Frequently Asked Questions What is Mizan? Mizan is a digital initiative that seeks to make the expertise of scholars of Muslim societies and civilizations available to a wider public, particularly by distributing original scholarship of contemporary relevance through digital channels. We are funded through the generous support of ILEX Foundation, in collaboration with the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations of the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. Why are you doing this? More conventional scholarly publishing outlets, whether university presses or private academic publishing houses, have achieved great success in utilizing digital media, networks, and distribution systems to disseminate the results of scholarly research more widely than was possible in the past. However, the Internet, particularly social media, has also enabled the acute spike in Islamophobia and other forms of xenophobic expression in America and Europe over the last decade. Mizan aims to improve online discourse about various facets of Muslim culture, both historical and contemporary, by making a range of material freely available on this website. We firmly believe that promoting sophisticated but accessible scholarship aimed at a variety of audiences, addressing a variety of subjects, provides an important service to diverse communities among both scholars and the general public with an interest in the history, culture, and current developments in the Islamic world. Do I have to sign up to access material on the website? No. Our site is organized into three channels: Project, Pop, and Journal. All material on the site, whether it is a short essay, a multimedia presentation, or a peer-reviewed scholarly journal, is published free of charge, in keeping with the ethos of open access. What does "open access"/"peer-reviewed" mean? "Open access" refers to a philosophy that has gained significant traction in academic circles in recent decades. The term signifies a publication model in which no impediments to public access to scholarly material are presented by the producer: material is openly distributed free of charge without paywalls or passwords. Peer-reviewed scholarship is the gold standard of intellectual quality and integrity in the modern academy. In the peer review process, an author's work is anonymized and sent to multiple scholars who have expertise in the subject matter that work discusses. The reviewers critique the work and evaluate its merits on multiple criteria, especially the value of its particular contribution to its field. Articles are then accepted for publication or rejected based on this evaluation process. Articles for Mizan: Journal for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations are subjected to what is called "double-blind" peer review, meaning that authors and reviewers are not notified of the identity of the other. If the content on your site is free, why do I have to sign up for a membership? The signup procedure found on our website is to join our community of registered members who are authorized to comment on our features and use the dynamic annotation function found on the Journal platform. This procedure is also free, but to join the community, your identity must be verified and you will be held accountable for any material you post on the site. Membership in the community is generally limited to academics and students, so we simply request proof of your institutional affiliation as a prerequisite to having your membership approved. Members of the general public who wish to join the community should contact the Interlocutor. I can verify my identity and would like to sign up. How do I do this? Complete our brief online application form. I applied to join the community and was denied. Why? Denial of community membership may occur if you attempt to join using a suspicious e-mail address or username; if your identity cannot be verified; or you are not affiliated in some way with an institution of higher learning, either as a student (or graduate) or instructor. If you are a member of the general public and wish to join, please send an e-mail request to the Interlocutor. How does the annotation tool on the Journal platform work? For more information and a video demonstration on how to use the annotation tools to produce and submit and publish online annotations to Mizan: Journal for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations articles, please visit our help page. How does the citation tool on the Journal platform work? Citing articles from Mizan Project & Mizan Pop: Please follow the guidelines for citing an online blog or website that are associated with the style you are using for your project (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.). Citing articles from Mizan: Journal for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations: Please follow the guidelines for citing an online journal that are associated with the style you are using for your project (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.). Mizan: Journal for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations has a built-in citation tool. The tool allows you to highlight the text you wish to cite and automatically formats it to one of the accepted formats: MLA, APA, or Chicago. For more information and a video demonstration on how to use the citation tool to cite articles from the Journal please visit our help page. Don't see your question here? Please contact the Interlocutor for help.