About the Journal
Middle East Medievalists (MEM) is an international professional non-profit association of scholars interested in the study of the Islamic lands of the Middle East during the medieval period (defined roughly as 500-1500 C.E.). MEM officially came into existence on 15 November 1989 at its first annual meeting, held in Toronto. It is a non-profit organization incorporated in the state of Illinois. MEM has two primary goals: to increase the representation of medieval scholarship at scholarly meetings in North America and elsewhere by co-sponsoring panels; and to foster communication among individuals and organizations with an interest in the study of the medieval Middle East. As part of its effort to promote scholarship and facilitate communication among its members, MEM publishes al-ʿUṣūr al-Wusṭā (The Journal of Middle East Medievalists).
The journal began in 1989 as a newsletter, edited by Sam Gellens, a co-founder with Richard Bulliet, of Middle East Medievalists. Fred Donner, as president of MEM (1992- 1994), then expanded the newsletter into a substantial bulletin, the first issue of which appeared in 1992 (4:1). He added, among other features, research articles and reviews of books in Arabic and other Middle Eastern languages. Finally, in 2014-2015, following long discussion among the editors, board members and colleagues across the disciplines of early and medieval Islamic, Arabic and MidEast studies, the decision was made to remake the bulletin into an online, open access, peer-reviewed journal. A key aim is to make use of the best qualities of online publishing: the flexibility and timeliness that are a hallmark of publications of this kind. We also seek to provide colleagues worldwide – especially those without ready access to the best libraries – a means by which to keep abreast of trends in the three broad disciplines.
Open Access Policy
Al-ʿUṣūr al-Wusṭā is an open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. Since 2015, authors retain their copyright and agree to license their articles with a Creative Commons "Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives" 4.0 License. You can read more about Creative Commons licenses at creativecommons.org.
Al-ʿUṣūr al-Wusṭā is a no-fee journal. Authors are not charged for the publication of their articles.
Peer Review Policy
All research articles in this journal have undergone rigorous peer review, based on initial screening by the journal editors and single-blind refereeing by typically at least three anonymous referees that often lead to multiple rounds of revisions. Authors are required to respond to reader reports (usually quite substantial) on top of making revisions to their papers. A thorough round of copy editing follows the acceptance of the revised submission which, in turn, lead to another round of improvements.
Negative Book Reviews
As a matter of policy, in the case of strongly negative book reviews the editors will request a second opinion from a member of the journal’s board or an outside authority. The publication of negative reviews may be delayed as a result of this policy.
Al-ʿUṣūr al-Wusṭā is distributed through Columbia University’s Academic Commons. Academic Commons is Columbia University’s institutional repository, offering long-term public access to research shared by the Columbia community. A program of the Columbia University Libraries, Academic Commons provides secure, replicated storage for files in multiple formats. Academic Commons assigns a DOI and accurate metadata to each work to enhance discoverability.
Files uploaded to Academic Commons are written to an Isilon storage cluster at Columbia University and replicated to an identical system at a secure, offsite facility. The local cluster stores the data in a "best protection possible" policy which provides, at a minimum, guaranteed protection against the loss of any two disks or any one node. When sufficient capacity is available, this is increased automatically. Multiple snapshots are replicated to our disaster recovery site every two hours. The secondary cluster employs the same protections as the primary cluster and both conduct integrity scans to validate that data has not been altered at any point during rebalancing, snapshot, or replication processes.
The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.