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The Palo Alto Scholar

Journal of Art + Culture + Innovation + Design

ABOUT: The Journal is an open-access, scholarly publication focused on pre-collegiate writing in the humanities, and specifically art, culture, innovation and design. The Journal publishes on a rolling basis through each calendar period and follows a refereed process in which our advisory board reviews and selects outstanding essays that show high scholarly promise. Our mission is to provide a venue to recognize excellence in pre-collegiate writing to help motivate and launch the next-generation of scholars who seek to pursue the humanities at the undergraduate and possibly even the graduate (Masters or PhD level) in the future.

SELECTIVITY: The Journal publishes less than 5% of submissions on average, and selected authors may be invited to apply for our  our Fellows Program, and we are gratified when our authors are admitted to highly selective colleges and universities, many of which have made humanities-focused candidates an institutional priority in their admissions process. Please do not consider our selectivity to be a bar to your participation. Outstanding work that does not progress to publication may be noticed and waitlisted for future publication space permitting.


WE DO PUBLISH: Research-based and critical essays in the humanities that explore some aspect of art, culture, innovation or design, and where the purpose of the essay is to advance an argument in order to inform or persuade the reader, or to explore a research question and possible analyses of the topic by putting different texts in a curated conversation with each other. For example, AP/IB essays. We also publish literary non-fiction, where a literary style is used to present a non-fiction topic. Occasionally, a submission that doesn't quite fit our categories will be published on an exceptions basis to acknowledge its quality and merit in advancing scholarly discourse in the humanities at the pre-collegiate level. See Submissions for more details.

WE DO NOT PUBLISH: Creative writing, whether poetry, prose, scripts or otherwise. We value creative writing but this is outside our scope. We also don't publish scientific or technical research papers, though you are free to submit a critical essay about creative writing or the sciences from the perspective of a humanities scholar. We refer you to alternate venues for publication on our Resources page.

OPEN-ACCESS: The scholarly academic community is in a period of transition from subscription to open-access journals because the public interest in making scholarship widely available has put pressure on academic publishing interests to change their traditional subscription=based business models. In this spirit, the Institute does not believe in putting your work behind a pay-wall subsidized by subscription access. Instead we hope that you will include links to your work in your online CV and that other scholars will read your work and as appropriate reference and cite your work, as a first step in developing your scholarly relevance and reputation. Therefore, we use the open-access business model for academic publishing in which your work is made publicly available to read under copyright license and our costs are subsidized by a submission fee to ensure you are sending us your very best work for our initial review and by an APC (Article Processing Cost) if your article is selected for article processing status to continue to the final article editing and preparation for publication. The APC fee subsidizes our costs in preparing, publishing and hosting your article as part of the Journal. There are fee waivers/reductions available, so please do not allow fees that you can't afford to be an obstacle in this process. To read about APC fees, which are standard in the academic publishing industry for open-access journals, see for example the APC policies of PLOS and Elsevier. We also subsidize our costs by offering ancillary products and services apart from the Journal; these are separate and do not influence the article selection process.

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