Special Issue Policies

The Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship invites editorial teams to submit proposals for special issues. Special issues serve as topical or thematic explorations into areas that advance the field of community engagement scholarship. Each year, JCES will publish no more than one special issue. Special issue proposals should not be in consideration at any other journal. Questions should be directed to Dr. Rhoda Reddix (Rhoda.Reddix@franu.edu), the JCES Associate Editor for Special Issues.

Requirements and Expectations:

  • All special issues published in the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship will be published online through the JCES Digital Commons platform. Special issues will comply with the JCES commitment to Open Access, and will be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
  • Each special issue should have at minimum two guest editors, who should each have demonstrated expertise in community engagement and/or the topic of the special issue. Dr. Rhoda Reddix, the Associate Editor for Special Issues, should be notified of any changes to the guest editorial team immediately. Guest editors should provide regular updates to the Associate Editor for Special Issues; a lack of communication from the guest editors may lead to the delay or cancellation of a proposed special issue.
  • In most cases, special issues should include at least five and no more than 10 substantive articles. These articles should be consistent with the JCES submission guidelines and align with the current JCES manuscript categories: Regular Manuscripts, Research from the Field, Community Perspectives, Student Voices, and Book Reviews.
  • The manuscript solicitation and selection process for special issues will occur in two stages. First, the guest editors will develop and release a call for article proposals that includes an overview of the special issue, a general timeline, and the criteria that will be used for the selection of articles.[1] Potential authors will first be asked to submit an abstract that details the purpose of their article, its fit within the topic of the special issue, and the background of the authors. The guest editors will evaluate the abstracts in collaboration with the Associate Editor for Special Issues, and invite authors to submit full articles for peer review. The guest editors will identify at least two appropriate peer reviewers per article. The article submission and peer review process will be managed through the existing JCES Digital Commons platform (guest editors may request a tutorial of they would like). Based solely on the merit of the articles, guest editors will recommend final publication decisions to the Associate Editor for Special Issues. The JCES Leadership Team reserves the right to deny publication of articles that do not meet the JCES standards of quality.
  • Please note that if guest editors are planning to submit articles for the special issue, they should have a plan for maintaining the double blind peer review process. In addition, the guest editorial team will be expected to provide a “From the Editor” letter providing an appropriate overview and introduction to the special issue. Other than setting the stage for the special issue, there is no specific template with which these editorials should align.
  • Potential guest editors should submit their special issue proposals by email to Dr. Rhoda Reddix (Reddix@franu.edu). Special issue proposals will be evaluated by the full JCES Editorial Board. Please also note that acceptance of a proposal does not necessarily mean acceptance of the issue and its contents. Led by the Associate Editor for Special Issues, the JCES Leadership Team will approve completed special issues prior to publication.
  • To submit a proposal for a special issue, potential guest editors should be prepared to include the following information:
    • Detailed description of the proposed special issue (750 words max). The proposal should include how the special issue will advance the field of community engagement and scholarship. In addition, special issue proposals should demonstrate a clear connection to the JCES mission and a plan for including community voice.
    • Guest editorial team. Special issues will have a minimum of two guest editors. Please include a brief biography of each guest editor that identifies their expertise and qualifications to serve as a guest editor.
    • Proposed timeline. Guest editors should be aware that the entire process for publishing a special issue could take as long as 18 months. A detailed timeline will be discussed with the Associate Editor for Special Issues once the proposal is accepted, but the guest editors should provide a general timetable for the issue. Please note that guest editors should expect a decision on their proposal in approximately three weeks.
    • Solicitation plan. Guest editors should provide a plan for how they intend to solicit abstract submissions for the special issue.
    • Proposed authors and topics (optional). If the guest editors have already identified possible authors and/or topics that they believe would align with the purpose of the proposed special issue, they are welcome to submit that information.

[1] The criteria to invite full submissions and inclusion in the final special issue will be left primarily to the discretion of the guest editors. At minimum, guest editors should establish clear guidelines for how they will determine the degree to which submissions align with the theme and goals of the special issue.