Writing a Proposal for a Special Section Of Sociological Research Online

Guidance for prospective guest-editors

Sociological Research Online welcomes proposals for special sections from prospective guest-editors. Special sections typically appear after the general articles in an issue and focus on a specific issue of sociological interest.

This document provides guidance about what to include in your proposal. Once it is complete, you should send it as an email attachment to both of the current editors: Charlie Walker and Steven Roberts

Focus and rationale

Please describe clearly the focus of your proposed special section and the reasons why you think it is particularly timely, relevant etc. If the papers were originally presented at a specific conference, seminar or other event, you should provide details of this. You should also identify which parts of the sociological community you expect to be interested in your special section.

We are particularly keen to encourage special sections which have relevance beyond the UK. If there is an international dimension to your proposed special section, this should be indicated.

Proposed content

You will need to provide details about all the articles you intend to include in your special section (subject to satisfactory referee reports). For each proposed article, we require: the title, the name and institutional affiliation of the author, and an abstract (of around 500 words).

We can accept a maximum of six articles in each special section. We place emphasis on the quality of the articles, not the quantity.

Reviewing process

Your proposal should explain clearly how you anticipate reviewing the articles that are submitted for your special section, including how you will recruit your referees. Please note that Sociological Research Online requires three reviewers (excluding the guest editor(s)) for each paper. All reviews should be completed 'blind' and guest editors are expected to reject any articles that are deemed by referees not to be suitable for publication.

Guest-editors are required to make use of the web-based 'Epress' system to manage the reviewing process themselves. Information about this system will be provided.

Time schedule

You should provide approximate dates to indicate (i) when you expect full versions of the articles to be ready; (ii) the time that will be spent on the reviewing process; and (iii) when you expect final versions of the articles to be ready.


To increase the visibility of special sections, all guest editors are required to write a short piece (up to 2000 words) about their special section, to be posted on the SRO blog. This should be written in clear language for a general (non-academic) audience. You will need to submit this at the same time as the final versions of the papers.

Previous editorial experience

If you have had previous experience of editing special issues of journals, this should be indicated in your proposal. Please also highlight any other editorial experience you have had (e.g. of books).

The Editors, 2016