The Great Circle is the journal of the Australian Association for Maritime History. Established in 1979, this refereed journal is published twice per year. The Great Circle is distributed in both hard copy and electronically via JSTOR.

2023 Vol 45 No.1

2023 Vol 45 No.1

  • Jan Tent, VOC Vessel Names: What Naming Patterns Reveal About Name-Givers' Mindsets
  • David Stuart, American Whaling and Sealing Contacts in The Early Decades of Britain's Antipodean Colonies
  • Mick de Ruyter, The Alexa Nexus: the Copra Industry in Butaritari, Kiribati and Australia's Last Square-Rigged Trading Vessel
  • Boyd Cothran and Adrian Schubert, Historians on Deck: Maritime Microhistories in Global History
  • Daniel J Leahy (Report), The Loss of RAAF Dakota A65-3 off Cape York Peninsula, Queensland 1943

Book Reviews

  • Natali Pearson, Belitung: the Afterlives of a Shipwreck (Jeffrey Mellefont)
  • Yuanfei Wang, Writing Pirates:Vernacular Fiction and Oceans in Late Ming China (Kristie Patricia Flannery)
  • Paul Gibbard (trans), The French Collector: Journals and Letters of Theodore Leschenault, Botanist of the Baudin Expedition (Margaret Sankey)

2024 Vol 45 No.2

2024 Vol 45 No.2

  • The Southern Continent on the Globe by Guillaume Nicolai Belga, Lyon,1603 (Robert King)
  • Whaling in the early decades of the Australian colonies (David Stuart)
  • The Botany Baymen: Notes on Australia's Early Maritime Trade: The Melvill Cup (Gary L Sturgess)
  • The History of Sailing Vessels in the Australian Merchant Fleet Through the Prism of Shipwrecks (David W Turner)

Book Reviews

  • Rhys Richards, Nga Thora: The Right Whales of New Zealand and the Southern Ocean (Mark Howard)
  • Michael A Verney, A Great and Rising Nation: Naval Exploration and Global Empire in the Early US Republic (David Stuart)
  • Craig Stockings, Australia's Tasman Wars: Colonial Australia and Conflict in New Zealand 1800-1850 (Jeff Hopkins-Weise)

Aims and scope

The Great Circle encompasses all aspects of maritime history but encourages a focus on the Indian, Pacific and Southern Oceans, especially for the period 1500 CE to the present. Authors intending to submit work for publication are welcome to contact the Editor to discuss topics prior to submission.


Authors must be the creators of original work submitted to The Great Circle. All named authors must have contributed materially to the research, design and expression within the submitted manuscript.

  • Submissions must address topics suitable to the scope of The Great Circle.
  • Articles are only accepted and published in English.
  • Citing prior articles in The Great Circle within your endnotes is a good indicator that your work will address the journal’s audience.
  • Submissions must not have been concurrently submitted or previously published elsewhere.


A great circle is the intersect of a sphere and a plane going through the centre of that sphere. The shortest distance between two places on earth is represented by the great circle that links them together. Although the geographical and climatological conditions of the earth prevent shipping from following a great circle course for any long distance, the concept is of the greatest importance for ocean-going navigation. Particularly during the heyday of the sailing clippers, masters deviated as little as possible from these ‘magic lines’ on their charts.

As such, The Great Circle symbolises the significance of Australia's overseas maritime links and indicates the aim of the Australian Association for Maritime History to promote the development of maritime history. Figuratively, The Great Circle also expresses its second objective: to encompass all individuals and groups interested in all aspects of maritime history, both in Australia and abroad.


Print: 0156-8698
Digital: 2209-9409

Peer review

Articles of up to 10,000 words (including endnotes) deemed suitable for The Great Circle will be double-blind peer reviewed by at least two assessors. This process usually takes 4–8 weeks. Authors will be provided with the reviewers’ comments, including an assessment of whether the article is appropriate for publication, plus any suggested revisions. Authors will be given 2­–3 weeks to revise and return the manuscript in response to reviewer comments. Accepted items will be published with an indicator that ‘This article has been peer reviewed’.

Research Notes of up to 3,000 words (including endnotes) will be reviewed by the Editor, who reserves the right to forward manuscripts for double-blind peer review prior to deciding whether to publish. Accepted items will be published with an indicator that ‘This research note has not been peer reviewed’.

Publishing schedule

The Great Circle is published twice per year.


Each issue of The Great Circle is distributed in hard copy to all members of the Australian Association for Maritime History. Membership is via an annual subscription fee.

Each issue of The Great Circle becomes available digitally on JSTOR one year after the hard copy is distributed. Access to JSTOR requires an institutional subscription or may entail payment for individual articles. Past issues can be searched and accessed at

At present, there is no option for Open Access publishing of The Great Circle articles or issues.


The Great Circle is indexed by EBSCO and Scopus.

Two indexes are maintained for the contents of The Great Circle.

Papers in The Great Circle 1979-2024

Reviews in The Great Circle 1979-2024

Ownership and management

The Great Circle is owned and managed by the Australian Association for Maritime History, a not-for-profit organisation based in Fremantle, Western Australia. The committee of the Association include a President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary. Both the committee and the Editorial team for the journal serve in a voluntary capacity.

Editorial team

 General Editor:   Dr Peter Hobbins, Australian National Maritime Museum
 Reviews Editor:  Dr Peter Hobbins, Australian National Maritime Museum
 Production Manager:  Dr Ian Chambers, independent scholar


Dr Peter Hobbins
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Great Circle

PO Box 1873
Fremantle, WA 6959

Editorial Board

The Great Circle is indebted to the members of our international Editorial Board, who serve in a voluntary capacity.

  • Dr Alessandro Antonello, Flinders University, Australia
  • Dr Margaret Cook, Griffith University, Australia
  • Dr Kristie Flannery, Australian Catholic University, Australia
  • Dr Eureka Heinrich, University of New South Wales, Australia
  • Dr Rohan Howitt, Monash University, Australia
  • Professor Catherine Kelly, University of Bristol, England
  • Professor Rod Mather, University of Rhode Island, USA
  • Dr Natali Pearson, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Dr Thomas Rogers, Royal Australian Navy Sea Power Centre, Australia
  • Emeritus Professor Timothy Runyan, East Carolina University, USA
  • Associate Professor Tiffany Shellam, Deakin University, Australia
  • Associate Professor Frances Steel, University of Otago, New Zealand

Ethics and malpractice statement

All authors submitting work to The Great Circle must certify the following.

  • The manuscript is their original work and has not been concurrently submitted or previously published elsewhere.
  • All published and unpublished sources used in the work have been appropriately cited, with direct quotations clearly marked as such.
  • That information, images and data (including fieldwork) included in the manuscript have been collected ethically and in accordance with local and international laws and regulations.
  • Subject to the standards of scholarly critique and historical analysis, the work does not contain any libellous content.
  • Any affiliations or funding arrangements that may have affected the conduct or presentation of the material in the manuscript must be disclosed.
  • Every individual who has made a material contribution to the research, design and expression of the submitted manuscript will be nominated as an author; no authors are to be listed unless they satisfy these authorship requirements.
  • The corresponding author must secure approval from all named authors to publish the final version of the laid-out article prior to publication.
  • Any copyrighted materials such as figures have been appropriately cited and any permissions and/or fees have been finalised with the copyright holder prior to publication.
  • It is acknowledged that all work published in The Great Circle is copyrighted to the publisher and must not be reproduced without express permission and appropriate licensing.

Research misconduct

The Great Circle operates on the principle of good faith, assuming that authors have conducted their research and prepared original manuscripts honestly, ethically, conscientiously and in compliance with relevant ethical standards and laws.

The Editor and the journal’s peer reviewers will query any potential indicators of research misconduct, plagiarism or infringement of copyright. In such instances, the Editor will liaise with the corresponding author to seek clarification and evidence as required. Manuscripts will not be published until any such concerns are resolved to the satisfaction of the Editor. The Editor also reserves the right to consult with members of the Editorial Board for advice and guidance in addressing potential cases of misconduct.

Any suspected instances of research misconduct within items already published in The Great Circle should be reported to the Editor, who will then instigate an investigation. At the Editor’s discretion, any affected works may be withdrawn from digital circulation and/or subject to a correction or retraction note. The Editor will seek the advice of the Editorial Board in resolving any such matter.

Publishing ethics

Authorship and contributorship: every individual who has made a material contribution to the research, design and expression of the submitted manuscript will be nominated as an author; no authors are to be listed unless they satisfy these authorship requirements.

Complaints and appeals: all complaints about content, including suggestions of inaccuracy, misrepresentation or misconduct, should be referred to the Editor. The Editor will, at their discretion, escalate investigation and resolution of complaints and subsequent appeals to the Editorial Board.

Conflicts of interest: all contributors to The Great Circle are required to state that they have declared any potential sources of personal, institutional or financial conflict of interest, and that any such conflict has not affected the research or presentation of information in their manuscript.

Data sharing: authors whose work includes the analysis and presentation of data are requested to make available all relevant data sources for confidential inspection by the Editor, should questions arise regarding its collection, completeness or veracity. Authors will not be expected to share their raw or processed data with third parties, unless in response to serious and substantiated concerns regarding misconduct or misrepresentation. Authors whose work includes datasets not published in the final article are encouraged to lodge their data with open repositories such as the Australian Research Data Commons.

Ethical oversight: all research submitted to The Great Circle must have been conducted ethically and with relevant permits, including appropriate oversight by human ethics research committees and local regulatory bodies.

Intellectual property: the moral right to be identified as the author(s) remains with the creators of all work submitted to The Great Circle, notwithstanding the intellectual property in any copyrighted materials reproduced with permission. Upon publication, the copyright in the final form of written and visual presentation of work published in The Great Circle rests with the Australian Association for Maritime History as the publishers.

Post-publication discussions and corrections: where authors or other parties detect errors or substantive concerns with a published article, The Great Circle reserves the right to publish errata or addenda to the digital versions of the article. In cases where other parties dispute or seek to present an alternative perspective on published works, at the Editor’s discretion a right-of-reply publication may be commissioned, after which no further correspondence will be entered into. In cases of significant disputes arising from content published in The Great Circle, the Editor will seek the counsel of the Editorial Board.


The National Library of Australia is the library of record for all past copies of the journal:

Revenue sources

The Great Circle is supported solely by the Australian Association for Maritime History, a not-for-profit organisation.


The Great Circle does not accept advertising or content supported by advertising revenue.

Direct marketing

The Editor may approach potential authors to contribute articles or reviews for general or special issues of The Great Circle. Any such approaches will be individually addressed and targeted to a specific topic or series of contributions.

Author fees

No author fees are payable for publishing in The Great Circle, with the exception that reproduction of colour figures in the hard copy version may attract additional production expenses. Any such costs will be discussed with the author(s) in advance.

Additional hard copies of an issue may be commissioned. Any fees for production and postage costs will be agreed with the author(s) in advance.

Authors are responsible for the costs of all figures supplied with the manuscript, including commissioned charts and artwork, high-resolution photographs, and licensing fees levied by copyright holders.


Copyright in the published work is held by the Australian Association for Maritime History as the publisher. This copyright incorporates the final form of written expression, plus the layout and reproduction rights for any original figures. Authors must not subsequently re-use the work or circulate copies of published articles without the advance permission of the Editor and the Australian Association for Maritime History. In submitting work to The Great Circle, authors agree to these terms.


Licensing for digital versions of articles published in The Great Circle rests with JSTOR. Published articles must not be distributed or displayed in any format or on any other platform.

Pre-acceptance versions of articles may be shared digitally once the content has been published by The Great Circle, but must be clearly identified as not representing the definitive version.