“BCC Papers”

Announcing “BCC Papers.” BCC Papers incorporates Archipelago: a Mormon Studies e-Journal and represents a new foray into Mormon Studies. BCC Papers will e-publish individual scholarly papers on any and all Mormon Studies’ topics: scripture, theology, history, and Mormonalia of all stripes. We intend to be particularly friendly to junior scholars, bloggers, and those wishing to begin publishing in Mormon Studies. All work will be submitted for peer review.

Original works of quality Mormon scholarship that exhibit faith and reason are welcome at BCC Papers: research papers, book reviews, short notes and research reviews. Please email ronan at jhu dot edu.

Papers will be published as and when they complete the review process; our first paper will be published shortly.

Among other things, BCC Papers represents an opportunity for members of the Mormon blogosphere to bridge the gap between blog posts and academic papers. Through peer review, we can help turn rough but interesting blog posts into proper pieces of academic scholarship more akin to the articles published in the established journals. Perhaps after gaining confidence through BCC Papers, authors will begin to publish further in the print outlets.

We also welcome established scholars who would like to publish pieces quickly. We would also be happy to act as an outlet for quality papers submitted to the journals that are not quite able to make publication.

Volunteer editors and reviewers include: Ronan James Head, David A. Allred, Melissa Proctor, John Fowles, Benjamin R. Jordan, John Crawford, Steve Taysom, Blaine Evanson, Blake Thomas Ostler, James E. Faulconer, Robert Neil Wilkey, Julie Smith, Kristine Lee Wright, Benjamin Huff.


  1. Kevin Barney says:

    Ronan, perhaps you could clarify a couple of things. When you say BCC Papers incorporates Archipelago, what does that mean? Will Archipelago become a subset of BCC Papers, or is BCC Papers subsuming Archipelago, or what?

    Also, when these papers are ready for internet publication, when and how will they appear? On the BCC website in the form of a blog post? On a separate, standalone site? Or in some other fashion?

    This sounds like a great idea.

  2. Archipelago Journal becomes BCC Papers; same idea, different name, different site.

    Each paper will have an accompanying blog post here at BCC that will link to a pdf and html version of the paper. Comments will be turned on or off on the post according to the author’s wish.

    Each paper will also be indexed on the (upcoming) “BCC Papers” page at BCC. So the first paper will be BCC Papers 1/1 (20006), the next 1/2 and so on until next year when they will be 2/1, 2/2 etc.

    We’ve always liked the idea of Archipelago (now BCC Papers) as a farm league/e-journal, but it was too much hassle to “publish” an “issue” and we thought BCC had better exposure. So papers will be published as and when they are ready here at BCC. Easier.

    As mentioned in the post we are looking for three kinds of authors:

    1. Newbies who would like peer review and publication but perhaps aren’t ready for the big leagues.
    2. Oldies who want to publish something fast that they feel is more substantial than a blog post.
    3. People who had a great paper that narrowly missed the cut for publication with the print journals.

    So, please send them to ronan at jhu dot edu!!!!

  3. Ben Jordan says:

    I think this is a good idea. It will get things moving along more quickly and it will be less hassle than, as you said, preparing an “issue.” I must say that I will miss the Archipelago name though. It just has a nice sound to it.

  4. Kevin Barney says:

    Thanks for those clarifications, Ronan, now I understand.

  5. Stirling says:

    Archipelago is a pretty good name. BCC Papers seems to have the drawback of containing an acronym that means little to those who aren’t already familiar with bycc.com.
    Perhaps Archipelago could be the name of the journal side of BCC Papers? Or, if for branding purposes you like having bcc in the journal title, would it be better to call it By Common Consnet Papers?

  6. Sounds exciting, guys, nice work!

  7. What will happen to the old Archipelago website? I’ve registered there and wanted to get email announcements about new papers. Will those email announcements still be sent? The Archipelago journal website was so nice, and I hope it won’t be wasted.

    I am a little worried about the name and change. Maybe this is wishful thinkng, but having a more independent name and origin would allow it to potentially develop into something more academically credible for young scholars. My worry is that if a grad student publishes something in “BCC Papers,” then his/her colleagues and academic peers might think that this is really just a blog instead of a legitimate academic outlet. I think having a more independent journal (including name–I also liked the original name Archipelago) would give it more potential to become an outlet for Mormon studies that grad schools would respect, not as a leading journal by any means (it’s not designed to be that), but as a legitimate publication. “Archipelago: a Mormon Studies e-Journal” had a ring of credibility that “By Common Consent Papers” doesn’t have.

    Please don’t be offended by my candor. I sympathize with the desire to obtain the exposure that BCC will give it as well as the ease in publishing associated with the blog. These are very logical reasons for the switch, and I’m sure you all made the decision very thoughtfully.

    But overall, I’m worried that it might never gain a reputation as an independent outlet if it’s too tied to the blog. Was there any discussion about this worry? Or am I hoping for a different future for the journal than what the editors were imagining?

    That said, let me also thank you and the other editors for your efforts!

  8. P.S. to my previous comment:

    In order to retain some degree of independence from the BCC blog in the hopes of achieving some form of academic credibility, I’d suggest going back to the original name and website but simplifying the publication process. You could format the journal website like a blog itself but without regular contributors. The only new posts would be the new articles, with pdfs available as the official version as well. Putting together issues, etc., shouldn’t be too much work if done this way. (Or would it? Perhaps I’m underestimating the cost.)

    To generate publicity, you can put up announcement posts and links at BCC whenever new articles are published. You could also ask other blogs in the bloggernacle to do the same thing. Could even ask Dialogue and Sunstone to link to it and mention to young authors of rejected papers that they could consider this e-Journal as another outlet.

    Maybe you’ve already thought of this, too…

  9. “In order to retain some degree of independence from the BCC blog in the hopes of achieving some form of academic credibility”

    Thanks for sugarcoating things, Mike!

  10. Steve, I can’t tell if you were chuckling or not.

    I’m guessing you were, but in case you weren’t, I didn’t mean it as a knock on the intellectual rigor of anyone at BCC. Just a recognition that blogs are associated with personal, reflective, and speculative conversation, even when they are well-thought out like the posts at BCC. (I honestly mean that about “well-thought out at BCC,” but let me wipe my brown nose here).

    Seems to me that the journal’s reputation would be better served if it maintained some independence from these connotations. It could better maintain that independence even if published by people who actively participate in the bloggernacle if it had its own website.

  11. Mike, I agree with your overall idea, and of course we have to admit that any blog’s content is typically not up to academic publishing standards. Just busting your chops, for the most part.

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