Guide for Editors

Dear Editors,

Thank you for considering guest-editing a collection of Roadsides. The following Guide for Editors will help you understand the application and publication processes.

The Roadsides Editorial Board takes decisions on guest collections. The proposed theme must receive initial approval from the Editorial Board before a CfP can be published. Decisions on upcoming issues are made during the annual board meeting in early December. Please pay attention to the submission and publication timelines, which both require a long lead-in. During the December meeting, we decide which edited collections will be published not in the following year, but the year after – i.e. seventeen months later at the very earliest.

There is an annual deadline for the submission of issue proposals. Guest editors are requested to submit their proposals by 15 November at the latest. Proposals should be sent by email to the Managing Editor (agnieszka.joniak@unifr.ch) and the Editorial Assistant (charlotte.huber@roadsides.net). They must include the following:

(1) title of the proposed special issue;

(2) a 2–3 page outline of the issue’s conceptual contribution to infrastructure studies and its significance – please also situate the planned issue within the current publishing landscape;

(3) CV of the proposed guest editor(s);

(4) a timeline for submission;

(5) a list of any proposed contributors already assembled and their affiliations (this does not apply to articles that will be solicited through the CfP). We also need a detailed description of the formats that the contributing authors intend to use (visual, audiovisual, etc.), as well as abstracts of all planned submissions articulating their engagement with the issue’s theme. You may solicit contributions via the CfP exclusively, or you could curate a combination of already-proposed contributions alongside those submitted via CfP. Please note that the invitation to submit an essay to a special issue does not guarantee its publication. Each potential contribution will be reviewed individually, in accordance with the review guidelines. All articles undergo a double-‘open’ peer review.

For the editors of accepted proposals

Please read this guide carefully and clarify any questions with the Managing Editor before you start. An Excel spreadsheet, stored in the Roadsides cloud-drive folder, will guide you through the editorial process.

It is useful to be aware that:

    1. Roadsides is published biannually, in April and November. Please begin early when soliciting potential contributors. We publish a CfP on the Roadsides website six months before the issue’s publication date – i.e. in early May for the fall issue, and in early October for the spring issue. The length of text for this is max. 200 words. Please find an image that can be used as a teaser for the CfP and as the cover for the issue (you must clarify copyright for this image). Each CfP will be open for up to three weeks.
    2. Please send the Guide for Authors (https://roadsides.net/guide-for-authors) to all provisionally accepted contributors. Provide a few links to earlier articles published in Roadsides in order to familiarize them with the journal’s design and style.
    3. Authors should submit their papers to the issue guest editor and to the Editorial Assistant. In order to complete submission, authors need to submit all the integral parts of the article:
      a) the main text, including endnotes, image captions and image/artist’s credits embedded in the text
      b) a complete list of references
      c) numbered images/tables/graphs/videos/audio material (for favoured file types, see Guide for Authors)
      d) a short bio (max. 150 words)
      e) acknowledgments (if any)
      f) a headshot in high resolution (B&W or colour).
    4. The Designer creates subfolders for each author (‘AUTHOR’S LASTNAME’) in the Roadsides collection folder, to which you will be given access. All the elements of an article (as listed in point 3, above) should be stored here. The Excel spreadsheet that guides you through the process can be found here, too.
    5. Please remember to mention the names of all the reviewers and thank them in your editorial Introduction. We labour concertedly to make the important work of the reviewers more visible in the publication process and really value their involvement. You may, for instance, consider citing some of the reviews in your editorial Introduction. The reviewers’ names will also be published on the Roadsides website.
    6. Roadsides is a double-‘open’ peer-reviewed journal. This means, among other things, that the peer review is a transparent process. Please inform authors and reviewers of this, and reveal their names to one another. The peer review should be a constructive, creative and ethical process. Make sure that both sides – the reviewers and the authors – feel duly respected.
    7. Encourage your authors to engage with non-textual forms of publishing, such as video, audio, paintings, drawings, cartoons and more.
    8. Pay attention to the gender balance among reviewers and authors. Please also be sure wherever possible to include authors and reviewers from outside of European and North American academia. This does not always work out, for example due to differences in review culture. And it is sometimes not possible for other reasons, such as when the political situation in China means that we are unable to collaborate with colleagues there. Still, we do our best to be inclusive. The Editorial Board will lend support if you need assistance with the developmental editing of articles by junior scholars and scholars from beyond European and North American academia. Please draw the attention of authors to the persistent citation imbalance – in terms of gender, academic affiliation and skin colour, among others – in academic publications. Make an effort to look broadly and cite a variety of authors.
    9. The guest editor of an issue reviews all the articles. The second reviewer can either be solicited from among the Roadsides Editorial Board or from the wider academic community. As we try to keep the publication process swift, reviewers are usually expected to return their review within three weeks. Please state this clearly in your email communication to them.
    10. The Managing Editor (ME), the Designer and the Editorial Assistant (EA) need at least six weeks to ‘seal’ the articles in terms of their content, design and format. In this last phase of the publication process, the ME reads all articles and checks the texts and other material for consistency and coherence. At this stage no major content-related requests are to be expected but she may demand that, for example, the ‘take-away message’ is spelled out more clearly. She may also make the authors aware of certain resonances with other articles both in this forthcoming issue and in previous issues. Such resonances should be reflected upon in the articles. Roadsides is an ever-growing conversation, hence engagement with other Roadsides authors and themes is strongly encouraged. In those last six weeks before publication, the ME, the EA and the Designer take the reins and work directly with authors to polish the articles and make them shine.
    11. The usual number of contributions per edited collection is eight (including the Introduction). We do not have the funding to publish more, as the costs of copyediting and designing each article are substantial. If you would like to commission further articles (up to a maximum of three), please apply for additional funding at your university. 250–300 CHF is the average cost per article. We use this money to pay the Designer and the copy-editor for their work.
    12. The editor of a given collection is in charge of writing its Introduction (1500 words max.). You might go for a brief Introduction (see Galen Murton’s Introduction to Collection 002 https://roadsides.net/murton-002) or a lengthier approach (see Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi’s for Collection 001 https://roadsides.net/joniak-001).
    13. Proofreading and copy-editing of articles is usually done by the fantastic David Hawkins (ecoteric@googlemail.com). Please contact David well in advance to inform him about the expected publication schedule. Always Cc the ME and the EA into your correspondence.
    14. Please contact Nadine Plachta (nplachta@gmail.com) and the Editorial Assistant – both in charge of managing our social media – about promotion strategy. Where else, in addition to our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), the Roadsides newsletter and the mailing lists through which we usually inform of new publications (e.g. anthropology-matters), would you like to advertise the publication of your collection? We have very high download numbers: between 2000 and 3500 full-collection downloads within one year following publication, in addition to downloads of individual articles. Our experience shows that social media play an important role in expanding our readership.

Download Guide for Editors here