Letter from the Editor

Dear Compass User,

What first attracted me to Literature Compass was its combination of an unparalleled range of expertise (18 international section editors) and its commitment to the fullest potential of the electronic medium. I had used other literature web resources, but they had been limited in concept: journals catering to particular periods, genres, or authors, and searchable databases of texts.

Literature Compass has much broader horizons: a state-of-the-art site with the section editors providing expert coverage of every period – in effect, nine searchable journals for the price of one, each edited by distinguished specialists supported by editorial advisors. There is also a new kind of core content: the ideal Compass article is an intervention in the field or subfield, showing its present state and direction in the future. While our authors are leading researchers, we do not publish detailed primary research but rather an author’s position on the field or subfield. As a Compass article must be accessible to international and interdisciplinary scholars, teachers, and interested users, I call it research with a public face.

For the academic community Literature Compass is very good news: it gives desktop access to the driving ideas, current issues and controversies that enliven our discipline and fuel our research. And since this is a site by the community for the community it generates a strong sense of dialogue and engagement. From a contributor’s point of view Literature Compass has the huge advantage over a print journal of publishing a peer-reviewed and fully citable article within eight weeks of acceptance.

2009 will launch the Compass Global Circulation Project and a special issue on “Scholarly Editing in the 21st Century”. We are also participating with all 8 Compass disciplines in the groundbreaking global Compass Interdisciplinary Virtual Conference. I am always open to new ideas for forums and special topics and may be contacted at R.Gagnier@exeter.ac.uk.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Regenia Gagnier
University of Exeter
Editor-in-Chief, Literature Compass