Focus and Scope

This peer-reviewed online journal publishes innovative work applying new digital technologies to the various fields of cultural heritage such as Anthropology, Archaeology, Art History, Architectural History, Classics, Conservation Science, Egyptology, and History. The journal welcomes submissions treating any and all technologies applied to the study of these fields.

While the journal covers the gamut of topics relating to the use of technology in the study of cultural heritage, its special emphasis is on 3D technologies, including 3D data capture, processing of 3D models, theory and practice of 3D restoration of cultural heritage objects, use of 3D models in research and instruction, metadata and paradata standards and best practices for 3D models, and the use of 3D models on VR and AR devices as well as on web pages.

Hence, when appropriate, authors are encouraged to embed interactive 3D models into their articles instead of traditional 2D illustrations. The journal supports WebGL solutions currently in use by professionals in the field, including 3DHop, Sketchfab, and Unity3D.  

From time to time, the journal will publish special issues on a particular topic.

The research leading to the creation of this journal was generously supported by the National Science Foundation (grant # IIS-1014956; and see the related article by D. Koller, B. Frischer, and G. Humphreys, "Research Challenges for Digital Archives of 3D Cultural Heritage Models," JOCCH 5, 2009, pp. 1-20).

Peer Review Process

All work submitted for consideration by the journal will normally be subjected to independent peer-review by experts in the appropriate field(s), who may include members of the editorial board. 

The peer-review process is a single-blind peer-review (i.e., the authors do not know the identity of the reviewers while the reviewers can see the name of the authors). This is the most common form of peer review among scientific journals. It does not require the authors to delete names, citations, or grant references from the submitted version of the article unless they wish to.

Peer-reviewers will be chosen in consultation with members of the editorial board. Authors will also be asked to recommend at least three potential reviewers and also to indicate the names of anyone who should not be approached because of potential bias. Metadata/paradata forms and 3D models will be reviewed by the appropriate expert member of the journal’s editorial board.

Each reviewer will be asked to recommend whether the submission may be published as submitted, published after revisions specified by the reviewer, or rejected. The reviewers' recommendations are purely advisory and may be modified by the editors. Each peer-reviewer will consider the following criteria:

1. The work makes an original contribution to what has already appeared in the published literature. As a corollary, there is no self-plagiarism of the author’s previous publication on the same topic.
2. The work will be important to SDH readers, to scholars in disciplines related to Digital Heritage, in both the humanities and ICT.
3. Research questions are clearly defined and appropriately answered.
4. The overall design of the study is appropriate and adequate to answer the research question.
5. Methods are adequately described and the main outcome measure clear.
6. Results are credible, well-presented, and answer the research question.
7. Interpretation and conclusions are warranted by and sufficiently derived from and focused on the data. Conclusions are placed in the context of previous evidence.
8. Please References should be up-to-date and relevant, without glaring omissions and improper self-citation. 
9. Abstract/summary/keywords/contribution to the field is reflected accurately in the full text of the paper.
10. 3D models, videos, or other supporting assets have been created professionally and are accompanied by appropriate metadata (descriptive, technical, and administrative).

Publication Frequency

Studies in Digital Heritage is published two times each year.

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global knowledge exchange.

Any article published in SDH is freely available on the public Internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the Internet itself provided such use is non-commercial.

The copyright ownership shall remain with the Author, subject to SDH’s non-exclusive license and the rights granted by the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (CC BY-NC. 4.0).*

Download SDH’s full author agreement here. 

Publication expenses for authors

Thanks to the generous support of Indiana University and the sponsorship of the Virtual World Heritage Laboratory, the journal has no Article Submission Charge (ASC) and no Article Processing Charge (APC). 

Plagiarism Policy

In addition, to guarantee originality, SDH actively checks for plagiarism and self-plagiarism before accepting a submission. At the end of the review process, the editor in charge of a paper verifies each article through the Grammarly software package before sending the acceptance letter. This allows SDH to identify passages that may have been reproduced without permission from works already published elsewhere and to consider this in making the final decision. In general, finding a lengthy passage of duplicated text (excluding, of course, the bibliography) will be considered unacceptable and will result in the automatic rejection of the paper.

Journal History

Bernard Frischer and his fellow co-editor-in-chief, Prof. Gabriele Guidi (Politecnico di Milano), were the editors-in-chief of Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (DAACH), published by Elsevier, from the journal's inception until Sept. 30, 2016. They resigned after coming to an impasse with Elsevier over three critical issues: (1) Elsevier would not lower the Article Preparation Fee from $3,000/article to a lower amount which scholars in the field could afford; (2) Elsevier refused to implement a modern 3D browser (such as Sketchfab, 3DHop, and Unity) to run the 3D models associated with the articles published in the journal; and (3) Elsevier insisted on changing the name and reducing the independence of the journal. Frischer and Guidi, therefore, decided to start afresh with a new, Open Access journal that would remedy the shortcomings of DAACH.