Guidance on Special Issues and Themed Sections

by JCE January 5, 2023

JCE welcomes submissions for special issues or themed sections that relate to or expand upon its Aims and Scope. These notes offer guidance to prospective guest editors, explain how we select Special Issues and set out what happens if your proposal is accepted. 


Proposals for special issues/themed sections should include the following:

  1. A statement of the overall theme for the issue/section and an explanation of how it relates to, expands or challenges the concerns and debates hosted in the JCE. In addition to the Aims and Scope the JCE regularly publishes Editorial Commentaries. See for example: ;
    which can provide guidance as well, of course, as our published content. 
  2. Abstracts (100-200 words) of around 6-9 proposed papers 
  3. Brief notes on the contributors and the editors
  4. An indication of how the issue arose, whether as the result of a workshop, conference or other event. We do not as a rule issue open Calls for Papers.

A sample proposal can be found here.

How we select Special Issues
All proposals should be sent to and will be screened initially by Ismail Erturk, our Associate Editor (Special Issues), in consultation with the editorial team. If we think the proposal is potentially a good fit it will be sent out for unblinded peer review by members of our Editorial Board. Depending on their feedback we will either accept, reject or ask for revisions to the proposal. 

What happens after a proposal has been accepted
Our Managing Editor, Darren Umney, will set you up as an editor on ScholarOne. This will allow you to manage the review process for each of the articles in your SI.

You will be asked to confirm:

  • Your SI title. This will be entered in ScholarOne on your behalf and your contributors will need to select this when they submit their articles.
  • A list of the titles and authors of all pieces you expect, including the editorial.
  • Which guest editor, where there is more than one, is responsible for which article. 

You will also be assigned a supervising editor from the JCE editorial staff. Please include them as a reviewer in ScholarOne along with two other reviewers, preferably including one selected from JCE’s editorial board. Reviewers’ comments will be sent to authors alongside your editorial recommendation and additional guidance. It is usually necessary for Guest Editors to fully engage with the review process, synthesising and editing reviewer comments as appropriate. The assigned supervising editor will review the paper for presentation, language and style but will not offer a peer review. 

The Journal no longer imposes a strict word limit for the issue as a whole or for individual articles. We anticipate that most articles will fall within the range of 8000 -11000 words and that most SIs will comprise 6-10 articles while Themed Sections will comprise 3-6 articles. 

Reviewing procedures
JCE’s normal peer review policy applies. At least two blind peer reviews must be supplied before a recommendation is reached. When Guest Editors have received and synthesized the reviews they make their recommendations to the Editor-in-chief who issues the final decision.