Guide for Editors

Dear Editors,

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

It is also useful to be aware that:

1. Roadsides is published biannually, in late February and early September. Please begin early when soliciting potential contributors; six months before the planned publication date is usually enough, but the earlier the better. Please send the ‘Guide for authors’ to all authors. Provide a few links to earlier articles published in Roadsides to familiarize them with the journal’s design and style.

2. In addition to personal invitations, we publish a CfP on the Roadsides website five or six months before the publication date – i.e. in late September for the February issue, and in early March for the September 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 (please clarify the copyright for this image). Each CfP will be open for up to three weeks.

3. Please request that authors submit their papers via the Roadsides submission page. In order to complete submission, the authors need to upload all the integral parts of the article:

a) the main text, including endnotes, image captions and image/artist’s credits embedded in the text (max. 1500 words)
b) a complete list of references
c) numbered images/tables/graphs/videos/audio material (for the favoured file types, see ‘Guide for authors’
d) a short bio (max. 150 words)
e) acknowledgments (if any)
f) a headshot in high resolution (BW or colour)
g) a tweetable abstract (max. 45 words), for examples see

4. The designer creates subfolders for each author (‘AUTHOR’S LASTNAME’) in the Roadsides collection folder, which you’ll be given access to. All the elements of an article (as listed in point 3, above) should be stored there. Please make sure that ONLY the FINAL drafts – i.e. revised drafts ready for production – are uploaded to this folder. The Excel spreadsheet that guides you through the process can be found there, too.

5. Please remember to mention the names of all the reviewers and thank them in your editorial Introduction. We are in the process of establishing a link on the Roadsides website to make their work more visible. We really value their involvement.

6. Roadsides is an open-access, double peer-reviewed journal. This means, among other things, that the peer review is a transparent process. Please inform contributors and reviewers about this, and reveal their names to one another. The peer review should be a constructive, supportive, creative and ethical process. Make sure that both sides – the reviewers and the authors – feel 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 include non-native English speakers, as well as 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, for instance when the political situation in China means that we are unable to collaborate with our colleagues there. Still, we do our best to be inclusive.

9. The 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 short, reviewers are usually expected to return their review within two or three weeks. Please state this clearly in your email communication.

10. The managing editor and the designer need three weeks to ‘seal’ the articles in terms of their content, design and format. In this final phase, the editorial team in Zurich takes the reins and works directly with authors to polish the articles visually and make them shine.

11. Make sure that the final drafts (complete, proofread, complying with the word limit) and all the other pieces of the puzzle needed for publication (again, see point 3 above) are in their respective switchdrive subfolders in early February (for the winter issue) or in mid-August (for the summer issue). Plan the submission, review and revision schedule accordingly.

12. The maximum number of contributions per edited collection is eight (including the Introduction). We do not have the funding or capacity to publish more. The costs of copyediting and designing one article are substantial. If you would like to commission more articles, please apply for additional funding (200–250 CHF is the average cost per article).

13. 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 or a lengthier approach (see Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi’s for Collection 001

14. Proofreading and copyediting of articles is usually done by the fantastic David Hawkins ( Please contact David well in advance to inform him about the expected publication schedule. Cc the managing editor in your correspondence. Only the final drafts, i.e. drafts ready for production, are to be sent for copyediting. Usually this is done by the managing editor.

15. Please contact Nadine Plachta – the Roadsides editor in charge of social media – about promotion strategy. Where else, in addition to our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook), 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?

Download Guide for Editors here