News

Call for Special Issue Proposals

Deadline for special issue proposal submissions: 31 July 2020
Submissions should be sent to Matthias Goldmann [goldmann@mpil.de]

The German Law Journal has a proud and successful tradition of publishing timely and innovative special issues. Some of these have become standard works in their respective areas of research. As our statistics show, special issues are a particularly effective way of disseminating legal scholarship. Also, special issues regularly attract readers beyond our trusted core readership.

It speaks for the success of our special issues that we now receive many more special issue proposals than we are able to publish. To ensure both the highest quality for our readers and the best possible experience for our guest editors, the German Law Journal hereby launches its fifth call for special issues and invites prospective guest editors to submit their proposals. As an additional asset, as of 2019, the German Law Journal has been published by Cambridge University Press while maintaining its open-access, no-fee policy. Prospective guest editors may therefore expect an expanding readership and a professionalized production process.

Special Issue Proposals

This is an open call, inviting proposals of special issues on any topic likely to be of interest to the Journal’s readers. As a general interest journal, the German Law Journal is open to proposals from all fields of law, provided that they advance, and engage with, cutting edge research in their respective field. Our past content may give prospective guest editors some guidance in this regard. While public law issues, including comparative, European an international public law, form a core part of the journal’s program, the editors would like to specifically encourage proposals with a focus on criminal law and private law, and proposals transcending the traditional borders of the various sub-disciplines.

The number and length of contributions in a special issue depend on the topic and the approach taken. There is some flexibility in respect of the size of a special issue, as long as the selection of contributions is coherent and meets the Journal’s high standard for quality. Most of our recent special issues comprised between eight and twelve texts, including introduction and conclusion, but longer and shorter special issues may also be accepted. On average, each contribution should not exceed 9,000 words, but here, too, there is no strict limit. On all such issues, coherence and quality should be the guide. Please go to the Journal’s submissions page to consult the style guide.

We appreciate proposals featuring a fairly diverse group of authors. In particular, guest editors should strive towards achieving gender balance.

A special issue proposal should include the following items:

  • A statement describing the project. The statement should clearly outline the idea, the originality, and the structure of the proposal.  It should also discuss the state of research in the relevant field(s) and explain the proposal’s relationship to the existing research.
  • A progress chart indicating the current state of the project and when you expect to submit the full manuscript of the special issue to the Journal for further review and editing.
  • A draft table of contents clearly identifying for each contribution the expected author(s) and their affiliation(s).
  • Abstracts for each of the expected contributions highlighting how each contribution speaks to the special issue’s theme. The current status of each text should be indicated (in the process of writing, submitted but not yet reviewed by editor, reviewed and revised based on editor’s feedback).
  • The proposing editor’s C.V.
  • Draft chapters or articles, in case they are available (not obligatory).

The entire proposal should not exceed 7,000 words (excluding any draft articles). The proposal should be send to Matthias Goldmann via goldmann@mpil.de with “Special Issue Proposal” in the subject line. The submission deadline is 31 July 2020. In case of questions please contact Matthias.

Special Issue Selection Procedure

After the deadline expires, each special issue proposals will be assigned to a member of the Journal’s Editorial Board. The “assigned editor” will correspond with the proposing editor(s) to ensure that we have the information necessary for a full and fair consideration of the proposal. The assigned editor will prepare an internal report—including a recommendation regarding publication—that will guide the board’s consideration of the proposal.

The Editorial Board will then discuss the proposals and select between two and three of them for publication. The selection will be based on two main criteria, namely their fit into the journal’s program, and the proposal’s quality, including timeliness and originality. The proposing editors will be notified as soon as possible of the outcome of the board’s decision. We expect the decision to be taken by the end of September 2020.

At this stage, the acceptance of a special issue will be preliminary, subject only to the submission of full manuscripts at a mutually agreed date about four to five months prior to publication. Manuscripts submitted at this point will still be subject to further review and editing. The purpose of the manuscript submission deadline is to ensure a smooth production process, which would in all likelihood be severely disrupted if the manuscripts were not ready to enter the review and editing process at this point. The timely submissions of full manuscripts will lead to the definite acceptance of the special issue. Should the proposing editors fail to meet the manuscript submission deadline, the special issue will either be postponed or rejected, depending on the journal’s capacity.

Throughout the whole process, the editors of the selected proposal (guest editors) will continue to work closely with the assigned editor, who will have the responsibility of ensuring that all the pieces in the collection meet the Journal’s high standard for quality. After the submission of the full manuscripts, the assigned editor, in consultation with the guest editors, will have the authority to demand revisions to the manuscripts. The Journal reserves the right to reject individual contributions in the event that our high standard of quality is not met.

Once the assigned editor accepts the contributions, they will undergo editing by the GLJ team of student editors at Washington and Lee University, VA, while Cambridge University Press will take care of the typesetting.

Selected special issues will presumably publish in the Journal during the second half of 2021 and possibly in early 2022. The scheduling of the publication process and the ultimate publication date will depend on progress on the special issue and on the Journal’s general workflow. It will be agreed upon as soon as possible after the initial selection between the Editors-in-Chief and the guest editors.

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