Journal of Development Studies Call for Special Issue Proposals

Journal of Development Studies

The Journal of Development Studies (JDS) invites the submission of proposals for Special Issues (SIs), which normally comprise 8-10 papers of no more than 9000 words, including an Introduction. Proposals are considered by all five Managing co-Editors (MEs) who form a judgement on whether the proposal is suitable to proceed to invite submission of the papers for review. Proposals are considered three times a year: 01 February, 01 June and 01 October. Proposals received by these deadlines are evaluated together; although there is no explicit limit on the number of SIs that would be accepted for review, the Journal does not expect to publish more than two SIs each year.

Proposals are submitted by the Guest Editor(s) (GE) and should provide sufficient information to allow the MEs to form a judgement on what the SI would look like and the substance of the contribution. The GE(s) would set out the reasons for the specific SI, and how and why each of the submitted papers contributes (this may be a draft of the Introduction the GE(s) would write if the SI is accepted, but does not require detail on the individual papers). Extended abstracts of 500-1000 words should be provided for each paper. These would include: a summary of the issue and context (i.e. what literature is being addressed), the methods applied and, where relevant, data (with sufficient detail on both for quantitative papers to show that technical issues are addressed), and the value of the contribution (what is new and why is it of interest).

If the proposal is accepted for review, all of the papers are sent to referees using the normal JDS process, and a ME is appointed to oversee the review process for the SI. GE(s) are invited to submit a list of potential reviewers for each paper, although decision as to reviewers lies with the ME who may choose other reviewers. GE(s) are also expected to have provided editorial guidance before first submission of each article, and to monitor authors’ responses to reviewers before revised papers are submitted to JDS. The ME has the final decision on revisions and acceptance, subject to the usual JDS procedures. Often, a number of the papers are rejected so some SI proposals end up as a Special Section of 4-6 papers.

JDS is interested in papers with clear implications for, and analysis of, low and middle income developing countries. Typically, all papers would be original research contributions. If appropriate, one paper could be a significant literature review but more commonly a brief ‘scene setting’ literature review is incorporated in the Introduction by the GE(s). It should also be noted that JDS accepts about ten per cent of all submissions so each paper must be of high quality and stand on its own merit for acceptance.

Submission Instructions

Proposals should be submitted via email to