The official journal of DePaul University’s Vincentian Studies Institute, Vincentian Heritage, will change to a digital format beginning with its newest edition, volume 32, on March 6. The biannual peer-reviewed journal includes articles on Vincentian history, spirituality and praxis.
Since the first issue in 1980, Vincentian Heritage has consistently stayed ahead of the curve of scholarly publications with at least six major shifts in overall look and layout. In an effort to broaden reach and to continue innovating, the traditionally subscription-based publication will move to an open source, interactive PDF version. Once launched, the new e-journal will be compatible with any PC, Mac, Apple iPad and Kindle Fire and available for download at http://depaulne.ws/VH.
“Scholarly publications may have wonderful content, but they do not have to look dull and boring,” explained the Rev. Edward Udovic, C.M., senior executive for university mission. “The visual standards for illustrations, maps and interactive content are being set in the marketplace by mainstream magazines and scholarly journals need to meet this standard. By moving to a digital version, I think we’re on the forefront of scholarly journals in terms of adopting this new visual standard and interactive appeal.”
“We view this as the next step in keeping up with the times,” said Nathaniel Michaud, editor and director of publications for the Vincentian Studies Institute at DePaul. “We also see this as an ability to reach a wider audience. Since we have digitized past issues to simple PDFs, we have already reached thousands of more people.”
The new digital version of Vincentian Heritage will include crisp, high-resolution images, image galleries, colorful maps and charts, interactive links to related information and a more visually appealing text layout.
“There are a number of limitations in publishing a journal in terms of adding images, maps or charts; all of that adds to the cost to the production of a paperback journal,” said Udovic. “By moving to an e-journal format, there is no limit to the illustrations we can include to complement our stories.”
“We are already seeing the benefits that digital has to offer in the first issue,” said Michaud. “There is an article by scholar Anthony E. Clark on missionaries in China and it features a number of his personal photos from his travels. He has acquired access to places that Western eyes have never seen and we are able to present all of the images he needs to bring the article to life. If we were still doing print, we’d have to pick and choose.”
Sponsored by DePaul University since 2007, the Vincentian Studies Institute was founded by the Congregation of the Mission and Daughters of Charity in 1979 and is dedicated to promoting a living interest in the historical and spiritual heritage of Saint Vincent de Paul and Saint Louise de Marillac. For more information on Vincentian Studies Institute and Vincentian Heritage journal visit http://bit.ly/1oNnOUc.