context and rationale
German Studies in North America has suffered in recent years from a serious depletion of the channels though which scholarship in the field is disseminated. Along with other disciplines grounded in non-English literatures, German Studies is particularly hard hit by what the Modern Language Association (MLA) has identified as a general "narrowing of publishing possibilities" in the humanities, due to economic pressures on university presses. Signale seeks to address these pressures by containing the publishing costs associated with producing and warehousing large print-runs and, most importantly, by exploring how new collaborative relationships and distributions of labor among scholars, presses, and libraries can preserve a high-quality space for the specialized monograph.
highly selective publishing in print and electronic formats
Signale combines an experimental approach to production and distribution with rigorous editorial oversight. Manuscript submissions undergo the same strict peer review process as Cornell University Press monographs published in the traditional manner. All books chosen for the series are published in print and electronic editions. Print editions are produced in small runs, backed up by trade-quality print-on-demand. Signale ebooks are available for e-readers (Kindle, Google Play) and in aggregations for the library market, including the Books at JSTOR program and Project MUSE.
We make much of the Signale content available online free of charge, but balance a commitment to broad access with the need to recoup investment in the books through sales. Fifty percent of the text of most of our books is freely accessible, in a read-only display, immediately upon publication. And we provide open access to fully-functional, downloadable PDFs of most Signale books, in their entirety, after an interval of four years from their initial publication.
joint imprint and marketing
Signale books are published jointly by Cornell University Press and Cornell University Library. Authors are issued a Cornell University Press contract and their books are marketed in the same way as other books published by the Press. They are featured in the Cornell University Press catalog, advertised in suitable venues, and displayed at the MLA and other appropriate meetings.
submitting your work to Signale
Authors are asked to send a cover letter and a 3- to 5-page prospectus that summarizes the book project, describes its relationship to existing scholarship, and identifies its likely audience. The prospectus should include a chapter outline and specify the length of the manuscript (in words); if the manuscript is not yet completed, a time frame for completion should be included. The letter and prospectus should be sent in electronic form (MS Word) to the managing editor:
Cornell University Library
310 Uris Library
Ithaca, NY 14853
Book proposals are reviewed by the series editor. If the editor decides to continue the review process, the author will be asked to submit the completed manuscript for review by external readers. Readers' reports are reviewed by the Signale editorial board and are shared with the author. If revisions are required, the revised manuscript may be reviewed again by external readers. The final decision to publish or not to publish is made by the series editor and informed by the external reader reports and the recommendation of the editorial board.
preparing the accepted manuscript
The final version of a manuscript that is accepted for publication must be prepared for submission according to the Signale author guidelines: