Japanese Language and Literature: How to Propose a Special Section

Occasionally a section of JLL is dedicated to a set of manuscripts on a special topic and edited by a guest editor. A group that wishes to propose a special section should do the following.

Decide who will serve as the guest editor in your group. Let Coordinating Editor Hiroshi Nara know who that is along with the person’s contact information.

The guest editor should write a short (2-3 pages) proposal for the special section and send it to Hiroshi Nara with a copy to Literature Editor (Rebecca Copeland) or Language and Linguistics Editor (Sachiko Matsunaga) as appropriate. The proposal will be circulated among the editors of the Journal to evaluate its suitability. This proposal should contain information on each of the following items:

  • Content/scholarly description of the special section. Theme? Relevance and timeliness to the field?
  • Names and affiliations of proposed contributors.
  • Topics/tentative titles on which each of the contributors will be writing. In addition, a short, two- or three-sentence description of each article is requested.
  • Approximate number of articles and the length of the special section, including bibliographies and other materials. (Try to keep the length under 150 journal pages or approximately 61,000 words).
  • Timeframe. When (more or less) will the contributions be ready for submission to the journal? The guest editor should allow time for steps (b) and (c) in 1 below. The preparation time on your end may be anywhere from 6 months to 12 months.
  • Special requirements the journal should be aware of, such as photographs (size and number) or other artwork.

As soon the proposal is received, it will be circulated among the editors. We will do our best to respond to the proposal in a timely manner about whether or not the proposal is accepted and, if yes, when the section might be scheduled.

Please note the following:

  1. The guest editor will be expected to (a) serve as the main pipeline between the journal editors and the contributors of the special issue, (b) have the authors make necessary changes in response to the feedback from reviewers (who will read the section manuscript in response to a request from the literature or linguistics editor), if contributions are accepted for publication, (c) copyedit the accepted contributions and make them conform to the JLL style, and (d) send the Coordinating Editor the copyedited manuscript with any other ancillary materials, such as photographs, digital files, artwork, etc. Once the Coordinating Editor has approved the section, it will be prepared for print.

  2. If the guest editor is a non-native speaker/writer of English, the journal expects the guest editor to consult a copyeditor who is a native speaker/writer of English to make sure that the contributions are error-free.

  3. In the past, the journal has issued only one special section per year, and this publication schedule is likely to be maintained.

  4. It is likely that more than one group will be working on special sections at any given time. Under these circumstances, the editors will not be able to schedule your special section until all the materials for your section have been submitted to the journal. When all of your materials are in, the editors can evaluate the timing of your section vis-à-vis any other special sections in progress and/or articles that have already been accepted at that point. We would be happy to receive the completed manuscript at any time you are ready, but we would like to abide by the following internal deadlines—August 31 for Fall issues and February 28 for Spring issues. Please try to stay flexible about the timing of the publication. We cannot guarantee that your special section will be published in the fall, for example, even if you meet the August deadline, if the fall issue is very much set by the time you submit it. Your special section will be published in the next available spot.