Critical Studies in Education

Special Issues Guidelines for Guest Editors

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Proposals for special issues should include the following information:

– Editor(s) name(s), with a short CV outlining publishing and other relevant experience and achievements;
– A clear and succinct description of the special issue’s theme, including how the proposed issue fits with the Journal’s aims and audience (aims and scope are available here);
– Titles, authors and abstracts, or at least the names of possible contributing authors;
– Timeline – how long it will take to assemble the proposed issue.

Selection Criteria

Judgments on proposals for special issues are made by the Editor and Editorial Board, and informed by the following:

– The proposed Guest Editor’s/Editors’ involvement in the specific research field to which the special issue speaks;
– The Guest Editor’s/Editors’ experience in editing for academic publications;
– Degree of detail concerning both the aims and content of the special issue and the authors and papers to be included;
– Provision of a clear and realistic time frame, bearing in mind that:
– Usually, only one special issue is published by the Journal each year; typically the first issue in the calendar year
– The reviewing process (initial submission, review by referees, revision in light of referee comments and resubmission, and acceptance) takes at least 6 months;
– Final manuscripts (reworked after responding to referees comments and approved by the Journal Editorial Team) need to be submitted to the publisher (by the Journal Editorial Team) at least 3 months before the publication date via the Journal’s Submission Portal.

Other Requirements

International scope and content. Special issues should seek to include authors from a range of countries. As a rough guide, papers authored from within one nation should constitute no more than half of all papers (i.e. no more than 4 papers in a 7 or 8 paper issue). In addition, all papers need to speak to an international audience, even though they may speak from a particular national context. At the least, this means that national focused papers (whether the USA, the UK, Belgium, South Africa, China, etc.) need to explain local terms, practices and so on in sufficient detail for them to be understood by an international audience.
Paper originality and quality. All papers must be original work and not published elsewhere. For example, if papers from a conference are to be included in a special issue and if those papers have been published or appear on a website, the journal submissions need to be substantially reworked versions. All papers will undergo review before being accepted for publication, irrespective of invitations to contribute a paper for the special issue and irrespective of an author’s academic reputation. This includes review by a member/s of the Editorial Board. This is part of the quality assurance we provide our readers and which we explicitly state in each issue of our Journal.
Word budget and manuscript style. Individual papers need to be 6,000 – 9,000 words in length (inclusive of abstract, references, footnotes and figures / diagrams). Please see the Journal’s word limit policy here. All papers need to conform the Journal’s requirements, which can be found here. Special issues normally contain 6-8 research articles plus an editorial introduction from the Guest Editors.

Production of Special Issues
Role of Guest Editors
After receiving approval for a special issue, Guest Editors need to adhere to the following guidelines:

Time frame. The Editor In Chief and Guest Editor(s) negotiate a time frame for delivery of content. The date of final delivery is inflexible, as the Journal works to deadlines set by the publisher. Guest Editors also need to keep the Editor In Chief informed (through the Journal’s editorial assistant) about the progress of the special issue and in particular of any problems or delays that arise.
Copy to be provided. Guest Editors are required to coordinate all of the information required for publication, namely, bios, addresses, keywords and so forth as well as the main content of manuscripts. ScholarOne does this automatically when authors submit their manuscript; hence ensuring that authors submit via this system saves everyone time and work.
Adherence to Journal style and critical orientation. It is the responsibility of Guest Editors to draw the attention of contributing authors to the Journal’s style and critical orientation, as specified in the Journal’s web pages (i.e. aims and scope statement and instructions to authors), and to ensure that submitted material adheres to this style.
Length. The Journal works to strict page budgets, as outlined above. It is the responsibility of Guest Editors to coordinate individual contributions to ensure that this overall limit is not exceeded.
Review process. The default position is that the Journal’s permanent Editorial Team will handle the review process. However, Guest Editors may manage the peer review process themselves, when this is requested and when the Journal’s Editor In Chief is convinced that the Guest Editors will adhere to a strict blind peer review process in keeping with the Journal’s standards. This is to be negotiated at the outset.
– Where Guest Editors elect to manage the peer review process themselves, they will be given access to the journal’s ScholarOne site through which manuscripts are managed. In addition to reviewers assigned by the Guest Editor, the journal’s Editor-in-Chief will assign each manuscript with a reviewer/s from the Editorial Board. Guest Editors should not consult with authors about decisions on their manuscripts until the decision has been conveyed to authors through the ScholarOne system. This ensures that a high standard of peer review is maintained.
– In cases where the permanent editorial staff manage peer review, guest editors liaise with authors to ensure that initial and revised versions of manuscripts are submitted by agreed dates, in order to meet the Journal’s publishing deadline. The Guest Editor(s) are expected to provide the Editor In Chief with the names and contact details of international scholars in the relevant field who would be suitable reviewers. The Journal also draws on its own reviewers. The Editor In Chief’s judgement about the quality of the papers and whether they should be published are based upon these reviews, including reviews provided by the Editorial Board. Authors are of course provided with an opportunity to revise their work in light of reviews and the Guest Editor(s) need to liaise with authors to address any concerns.
Instructions for Authors. All manuscripts are to be submitted via the Journal’s Submission Portal. Specific instructions for authors preparing individual manuscripts for submission to CSE can be found here. These should be taken into account when preparing a proposal for a special issue and, if accepted, when working with authors to prepare their manuscripts for inclusion in the special issue.

Note that the decision to publish all or any part of a special issue remains at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief.

For further information or to submit a proposal, please contact:
Dr Stephen Parker
Managing Editor
Critical Studies in Education
[email protected]

Useful links:
Aims and scope:
Online submissions: RCSE Portal