Purpose and features INGLES
The recent upsurge in the volume and quality of the accounting history research in Spain has positioned it as one of the top nations in the field.

However, only two Spanish journals are now dedicated entirely to accounting, and, while some Spanish accounting history researchers do publish part of their work in English language journals, publication continues to be a difficult proposition for most. Thus, many researchers can hope only to present their work as papers at Conferences and Congresses, something that constitutes a great loss for their fellow historians, since a good part of the research conducted remains unknown or unpublished.

This is particularly regrettable in the current university circumstance, where the careers of university professors depend, to a great extent, on the successful publication of research in accredited journals of recognized academic prestige.

AECA's Accounting History Commission (Comisión de Historia de la Contabilidad) saw the need for a Spanish journal dedicated to the history of accounting, one that could provide the space to publish at least a good portion of the best work produced. Its aim is to provide Spanish university researchers with an enduring publication outlet for their work in the field, thus enabling them to further their academic careers while continuing to pursue their preferred subjects of research.

Given the relatively small number of academics in the discipline, a conventional physical or paper journal of accounting history did hardly seem feasible when De Computis was set up in 2004. At that time there were only four journals dedicated to this subject worldwide: the North American Accounting Historians Journal, the British Accounting History Review, the Australian Accounting History and the Italian Contabilità e Cultura Aziendale. Rivista della Società Italiana di Storia della Ragioneria. Recently has appeared a new French review, also on-line, Comptabilité'(S). Revue d'Histoire des Comptabilités, edited by professors at the University Lille-Nord de France-Lille 3. All have low circulation -and high overheads due to fixed printing costs.

This combined with the fact that, in Spain, a print format journal dedicated to the history of accounting could aspire at those times -and even now- to a similar low circulation or perhaps lower than the one of those journals, convinced us that the most viable route is an electronic edition. In this way, De Computis, that is, the new accounting history journal we launched was the first and only exclusively electronic or on-line journal of the world up to the apparition of Comptabilité'(S).

Since our ultimate goals are to: 1. Disseminate and consolidate the knowledge provided by new research into accounting history; and 2. Create a self-owned, dedicated channel that enables university professors to pursue historical accounting research to further their academic careers, the journal has always been free of charge, with no subscription fee. In addition to having its own domain: www.decomputis.org, the journal is available on AECA's web page under either the AECA Journals or Accounting History Commission section.

The essential ingredient for achieving these goals is quality. From the first issue onward, the journal has aspired to meet the most ambitious, most rigorous academic publishing standards observed in Spain and the world in general, and so earn the recognition of scientific academic publications at home and abroad. Only after achieving this we proceed, in the mid term, to request inclusion in the most prestigious data bases of periodical publications such as the Philadelphia Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), its Journal of Citation Reports, Econlit and others. These aims are already being accomplished in some degree.

Therefore, from the beginning the concept and design of the journal had to meet the following minimum requirements, among others:

  1. To establish a rigorous, formal, systematic anonymous peer-review system of articles submitted for publication, and periodically to publish the roster of reviewers and percentage of articles approved out of the total submitted. This guarantees the quality of the articles and ensures the integrity of all citation data.

2. To meet publication deadlines for all issues. This is a pre-requisite for journals to be included in the ISI data base. Regular publication of issues is proof of the existence of a large enough bank of accepted articles. To appropriately measure the deadline compliance of a magazine, the evaluator requires at least the last three issues.

3. To meet international publishing standards: The journal title must duly inform of content; titles and the summaries of articles published must adequately describe article content; include key words, as well as complete bibliographical citations and accurate information on author, including address.

4. Regarding all articles not published in English: To include English translation of title, summary, key words and information about the author.

5. To include researchers of recognized prestige from Spain and elsewhere on the journal's Editorial Board, to enhance reputation.

6. To include articles by renowned Spanish and international researchers.

7. Positive consideration is given when articles are published in English and other languages, in addition to the national language or languages of the publishing country.

8. Electronic journals are subject to the same evaluation rules and are increasingly being included in international data bases. The Institute for Scientific Information included the first electronic journal in its ISI data base in September 1994.

Following these criteria, the new journal established an anonymous evaluation system, and assigned at least two reviewers to evaluate each article submitted for publication. With the appropriate frequency it will publish the names of the reviewers up to the year of publication, the number of articles published during the year, the percentage of articles accepted after first, second or third review, and the percentage of those rejected.

Maximum priority will be assigned to meeting the web page publication deadlines of the two issues planned per year, that is, June and December.

The title of the journal duly informs of the discipline to which it is devoted. Care has to be taken to ensure that article titles provide adequate content information. All has to be preceded by a summary and key words; a biographical note on the author including his/her address has also to be included. All bibliographical references are to be checked to ensure citation integrity.

To encourage international readership, the journal´s name has been completed followed by two subtitles, in Spanish and English: De Computis. Revista Española de Historia de la Contabilidad (Spanish Journal of Accounting History). All summaries, key words and author biographical notes will appear in both Spanish and English.

In addition to Spanish languages, the journal publishes articles written in other widely-used languages, such as English, French, German, Italian and Portuguese, and seeks contributions from prestigious accounting history authors willing to submit to the peer-review procedure. Since three out of the six existing journals dedicated to accounting history publish only in English, the existence of a journal devoted to the publication of Spanish papers, but also open to papers originally written in other languages, will help to enrich the bibliography of our discipline and further disseminate it in Latin American countries.

Apart from the Doctrinal articles section, the journal publishes other sections such as News, Documentation, Bibliographical Comments, Doctoral Dissertations, News about Archives and also books, as it deems appropriate.