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Journal of Social Issues

Note: Journal of Social Issues does not publish unsolicited manuscripts or book reviews.

Information and Guidelines for Issue Editors


Over its long history, JSI has covered a wide range of pressing social issues concerning education, health, intergroup relations, politics, poverty, religion, technology, and the workplace. Articles included in each JSI issue collectively address relevant theoretical, empirical, and policy considerations. JSI issues showcase international research from scholars (including early career scholars) from a variety of relevant fields.

Each issue of JSI is organized around one theme or topic. Issue editors, who are experts on the topic, plan and develop each issue.

As outlined below, Issue Editors may proceed in one of two ways: They may begin by requesting approval of a Call for Papers from the JSI Editor and then submit a formal proposal based on responses to that Call or they may begin by submitting a formal proposal to the JSI Editor. In either case, if the Editor invites submission of full manuscripts, the Issue Editors oversee extensive reviews and revisions of all manuscripts proposed for their issue. The Issue Editors then submit the complete set of manuscripts to the JSI Editor for final review. The Issue Editors oversee any further manuscript revisions that may be required by the JSI Editor.  

The JSI Editor and members of the Editorial Board review every proposal and, if approved, make recommendations for developing the proposal. The JSI Editor and Editorial Board also review the complete set of articles that is submitted by the Issue Editors. The JSI Editor and Editorial Board must approve every article. Issue Editors and proposed author contributors must be aware that individual articles may be rejected at any stage of the review process.

Important Considerations and Suggestions in Developing a JSI issue

There are typically two or three Issue Editors. Early career scholars are encouraged to participate as editors, ideally with at least one scholar who has editorial experience.

JSI issues typically include 9-10 papers. Each issue begins with an introductory article written by (all or some of) the Issue Editors in which they provide an overview of the issue and a clear and convincing rationale for the subsections (typically there are three) they chose to include in the issue. The subsections of the issue are expected to reflect important aspects or components of the topic. The issues typically end with a concluding article that evaluates and extends the themes that have emerged throughout the issue. Neither an introductory nor a concluding article is required; however, if included, they must be substantive pieces (as opposed to cursory overviews) that make substantial contributions to the literature. In lieu of a full introductory article, issue editors may provide a brief introduction to the issue that provides an overview of the articles.

Each article should provide its own theoretical perspective and research findings supporting that theoretical perspective; they must also include some discussion of the implications of the research for social policy, the social issue, or both. Social policy implications may also be addressed more extensively in one paper dedicated to policy issues (sometimes appearing as the final paper in the issue). 

Not all articles must contain numerical data or employ experimental or survey methods. But, in general, the majority of articles should be empirical. Reviews of research literature and intensive analyses of illustrative cases can be considered empirical. Both quantitative and qualitative papers should include detailed Method and Results sections. Qualitative research should include percentages or other appropriate statistics.

JSI issues should reflect a diversity of conceptual approaches to the topics they address. Authors should come from different institutions. No more than three contributors (first authors) should come from a single institution, and no author's name should appear on more than two contributions.

JSI has an interdisciplinary readership; papers should be written for scholars from a variety of disciplines. Background citations are important so that interested readers can find further information.  

Manuscripts need to be submitted using current APA (American Psychological Association) format. Each manuscript should be double-spaced (12-point font, 1” margins) and include an abstract, references, tables, figures, and a one-paragraph biography of each contributing author. Reference sections for papers published in 2010 and after should include digital object identifiers (DOI).

Informal inquiries, proposals, and all subsequent correspondence should be sent to

Developing a JSI Issue

1. Call for Papers (Optional)

Issue Editors may choose to invite known experts in the field as well as disseminate a Call for Papers to identify additional authors. Issue Editors should submit to the JSI Editor a draft of the Call for Papers that includes a vision statement and a request that potential authors submit titles, detailed abstracts of 3-6 pages, and short biographies (limited to half a page) by an appropriate deadline. 

The Call for Papers will be approved if the topic is deemed to represent an important and timely topic of considerable interest to the JSI readership. The JSI Editor and Editorial Board may provide content suggestions and suggestions for contributors. Approved Calls for Papers should be disseminated via relevant listservs, including the SPSSI listserv.

The Issue Editors review responses to their Call for Papers and select those they wish to include in their JSI issue. They then submit a formal proposal to the JSI Editor. (See section 2. Formal Proposal).

Approval of the Call for Papers does not guarantee approval of formal proposals.

2. Formal Proposal (Required)

Issue Editors prepare and submit a formal proposal to the JSI Editor. The primary evaluation of the merits of a proposal occurs at this stage. 

A formal proposal should include (1) a high quality draft of the Issue Editors' introduction, which may be a brief overview of the issue or a paper that itself makes a significant contribution to the literature, including the objectives of the issue, the approach to be taken, and a review of previous research regarding the social issue; (2) a proposed table of contents broken down by sections and a listing of titles, authors, and the estimated length of each proposed manuscript within each section; (3) a detailed abstract of 3-6 pages for each proposed contribution followed by a short biography (limited to half a page) of each author; (4) a timeline for development of the issue, indicating the stage of development of the material underlying each article and its expected completion date. 

The detailed abstracts should describe the theoretical underpinnings of the work and the methodological approach taken. For empirical articles, the abstract should include descriptions of the sample, statistical power, methodological and statistical approaches, and primary findings. For review articles, the abstract should include descriptions of the means by which the work reviewed was chosen (e.g., selective, supportive, exhaustive, etc.) and primary conclusions.

The JSI Editor and Editorial Board typically raise issues and provide suggestions. They may also recommend that particular papers be dropped or that additional contributors be sought. Issue Editors may receive substantial feedback that requires several rounds of revisions of the formal proposal. Some formal proposals may not be approved.  

Approval of the formal proposal by the JSI Editor does not guarantee that JSI will publish every paper ultimately submitted by the Issue Editors. The JSI Editor, Editorial Board, and ad hoc reviewers will review the finished manuscripts. A paper, or even the issue as a whole, might not be acceptable in its final form. Thus, approval of the formal proposal is not a contractual commitment. The Issue Editor(s) should have the same understanding with the potential contributors. 

3. After the Formal Proposal is Approved

The Issue Editors solicit full-length manuscripts from authors guided by the results of the review of the formal proposal.

Authors send copies of their full manuscripts to the issue editors. The manuscript should be in APA format and include an abstract of 150 words or fewer as well as a one-paragraph biography of each author.

The Issue Editors review manuscripts with the help of additional reviewers, including other contributors to the issue. Authors respond to the Issue Editors' recommended changes and send modified manuscripts back to the Issue Editors, with a cover letter outlining revisions that have been made. This process is repeated until the Issue Editors consider the manuscript ready for publication.

The Issue Editors send the full manuscripts that they have deemed ready for publication and a table of contents to the JSI Editor. Sometimes, the introductory and concluding pieces are submitted at a later time.

The JSI Editor sends the manuscripts to the JSI Editorial Board and outside reviewers. The JSI Editor then compiles the reviewers' comments and her or his own review and sends them to the Issue Editors. Revisions may be minor and stylistic or major and substantive; there may be a recommendation that a particular article be dropped.

The Issue Editors consider the suggested revisions and comments and discuss them with the JSI Editor. Once the JSI Editor and Issue Editors have agreed on the needed changes, the Issue Editors send comments back to the authors.

Authors revise in response to comments and suggestions and return modified manuscripts to Issue Editors, with a cover letter outlining revisions that have been made.

The Issue Editors review the authors' responses and recommend final edits to the manuscripts as needed. When completed, the Issue Editors send the modified manuscripts to the JSI Editor in electronic form, along with the author cover letters.

The JSI Editor does a final check of each manuscript. Occasionally, some final revisions are required at this point.

4. Final Processing of Manuscripts

All manuscripts are sent to the publisher for copy editing. Each manuscript should include an abstract of 150 words or fewer and a brief, one-paragraph biography of each author.

Full contact information for each contributing author must be sent to the Issue Editors who will compile contact information for the entire issue and send to the JSI Editor. Copyright forms must be signed by the first author of each article. 

The publisher sends page proofs to the first author of each individual article; the publisher also sends a complete set of proofs for the entire issue to the Issue Editors and to the JSI Editor.

The Issue Editors check the entire set of proofs and return the corrected proofs to the publisher.

The publisher finishes the issue and mails it to subscribers.