Sussex Centre for Migration Research

Guidelines for Special Issue Proposals

JEMS has  regular calls for Special Issues. The next deadline by which proposals should be sent to the JEMS Editorial team by email at will be June 30th, 2022


The Editorial team will consider the pool of Special Issue proposals received by this deadline and select those they consider to be of the highest quality. Selection will be based on which proposals in their judgement have most potential considering:
- the “idea” for advancing a specific research field that brings a collection together
- the quality of the individual papers
- the proposed Special Issue’s degree of coherence as a collection
- the potential for the proposed Special Issue to deliver on promises to be an original creative contribution that advances knowledge in a field.
We welcome proposals by scholars from the Global South.

Proposals should be a maximum of 4,000 words long in total and include the following:
• Full contact details and a short biography of the Guest Editor(s).
• A proposed title for the Special Issue.
• A rationale for the core “idea” behind the Special Issue. This should address the theoretical and substantive empirical contribution of a Special Issue, the basis for its claim to originality, its relationship to existing literature and how it will advance knowledge, and its importance to the interdisciplinary field of ethnic and migration studies.  As a general guideline, the rationale should be set out in about 1,000 words.
• A list of contributors, with institutional affiliations, and a quick note confirming they have committed to the Issue.
• Titles and a couple of lines on each paper.
• Details on the origin of the proposal, e.g., a workshop, conference, research project, research network. Individual contributions will usually have been, or be due to be discussed with a forum, e.g., workshop or conference session.
• The stage of development of the proposed issue, including clear milestones for its completion. In particular please specify proposed deadlines for
o Submission of first drafts by individual authors to Guest Editors
o Submission of revised papers to Guest Editors following one external review per paper
o Submission of the draft Special Issue to the Editorial team for collective external review by JEMS prior to final decision. Please note we expect formal submission of the draft within two years of acceptance.

Review Procedure for Special Issues

Once a proposal has been accepted, Guest Editors are responsible for liaising with their authors and the JEMS editorial team throughout the process of paper submission and review.  We encourage Guest Editors to ensure that as far as possible, the milestones for submission and re-submission of papers put forward in the original proposal are followed, although we recognise that some delays may be unavoidable. We expect the draft of a Special Issue to be submitted to JEMS within two years of acceptance, though circumstances that may require extensions can be discussed with the Editor-in-Chief Prof. Paul Statham (, where possible well in advance. After acceptance of a Special Issue, the SI remains exclusive to JEMS until a decision on publication is made.
In the first instance, Guest Editors should contact their authors to ask them to submit their articles. Once they have received an article, the Guest Editors select one external anonymous reviewer for each paper, sending reviewers the Special Issue proposal, a standardised review form that can provided by the JEMS editorial team, and an anonymised version of the paper. Having received the comments from reviewers, Guest Editors should liaise with authors and make recommendations with regard to any revisions to be implemented, including those recommended by the external reviewer. Authors then resubmit their revised version to the Guest Editors with a note documenting the changes that have been made in responses to requested changes. In the meantime, the Guest Editors will write their original article-length agenda-setting introduction. They are welcome to gain feedback from colleagues on this if they wish to, but this is not a requirement, as the introduction is a core focus of the external anonymous review that is commissioned by JEMS. Please note that as a minimum benchmark to ensure coherence across the Special Issue, we require the introduction to cite all contributions, and each contribution to cite the introduction, and where possible other contributions.   
Once all revised papers have been received by the Guest Editors, and they are satisfied with the contributions, they should send the entire collection of revised articles, and introduction, as well as the external reviews and author response letters to the JEMS Editorial team at in electronic form (Word).

As long as the collection is submitted to the JEMS team no more than two years following acceptance of the proposal (expect with prior agreement), the Editorial team will then send the whole issue out to an external reviewer for a collective review. This will include an assessment of the coherence and integrity of the collection as a Special Issue and a focus on the contribution of the introduction to advancing the field and specifying the contribution of the collection. Our reviewer provides an evaluation to the Editorial team who will then report back to the Guest Editors with a view on the collection. Guest Editors will address any comments arising at this stage, before the Editorial team makes a final decision with regard to publication.