Submitting a Special Issue to Isogloss

Guidelines for submitting a Special Issue to Isogloss

If you wish to publish a special issue (SI) with Isogloss, here are the steps you need to take and some FAQ.

Before you start

First, make sure that the SI conforms with the Focus and Scope of Isogloss. If you wish to publish a SI on anthropological linguistics of a tribe in the Amazon, Isogloss is not the right place for your SI. You can check our Focus and Scope here:

A SI needs to have internal coherence, and must be approved by Isogloss before the call is open.

What you need to know about Isogloss

Isogloss has a very specific publication policy, with a quick turnover of papers, as well as no Rewrite & Resubmit. For this to happen, we need each paper to be reviewed by 3 reviewers. On the basis of these reviews, the editor decides whether the paper can be published, even with some revisions, or cannot get to the required level even with some revisions. In that case, it’s a reject. More information can be found here:

If the article is accepted with (minor) revisions, the author can send back the revised version, which will not be sent back to the reviewers for a 2nd round of reviews. This means that the editors will have the task to check that all the required changes have been implemented.

Responsibility of the guest editors

Isogloss does not have typesetters and editorial assistants, and is not financed by anyone (it is hosted by the UAB, which offers us the IT support). All the work falls on the editors, which means that also the SI editors have the responsibility to check that the papers are well written, that they conform to the formatting requirements, etc. This is not particularly difficult: we have a template and some guidelines (

The editors will need to check that the authors follow them, though. Yes, this is a little more work than usual. But yes, this will amount to a greater impact (because the articles are in full Open Access and more people will read them) and will grant anyone the possibility to publish with Isogloss without paying a penny.

What you need to submit

Please submit a Special Issue proposal, including the general description of the topic and the list of articles to be included in the issue. Please highlight the internal coherence of the articles.

Please bear in mind that it’s not possible to hold a call for papers through Isogloss: the papers need to be preselected by the editors.


From the time of submission to the time of publication there shouldn’t be more than 8 months. The typical turnover is: submission, assignment of reviewers within 1 week, waiting for the reviewers’ response (1 week), looking for more reviewers/etc. > reviewers have 2 months to write their reviews (they usually ask for extensions, that’s ok, but remember that the review form is very short); then the editors decide what to do with the articles. If they are accepted with revisions, the author should take max 2 months to send back the paper with the changes. The editors need to check that the paper has reached the level requested. If it has: the editors check that the authors have formatted the paper properly and send it to production (and email Roberta). If it isn’t: it’s a reject. Note that there is no typesetting, so the authors do not receive the proofs or anything the like. The version they send is the version that gets published (minor errors can be amended).

This all amounts to 6-8 months maximum. If you are not prepared to work according to this schedule, please do not submit your request. Authors have complained in the past because some SI have been particularly slow and not respecting the Isogloss policy, therefore we decided that SIs will need to follow the same policy as the host journal.

Here are some FAQ. If you can’t find the answer you are looking for, just send an email to Roberta D’Alessandro and/or to

If you've checked all this and you still think you wish to submit a SI to Isogloss, please send a brief description of the issue (topic, relevance) and a tentative TOC to or to Roberta D’Alessandro, and we’ll be in touch for the next steps.


What is an appropriate number of papers (and approximate number of pages per paper) for a SI?

The editors decide that. We do not have a word limit because there is no paper version of the volume. However, as you read above, we do not have editorial assistants, copyeditors, proof-readers, etc. We have some volunteers who help out now and then, and you can ask us for help, but the volume editors need to take care of everything (which means that you’ll need to read the papers, make sure that they are formatted properly, if not send them back to the authors etc).

Now, we have a template and we don’t require native-speaker English, but the papers need to be readable. Also, despite the fact that there are very few guidelines, authors tend to not follow them :) so editors have to do some extra work and get acquainted with them, and then checking whether the authors respected them.

This means that if you have 80-page long papers, you’ll have a lot more work.

Submissions that can be handled easily are between 20 and 35 pages (depending on whether there are maps, trees, figures, etc). But the editors decide.

What are the expected deadlines for publication?

See above.  

Notice that articles can be put online right away, as soon as they are ready. If an article is ready you don’t need to wait for the whole volume to be ready to publish it. The issue can go online when the first article (and the Intro) are ready. The partial publication of one Special Issue doesn’t block the publication of another. All SIs can be published when they’re ready, independently of other SIs. However, it is good if all the articles of a SI appear within the same year (so that the SI can have a clear year of publication).

How does selection work? Can we invite contributions?

This is entirely up to the guest editors. What matters to Isogloss is that every paper undergoes peer review according to the guidelines above. If you invite a contributor they should know that they article can still be rejected. You can also have keynote articles.

Can we publish conference proceedings?

Isogloss does not publish conference proceedings, but selected papers from conferences and workshops are fine.

So what do I need to do in practice if I want to submit a SI?

Send a brief description of the issue (topic, relevance) and send a tentative TOC to or to Roberta D’Alessandro, and we’ll be in touch for the next steps.