About the Journal

Focus and Scope

Apparatus deals with film, media and digital cultures of Eastern, Central and South-Eastern Europe. Apparatus covers the research of current and historical media in its entirety: early technical media, film, radio, magnetic tapes, television, internet, DVDs. Our understanding of media includes all material aspects of traditional forms of communication such as manuscripts and books. We encourage theoretical as well as empirical studies. The core of our publication are original research articles.

The scholarly quality of the journal is secured through a double blind peer review process. The articles can be published in different languages, including those used in the region the journal concentrates upon – always with a summary in English. We welcome contributions in your native language.

The electronic form of publishing allows not only for illustrations but audio or video files. These clips – once their rights are cleared – can be uploaded onto the Apparatus channel.

All articles in Apparatus are instantaneously available in open access in its entirety. This ensures their maximum accessibility and international dissemination – including among scholars in Eastern Europe whose access to Western and international journals (reception and publication alike) remains limited. Apparatus encourages writers engaging in the field to use the journal as a forum for communication for bridging the East-West divide.

Apparatus aims to increase the visibility and international impact of media studies scholars who research a variety of East European subjects from Poland, the Czech Republic, Russia, the Baltic states, Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia and many other countries.

Apparatus also wishes to contribute to the open access movement in the sense of a democratization of access to information and knowledge worldwide. The long-term preservation of the articles is guaranteed by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Apparatus uses the Open Journal Software OJS.

Apparatus accepts both unsolicited and solicited submissions, the latter answering specific calls advertised on the journal website.

The journal only accepts original pieces of writing. All articles are checked for plagiarism using software assisted detection.

From 2018, the journal has asked authors or their institutions to pay an article processing fee (APC). Please see the Author Guidelines for a list of fees. In many cases, we are able to waive fees, especially for independent scholars. Please contact the editorial team for more information. Apparatus does not charge any submission fees.

The journal is published twice a year.

Peer Review Process

A peer-review is the evaluation of an article by a person of similar competence to the author of the article, her or his peer. Upon reception of an article, the editorial board identifies minimally one peer-reviewer who specializes in the field addressed in the work who reviews the text anonymously following the following criteria:

Apparatus Peer Review Criteria

1. Originality and Audience

Does the article make a fresh or original contribution to the area of study?

Is the article of international / national interest?

2. Context

Is the material put into context, is the research up-to-date and relevant?

3. Focus and Results

Does the article have a clear and well-defined focus?

Are you convinced by the author’s results?

4. Sources

Has the author used both primary and secondary sources appropriately? Are the sources used consistent with his/her argument?

5. Is the methodology explained?

6. Argument and Style

Is there a clear argument expressed clearly and coherently? Is the writing over-elaborate? Are there other issues which need reworking (grammar, etc.)?


The result of your review is….

a) I recommend publication without any changes

b) I recommend publication with minor revisions (with no need for a further review)

c) The article needs significant revision and a further review (please include a description of the missing elements)

d) In my opinion the article is not publishable



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 exchange of knowledge.

Language Policy

We publish articles in all of the languages of the region always accompanied by abstracts in English, German and Russian. To date we have published articles in Ukrainian, Polish, Czech, Latvian, English, Hungarian, German, and Russian.

Publication Ethics

This journal is committed to preventing academic misconduct in all forms. The publisher and editors of Apparatus strive to ensure that all published findings are reliable, do not constitute plagiarism, have not been previously published elsewhere, do not contain material or data without authorisation for use, and do not infringe upon copyright. Any publication found to have violated these policies or found to be the product of misconduct of any kind will be retracted. In no circumstances shall the publisher or editors encourage, or knowingly permit, research misconduct to take place.

The peer review and plagiarism screening processes seek to prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred. The publishers and editors of Apparatus will not tolerate attempts to compromise or manipulate these processes. 

Authors are required to disclose any conflicts of interest that would affect interpretations of the work or recommendations by editors and peer reviewers. 

Ownership and Management

Apparatus is a fully peer-reviewed online journal edited by Natascha Drubek and published by DiGZ. Digitalen Zugang zu Wissen demokratisch gestalten e.V. in association with Freie Universität Berlin. The publication is overseen by an independent editorial board.

Sources of Support

Apparatus Open Access publishing received financial support from the following universities: HU and FU Berlin, Potsdam, Leipzig, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, Albert-Ludwig-Universität Freiburg, Goethe Universität Frankfurt, TU Dresden, Basel, Zürich, University of Westminster, University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway, University of Texas at Austin, University of the South, Yale University.

Other generous support by

  • John Newby (IT)
  • le-tex, Leipzig
  • Erich Sargeant (Consulting)
  • Nigel Algar (Language Editing)
  • Santiago Slabý
  • Rustem Abliakimov + (Design of Apparatus Logo in 2014)

Journal History

During her Heisenberg Fellowship at the University of Regensburg (2009-2015) Natascha Drubek had the idea of founding a journal on Central and Eastern European film, visual cultures and media which would occupy a distinct position in scholarly publishing.

In discussions with her colleagues, Irina Sandomirskaja and Anke Hennig, the idea of the journal was further developed, with the aim of engaging readers all over the world by providing genuinely free access. "Apparatus. Film, Media and Digital Cultures in Central and Eastern Europe" is the realisation of the ambitious goal to create a peer-reviewed open access multilingual journal which would not only recruit a wide range of authors from the region but also attract its readers.

With the initial partner in the project (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek) Natascha Drubek applied for the funding which was granted by the section “Wissenschaftliche Literaturversorgungs- und Informationssysteme” of the Deutsche Forschungsmeinschaft) in 2013. The starting grant period finished in the beginning of 2018.

The very first website was designed by Rustem Abliakimov (Crimea).

Vital technical support was provided by Robert Hennig (Zwölf Medien), Božana Bokan (CeDIS; PKP) and John Newby (LShift) – all based in Berlin.

Apparatus uses the Open Journal System and is hosted by:
Open Access and academic publishing
University Library
Freie Universität Berlin