Policy Press

Global Social Challenges Journal - Guidelines for Special Collections

This journal seeks to address global social challenges by publishing scholarship within, across, and beyond disciplines in order to inform research, education, policy, and practice. Toward that end, we welcome submissions for Special Collections bringing together a set of original articles that reframe or develop knowledge on a topic relevant to aims, scope, themes and readership of the Global Social Challenges Journal (GSCJ). A Special Collection should integrate individual articles around a common theme, advance debate and/or practice in a particular area, make a significant and lasting contribution, and ideally be relevant across disciplines and fields.

How to present a Special Collection proposal for the GSCJ

A Special Collection proposal must include the following information:

    1. Title: It should clearly reflect the topic, pertinent field, and content of a proposed set of articles.
    2. Details of Editor(s): They should include contact information, institutional affiliations, and a short academic profile of up to 150 words for the Guest Editor(s). We generally recommend that there are at least two Guest Editors to provide different perspectives and to share the workload. 
    3. Description: In no more than 500 words, the overview should outline the focus of the proposed Special Collection, how its proposed content engages the aims, scope and themes of the journal, and the contribution it will make to addressing complexities of global social challenges. The description should also include 3-4 key points summarising the main content and contribution.
    4. Contents: This page should set out the structure of the Special Collection, listing titles and authors of each proposed article and stating clearly whether named contributors are already confirmed or are speculative. A Collection should contain a minimum of four and a maximum of twelve articles, with a range of possible contributions across the formats offered by the journal, including research articles (up to 8500 words), policy and practice, provocations, debates (all up to 3500 words).
    5. Article abstracts: The proposal should include a 150-word abstract for each planned article.
    6. Timetable: Please include an approximate timeline that would follow from acceptance of the proposal to submission (including milestone dates for review, revision and submission as needed, and copy-editing and proof stages). 
    7. Dissemination and Impact: Indicate how you intend to promote and disseminate information about the Special Collection e.g., listservs, conferences and other events, blogs, and social media). Useful tips are available at <https://bristoluniversitypress.co.uk/journals/author-toolkit/maximise-your-impact>.

Proposals should be emailed to the Managing Editor at info@globalsocialchallenges.com.

How will proposals be assessed?

The Co Editors-in-Chief of the GSCJ, supported by the Managing Editor, will review all proposals then make decisions based on the following criteria:  

      1. Significance, contribution, originality and rigour

Assessment questions might include:

        • Does the collection make a significant and lasting original contribution to addressing complexities of one or more global social challenges?
        • Will it reframe or develop knowledge on a topic relevant to aims, scope and readership of the GSCJ, with relevance across disciplines and fields?
        • Will it help set an agenda for future debates on the topic, or open up new avenues of enquiry?
        • Is the quality likely to be consistently high across the Collection?
        • Does the proposal make use of the range of formats we encourage in the GSCJ? 

      1. Profile of contributors

The Global Social Challenges Journal is committed to supporting scholars from all backgrounds, disciplines, fields, and parts of the world. Proposals which include a mix of established and emerging scholars, new and marginalised voices, and perspectives from multiple regions of the world are especially welcome in keeping with criteria of quality for publication.

      1. Global appeal

We welcome international contributions, engaging with global social challenges from both specific countries and regions as well as the worldwide scope of a particular topic.

      1. Editorial leadership

Assessment questions might include:

        • Does the proposed Editor (or Editorial Team) have experience overseeing individual articles and collections of them?
        • Do[es] s/he/they have a track record of involvement in the topic and field?
        • Is the timetable realistic?
        • Do[es] s/he/they intend to play a proactive role in steering and managing development of the Special Collection, and if so how?
        • Does s/he (or they) have time and capacity to dedicate the required level of attention to this project? 


The editorial process 

If a proposal is accepted, the Collection’s Editor(s), one of the GSCJ’s Co Editors-in-Chief and Managing Editor will establish an agreed-upon timeline.The Guest Editor(s) will normally manage the process of: 

        • Commissioning and desk reviewing possible articles;
        • Identifying external reviewers and sending submissions for anonymous peer review by two qualified experts making interim publishing recommendations in consultation with one of GSCJ’s Co Editors-in-Chief and the Managing Editor, using the journal’s Editorial Manager system (for which training will be available);.
        • Communicating external reviewers’ comments to authors;
        • Deciding whether revisions need to be reviewed again;
        • Making a provisional decision to accept or reject submissions in consultation with the Co Editors-in-Chief.

One of the GSCJ’s Co Editors-in-Chief and Managing Editor will work closely with the Guest Editor/s in a supportive manner. The Co Editors-in-Chief will aim to publish the Special Collection according to the original agreed timeline, but proposers should note, and inform all potential contributors, that final decisions rest with the Co Editors-in-Chief, and they may decide to:

        • Reject individual submissions that do not achieve quality standards of the journal;
        • Present proposed articles meeting quality standards as contributions to regular journal issues if a critical mass is not reached for a Special Collection;
        • Determine that no submissions meet the quality standards of the journal.