the main body text and bring something new to the debate?
- Structure and argument: Does the abstract summarise the arguments in a succinct and accurate way? Is the manuscript logically structured and do the arguments flow coherently? Is there enough reference to methodology in the introduction and are the arguments fully evidenced and substantiated? Does the introduction signpost the arguments in the logical way and does the conclusion adequately summarise them?
The journal strongly encourages authors to make all data associated with their submission openly available, according to the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). This should be linked to from a Data Accessibility Statement within the submitted paper, which will be made public upon publication.. If data is not being made available with the journal publication then ideally a statement from the author should be provided within the submission to explain why. Data obtained from other sources must be appropriately credited.
As the traditional Materials and Methods section often includes insufficient detail for readers to wholly assess the research process, the journal encourages authors to publish detailed descriptions of their structured methods in open, online platforms such as protocols.io. By providing a step-by-step description of the methods used in the study, the chance of reproducibility and usability increases, whilst also allowing authors to build on their own works and gain additional credit and citations.
If research includes the use of software code, statistical analysis or algorithms then we also recommend that authors upload the code into Code Ocean, where it will be hosted on an open, cloud-based computational reproducibility platform, providing researchers and developers with an easy way to share, validate and discover code published in academic journals.
The journal allows authors to deposit draft versions of their paper into a suitable preprint server, on condition that the author agrees to the below:
- The author retains copyright to the preprint and developed works from it, and is permitted to submit it to the journal.
- The author declares that a preprint is available within the cover letter presented during submission. This must include a link to the location of the preprint.
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- Should the submission be published, the authors are expected to update the information associated with the preprint version to show that a final version has been published in the journal, including the DOI linking directly to the publication.
The journal strongly recommends that all authors submitting a paper register an account with Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier (ORCID). Registration provides a unique and persistent digital identifier for the account that enables accurate attribution and improves the discoverability of published papers, ensuring that the correct author receives the correct credit for their work. As the ORCID remains the same throughout the lifetime of the account, changes of name, affiliation, or research area do not effect the discoverability of an author's past work and aid correspondence with colleagues.
The journal encourages all corresponding authors to include an ORCID within their submitting author data whilst co-authors are recommended to include one. ORCID numbers should be added to the author data upon submission and will be published alongside the submitted paper, should it be accepted.
All listed authors must qualify as such, as defined in our author guidelines, which have been developed from the ICMJE definitions. All authors must have given permission to be listed on the submitted paper.
Competing Interests, Funding and Ethics
To ensure transparency, all authors, reviewers and editors are required to declare any interests that could compromise, conflict or influence the validity of the publication.
In addition, authors are required to specify funding sources and detail requirements for ethical research in the submitted manuscript (see Author Guidelines).
Corrections and Retractions
In accordance with guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (where applicable), the publisher handles different kinds of error. All articles have their proofs checked prior to publication by the author/editor, which should ensure that content errors are not present. Please contact the journal if you believe an article needs correcting.
Post-publication changes to the publication are not permitted unless in exceptional circumstances. If an error is discovered in a published article then the publisher will assess whether a Correction paper or Retraction is required.
Misconduct and Complaints
Allegations of misconduct will be taken with utmost seriousness, regardless of whether those involved are internal or external to the journal, or whether the submission in question is pre- or post-publication. If an allegation of misconduct is made to the journal, it must be immediately passed on to the publisher (Tallinn University), who will follow guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) on how to address the nature of the problem. Should the matter involve allegations against a member of the journal or publishing team, an independent and objective individual(s) may be sought to lead the investigation. Where misconduct is proven or strongly suspected, the journal has an obligation to report the issue to the author's institution, who may conduct their own investigation. This applies to both research misconduct (e.g. completing research without ethical approval and consent, fabricating or falsifying data etc) and publication misconduct (e.g. manipulating the peer review process, plagiarism etc). Should an investigation conclude that misconduct or misinformation has occurred then the author, along with their institution will be notified. Should the publication record need to be corrected, the journal's correction policy will be followed.
Should an author wish to lodge a complaint against an editorial decision or the editorial process in general they should first approach the Editor-in-Chief of the journal, explaining their complaint and ask for a reasoned response. Should this not be forthcoming or adequate, the author should raise the matter with the publisher, who will investigate the nature of the complaint and act as arbiter on whether the complaint should be upheld and investigated further. This will follow guidelines set out by COPE.
Open Access License
This journal provides immediate open access to its content under the Creative Commons BY 4.0 license. Authors who publish with this journal retain all copyrights and agree to the terms of the above-mentioned CC BY 4.0 license
Open Access Statement
The journal is an Open Access journal that allows a free unlimited access to all its contents without any restrictions upon publication to all users.