“Trames” is both an end and a beginning. It is the end of the well established “Acta et commentationes universitatis Tartuensis (Dorpatensis) – Humaniora” and of the “Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences – Humanities and Social Sciences”. It is the beginning of a new journal of the humanities and social sciences.
Why did these publications unite, and what can one hope standing in the beginning of this new trames (lat. footpath)?
The world we live in used to be divided to the East and the West. To some extent both had, and still have, a different way of looking at things. In the humanities and social sciences, where there are so few absolute truths, this intellectual division has given rise to a great diversity of thought. The seeds of the growth of scientific knowledge lie in this diversity.
However, this diversity of thought is not blessed with equal opportunities. The success of the West has given rise to the impression that it is generally more advanced. Only a few in the West bother to look at what is said in the East, when they develop their theses. And nothing else is to be expected – the linguistic and intellectual barriers have for too long been too high for this. On the other hand, only a few in the East have succeeded in making themselves heard and understood in the West. And this is hardly surprising – one has to present one’s ideas in the way people in the West are used to look at things. This is not always easy.
In such a situation, TRAMES will attempt to become the connecting footpath which allows free movement of thought between East and West. It is also a footpath towards a more open and free society as well as a mirror reflecting the social processes leading to such a society.
TRAMES is open to authors from any country or any school of thought. The editors of TRAMES intend to attract the best contributions from or about the Eastern Europe, including Russia, and bring them to the international audience. The potential for this is good: as the successor of two well established journals, TRAMES will be sent by inter-library exchange to over 200 libraries in the world. The main goal for the publishers of TRAMES is to further increase the number of subscriptions and to achieve its coverage by well-known indices. This, however, will depend on the quality and weight of TRAMES.
To ensure this quality, the manuscripts submitted to TRAMES will be refereed each by two anonymous referees from the relevant field of study. The only criteria for acceptance of papers will be the originality of ideas, the weight of the arguments, and the clarity of the presentation. The main principle of the editorial policy will be open-mindedness and tolerance for the heterogeneity of ideas.
As TRAMES will publish papers from a wide range of the humanities and social sciences, authors should take into account that the potential reader is not equally well acquainted with the details of all topics covered. While not intending to make any concessions from learning, the editorial board will give its preference to papers with a broader theoretical attitude and an interdisciplinary approach. TRAMES will also welcome one review article per issue featuring the great names or events in the humanities and social sciences. Each issue will also contain several longer book reviews covering recent books, especially if published in or about the region. In addition, TRAMES will be open to guest editors for occasional special issues which concentrate on particular topics or schools of thought.
The journal will be published four times a year (spring, summer, fall, winter), in English, each issue at about 100 pages.