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1995: Brennos - Studia Celtica Austriaca

The first endeavours to establish a Vienna-based journal in Celtic studies date form the middle of the 1990ies and are closely tied up with the fate of Brennos - Austrian Society for Celtic Studies. This society was founded at the end of 1994 through an initiative of Albert Bock, Raimund Karl and David Stifter. Other persons involved in the activities were Ingeborg Gaisbauer, Theresa Illés, Jutta Leskovar and others. The prime aim of the society was the establishment of Celtic studies as a separate field of study at the University of Vienna. Apart from a petition and the organisation of public events, one of the activities that was deemed suitable in pursuit of the overall goal was the establishment of a journal with the title Brennos - Studia Celtica Austriaca. This journal was intended to be a society-internal newsletter and an academic publication at the same time.

The protagonists were mostly responsible for the contributions, but colleagues from other disciplines were also convinced to write for the journal. A trial issue with the number -1 (25 MB) pdf appeared in 1995, the other issues, nr. 1 (19 MB) pdf and nr. 2 (16 MB) pdf, both nominally from 1996, appeared 1996 and 1997 respectively. The journal was sold for öS (= ATS) 40,- (ca. € 3,-). It was published in the format A4, consisted of double-sided, center-fold, stapled pages in the format A3 and was laboriously xeroxed by the editors in a copy shop. The result lacked of sophistication and the cumbersome production process eventually had the effect that those three issues were all that appeared.

After a few years of little activity, the society Brennos received a new boost when favourable circumstances made it possible in 1999 to establish Celtic studies as a so-called indiviualised master course at the University of Vienna. In the following years, the society became the social bond that held together the different groups that were Celtic studies in Vienna at that time. In this sense it was the social aspect that predominated until the various forces that tended in disparate directions led the activities of the society to an impasse.

2005: Keltische Forschungen

As a way out of this situation, Hannes Tauber, a member of the society, suggested in 2004 to start again publishing a journal. The scientific initiative was taken up by David Stifter as main editor; Raimund Karl was a valuable advisor. An appropriate name for the new publication was soon found in Keltische Forschungen (KF). Although the publication of the journal Brennos ten years earlier had petered out unsuccesfully, the experience of that undertaking was extremely helpful because it allowed us to tackle the challenges of Keltische Forschungen more professionally. Thus the idea of a self-produced, self-published journal was quickly put aside and the editors looked for a suitable publishing house. This was found in Edition Praesens (today Praesens Verlag) and in the person of its owner Dr. Michael Ritter. An important element of any journal is the team standing behind it. Approximately a dozen colleagues, preponderantly from Austria, were persuaded to act as advisors, mainly for reviews. The names of the original editorial board are:

Prof. Helmut Birkhan (Vienna)

Mag. Albert Bock (Vienna)

Prof. Heiner Eichner (Vienna)

Dr. Gisbert Hemprich (Bonn)

Dr. Andreas Hofeneder (Vienna)

Mag.a Theresa Illés (Vienna)

Dr. Raimund Karl (Bangor)

Mag.a Jutta Leskovar (Linz)

Dr. Katharina Rebay (Cambridge)

Dr. Stefan Schumacher (Vienna)

Prof. Karin Stüber (Zurich)

Dr. Kurt Tomaschitz (Vienna)

Apart from these, Hannes Tauber proved to be a most valuable assistant in editorial matters. The conceptual work for the journal was finished in the first half of 2005. Therefore, David Stifter was able to present the proposal for a new journal for Celtic studies to international colleagues at the 4th Symposium of German-Speaking Celtic Scholars in Linz an der Donau in July 2005. The editorial work for the first volume was finished before 2006 ended, but the physical appearance of the printed book was possible only several weeks later. However, the second volume could be presented to the professional world already in July of the same year. By fortunate circumstances, the main editor had contracted to publish the proceedings of a small conference, held on the occasion of the 200th birthday of Johann Kaspar Zeuß, the founder of Celtic studies in a linguistic sense. The organisors of that conference, the town of Kronach in Upper Franconia in Germany, had consented to having the proceedings appear as one annual volume of a journal. The next volumes of Keltische Forschungen appeared in intervals of one year. The editorial work was regularly finished during summer and the publisher was quick in bringing the volumes to press.

In the first four volumes, there was a certain degree of fluctuation among the editorial board, but in essence this fluctuation was smaller than could be surmised upon perusal of the lists of names in the four volumes. In May 2008, shortly before volume 3 appeared, we learned of the untimely death of our colleague Dr. Kurt Tomaschitz. It was possible to include a short obituary (197 KB) pdf by his teacher and colleague Prof. Gerhard Dobesch in the volume. In this same volume, two other colleagues, Dr. Aaron Griffith and Mag.a Kerstin Kowarik, were adopted into the editorial board. The other names that are mentioned in volume 3, page 3, are those of people who had acted as reviewers. It has generally been a common practice to draw upon external experts for reviews. Apart from volume 3, however, their names have not been mentioned. An exception is volume 2, which being conference proceedings are exceptional for not being peer-reviewed. The first four volumes have been supported by the Office of the Dean of the Faculty for Philology and Cultural Studies of the University of Vienna, and by the Austrian Ministry for Science and Research. In addition to that, volume 1 received some funding from Brennos - Austrian Society for Celtic Studies, and volume 2 was generously funded by the town and district of Kronach in Germany, in junction with Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg.

After careful consideration, Hannes Tauber, Raimund Karl and David Stifter decided in 2007 to establish a tripartite monograph series in addition to the journal proper. This series will consist of a General Series (A), a Hibernian Series (B), and a Brythonic Series (C). This new project was soon publicised in order to encourage mansucript submissions.

2009: A New Regime

A fundamental restructuring of the journal's organisation was undertaken in October and the beginning of November 2009. In order to be eligible for inclusion in the lists for the European Reference Index for the Humanities (ERIH) of the European Science Foundation (ESF), it became necessary to conform to several of the formal requirements of the ESF. The essential points of these were international boards and anonymous reviewers. After having consulted the guidelines of the ESF, which incidentally were not overly revealing, and after consultations with experts of the Austrian Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF), Raimund Karl, David Stifter and Hannes Tauber decided to install a small, five-member editorial board with a general editor, in place of the former, large board. It is the task of this committee to make editorial decisions by majority votes, and its members cover a broad spectrum of discipline. In order to separate - as it were - legislational and executive functions, a broad peer review panel was installed beside the editorial board. Both boards consist of a majority of international members. Both committees were filled with members from the old editorial board. However, it was necessary to find another twelve experts who, with one exception, have an international affiliation. In the selection of the new members, too, attention was given to a broad diversification in expertise. The new editorial board consists of the following members:

Dr. Benjamin Bruch (Bonn, GER)

Dr. Gisbert Hemprich (Bonn, GER)

Dr. Andreas Hofeneder (Vienna, AUT)

Prof. Raimund Karl (Bangor, CYM)

Dr. David Stifter (Vienna, AUT) (general editor)

The peer review panel has the following members:

Austrian members (9):

Prof. Helmut Birkhan (Vienna)

Mag. Albert Bock (Vienna)

Prof. Heiner Eichner (Vienna)

Dr. Aaron Griffith (Vienna)

Mag.a Theresa Illés (Vienna)

Mag.a Kerstin Kowarik (Vienna)

Dr. Jutta Leskovar (Linz)

Dr. Stefan Schumacher (Vienna)

Mag. Hannes Tauber (Vienna)

International members (12):

Dr. Kristján Ahronson (Bangor, CYM)

Prof. Bettina Arnold (Milwaukee, USA)

Dr. Clodagh Downey (Dublin, IRL)

Dr. Anders Jřrgensen (Copenhagen, DK)

Dr. Michael Newton (Antigonish, CAN)

Dr. Caitríona Ó Dochartaigh (Cork, IRL)

Dr. Elena Parina (Moscow, RUS)

Prof. Huw Pryce (Bangor, CYM)

Dr. Katharina Rebay-Salisbury (Leicester, ENG)

Dr. Simon Rodway (Aberystwyth, CYM)

Prof. Karin Stüber (Zurich, CH)

Dr. Jürgen Zeidler (Trier, GER)

Though it had been the practice before to have submissions reviewed by two peers, the opportunity was taken to specify the peer review process in a detailed manner, in order to conform with the requisite objectivity. For a transparent presentation of the new structures, David Stifter laid down the new regime in mandatory statutes for the journal.

Already towards the end of 2008, Martin Braun had been entrusted with the work of designing a presentatable website for Keltische Forschungen. Nevertheless, the programmed system was filled with content only on the occasion of the reorganisation of the journal in the November of 2009.

David Stifter, Nov. 2009
Letzte Änderung: Mi, 02.12.2009, 16:51:46
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