Thematic sections

Island Studies Journal (ISJ) publishes topically focused special thematic sections alongside its collection of standard research papers. Papers appearing in thematic sections are subject to the same high standards of double blind peer review as are standard research papers.

Proposing a thematic section

In order to propose a thematic section of ISJ, please contact the editor-in-chief Adam Grydehøj  ( 

Here are a number of general guidelines on proposing and guest editing thematic sections. Please bear these in mind when considering whether to make a proposal. Some of these items may be negotiatable with the editor-in-chief.

1) ISJ publishes 'thematic sections' rather than 'special issues'. A thematic section requires a minimum of three manuscripts accepted for publication in time for the designated journal issue. There is no maximum number of papers. In the event that too few papers have been accepted, we may wish to publish those papers that have been accepted separately, as standard research papers. Papers that are accepted earlier than the thematic section publication date may be published in advance, ahead of print.  

2) Thematic sections require substantial lead time. When consider your proposed publication dates, bear in mind that ISJ publishes issues in May and November and consider the following deadlines: 

  • Deadline for receiving proposal and draft call for papers: 22 months prior to publication date.
  • Deadline for submission of papers to guest editors: This is up to the guest editors themselves. It is this date that will be listed in the call for papers.
  • Deadline for paper submission to ISJ: 12 months prior to publication date. Note that this is the deadline. If you want to increase the chances of papers being published on time, it makes sense for individual authors to submit papers as soon as they complete, rather than waiting for the deadline.
  • Deadline for paper acceptance in order to published in thematic section: 2 months prior to publication date.

3) All submitted manuscripts must engage with islands and/or island life in a way that foregrounds their island character. This is the research focus of ISJ (as set forth here: It will be necessary for guest editors to emphasise this to potential authors. It is also necessary for these papers to engage with the existing research from island studies. 

4) All manuscripts submitted to the editor-in-chief must conform to ISJ's style guide: Otherwise, they will be rejected from consideration even before going out to peer review.

5) Guest editors will undertake a guest editorial review of submitted papers, suggesting revisions and rejecting papers where necessary before asking selected authors to formally submit their papers, following the instructions here: Guest editors should only ask authors to submit papers if they feel the papers have a good chance of passing rigorous peer review. Guest editors are asked to request authors submit each relevant paper to the ISJ as soon as it is available, rather than waiting until all papers have been collected. Guest editors should also ensure that authors understand that their papers will be peer reviewed and that there is no guarantee of publication.

6) ISJ does not charge submission fees or publication fees, but we appreciate guest editors' help with urging their authors to make a donation to the journal: 

7) ISJ only allows thematic sections with open calls for papers. You can see examples of existing special section calls for papers on the ISJ website: If you are interested in moving forward with a thematic section in ISJ, the next step would be for you to write a call for papers along these lines and then send it to the editor-in-chief prior to the call for papers draft deadline (22 months prior to publication date). Your call for papers should also be accompanied by a document containing 5-12 abstracts contributed by interested authors. Eventual publication of the thematic section will not be dependent upon all of the papers connected with these abstracts being submitted, and it is expected that some papers not included among the abstracts will eventually be submitted. However, a collection of high-quality abstracts from a suitably diverse range of regions and perspectives (depending on the theme in question) will be regarded as indicative that the thematic section will have good chances of success.

8) ISJ is committed to research excellence: The decision of the editor-in-chief on all matters is final.