Journal of Sociolinguistics

Cover image for Vol. 20 Issue 5

Edited By: Allan Bell

Impact Factor: 1.245

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 38/181 (Linguistics)

Online ISSN: 1467-9841

Author Guidelines


The editors of the Journal of Sociolinguistics receive many, many more submissions than they can publish. The editorial team have surveyed their experience of incoming papers and have put together a list of features that will maximize your chances of having a paper accepted for publication with the journal.

Papers should be submitted online at Full instructions and support are available on the site and a user ID and password can be obtained on the first visit. If you have any difficulty using the site, email Andy Gibson (

Submissions should be limited to a maximum of 10,000 words, including all references, notes, extracts, appendices, etc. Please note that each table or figure should be considered to count as 200-400 words, depending on size. Authors should reduce the word limit of the article accordingly. Manuscripts which exceed these limits will be returned to authors for shortening. Article titles should not be more than 15 words.

The Journal's language of publication is English, but we encourage inclusion of an other-language abstract. We also encourage authors to upload audio files with their submissions. These can be made available with the online version of accepted articles.

Submissions will be peer-reviewed unless in the editors' opinion a paper falls outside the journal's scope or is not of adequate scholarly standard. Reviewing will be anonymous as far as practicable, so please avoid self-identification in the manuscript. Please note that the Journal will consider only one manuscript per year from any given author.

Submission of a paper is assumed to mean that it is original work which has not been previously published and is not simultaneously in press or being considered for publication elsewhere. Articles which are related or contain overlapping content and are being published or considered elsewhere should be acknowledged in the submission, and explained in a covering letter to the editors. Make sure your data collection has met the high ethical standards required by our discipline, for example in researching vulnerable groups or getting permissions to record. Give detail in your article or cover letter if appropriate.



Journal of Sociolinguistics conducts blinded peer-review. Please upload your manuscript file with no identifying author information (designate as Main Document). Any acknowledgements or other self-identifying material should be removed from the submission and included in subsequent revisions of the article, if it is accepted. When citing your own work, either discuss the work in the third person, or cite as 'Author (year)'. If you are citing work that is more likely to give away your identity (such as a closely related dissertation or a forthcoming publication), please cite it as 'Author (year)'.

The first page of the submission should carry the title (but no author identification), a single-paragraph abstract of up to 150 words, a list of up to six key words, a short running title for use as a page header, and a word count for the paper (including abstract, notes, references, extracts and appendices).

The main text of the article begins on the 2nd page. Tables and figures may be included in the body of the article. After the end of the main text, there follow in order: Notes, References and Appendices. Number all pages.

Manuscripts should be in 12-point type size and double spaced throughout (including abstract, quotations, transcripts, notes, references, tables, etc.). Do not justify the right margin or hyphenate within words.

Avoid more than two levels of subheadings. Use all upper case letters for the first level of heading, lower and upper case for the second level. After a heading, start text on the line next below. Begin paragraphs with an indent except after headings.

Lists or numbered examples should use Arabic numbers on the margin, followed by a stop but without parentheses, with the text indented throughout. Long quotations, whether citations or data, should be separated from the text and indented, and in full-sized type.

Spelling and punctuation

Use single quote marks for 'quotations', double quote marks for 'quotations within quotations'. Give page number of reference for direct quotations. Translations or glosses should appear in single quotes. Cited forms should be italicised.

Ensure that phonetic or other non-orthographic symbols are clear, especially diacritic marks.

Either British or American spelling and punctuation conventions may be used, but they should be applied consistently throughout the paper.


For extracts of transcribed spoken data, keep conventions to the minimum necessary for the points to be made. Short lists of transcription conventions should be given in the text preceding the extract or in an endnote; lengthy lists of conventions should be given as an appendix to the paper.

Use a heading for each extract or transcript such as 'Extract 1:'.


Avoid the use of notes where possible - authors will be asked to reduce excessive numbers of notes.

Notes will appear as endnotes. Use superscript numbers (not too small) in the text. Number notes consecutively and gather them immediately after the end of the main text. Start them on a new page, and use the heading 'NOTES'. Place note numbers on the left margin, with the text indented throughout. Leave an extra space between each note.

Use Note 1 (with superscript 1 appended to the title) for acknowledgements, etc., but do not include any potentially self-identifying acknowledgements in your first submission. These can be included when submitting revisions of the manuscript, if it is accepted. In the first submission, simply label note 1 with 'Acknowledgements'.


References should use the author/date system, e.g.: '(Hymes 1974)'. When the author's name appears in the text, use: 'Gumperz (1983) argues that ...'. Page numbers appear after a colon (plus space) following the date: 'Labov (1972: 269-270)'. Do not use additional parentheses for the date of a reference contained in text that is already enclosed in parentheses. Use semicolons between each reference in a sequence of references by different authors.

For works with up to three authors, use all authors' names at each citation: 'Fishman, Ferguson and Das Gupta (1968)'; or use et al. after first mention: 'Fishman et al. (1968)'.

All works cited must appear under the title 'REFERENCES' following any notes. Start the references on a new page. Check thoroughly that all works cited in text and notes appear in the list of references, and that authors and dates match between citation and references.

The references appear in alphabetical order. Use authors' names as they appear on the published sources, with full first name unless author uses only initials. Reverse first and last names only for the head name of the reference.

Same-author references appear in date order. Same-date references by the same author should be identified as: Labov 1972a, 1972b, 1972c, etc. Multiple-authored works follow all sole-authored works by the first author, in alphabetical order of second (and subsequent) authors. Do not use the convention of an underline before the date for subsequent works by the same author.

Indent the second and subsequent lines of each reference. Capitalize main words in book and journal titles. Use minimal capitalization in article titles, but capitalize the first letter after a colon within the title. Do not use quotation marks around article or chapter titles. Italicise the titles of books and journals.

Give volume number for journal references, and inlcude issue number only if the pagination starts at 1 for each issue. Give publisher plus place of publication for books. Spell out U.S. state names in full. Use 'and' not '&' (ampersand). Give full page numbers for articles in journals and books.

Use the following styles for citing monographs, edited volumes, articles in edited volumes, journal articles, conference or other oral presentations, and unpublished works such as dissertations:

Androutsopoulos, Jannis. 2004. Towards a typology of language contact in computer-mediated communication. Paper presented to Sociolinguistics Symposium 15, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.

Benor, Sarah, Mary Rose, Devyani Sharma, Julie Sweetland and Qing Zhang (eds.). 2002.Gendered Practices in Language. Stanford, California: CSLI Publications.

Heller, Monica. 2003. Globalization, the new economy, and the commodification of language and identity. Journal of Sociolinguistics 7: 473-492.

Herbert, Robert K. 2002. The sociohistory of clicks in Southern Bantu. In Rajend Mesthrie (ed.) Language in South Africa. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. 297-315.

Modan, Gabriella. 2000. The struggle for neighborhood identity: Discursive constructions of community and place in a U.S. multi-ethnic neighborhood. Unpublished PhD dissertation. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University.

Winford, Donald. 2003. An Introduction to Contact Linguistics. Malden, Massachusetts and Oxford, U.K.: Blackwell Publishing.

Check thoroughly the accuracy, completeness and order of references before submission.

Tables and figures

Position tables and figures int he body of the article, close to the relevant text, and numbered consecutively. Supply a descriptive caption above each table and below each figure, including a gloss on any abbreviations used. Keep detail on tables and figures to the minimum needed to substantiate the points made in the text.

Ensure all figures are of sufficient quality to reproduce adequately, with a minimum resolution of 300 DPI. Use a type size large enough to allow for reduction at publication. Use of colour should be avoided.

Further information

For further detail on style, take a look at current published issues of the Journal. Direct any remaining queries to Allan Bell or Andy Gibson (email addresses below).


Final versions of accepted articles will be expected to conform to these guidelines. Instructions to move tables and figures to the end of the article will be sent with acceptance letters, along with an invitation to submit audio files for inclusion with the online version of the article. The hard copy of the Journal is published in black and white, but colour versions of any images are welcome in the online version. All material accepted for publication is subject to editing for length and in other respects by the editors, although this will be done, as far as practical, in consultation with authors.

Authors of accepted papers are invited to provide, in addition to their English-language abstract, a second abstract of approximately 150 words in an appropriate language of their choice. Especially if the paper deals with a language other than English, we encourage authors to include an abstract in that language or an appropriate regional or international language. The author will be responsible for ensuring that the content of the other-language abstract is equivalent to the English abstract, and for proofreading it before publication. The other-language abstract should appear on a separate page after the English abstract in the revised manuscript.

Copyright Transfer Agreement and OnlineOpen

Authors will be required to sign a Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA) for all papers accepted for publication. This is done online through the Author Services website ( This is a different website to the ScholarOne Manuscripts site used for submission and peer review. Full instructions and support are available on the site and a user ID and password can be obtained on the first visit. The CTA is a condition of publication and papers will not be published unless this agreement has been confirmed. After submission, authors will retain the right to publish their paper in various media/circumstances (please see the CTA for further details).

If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login to Author Services where they will be able to complete the CTA on behalf of all authors of the paper. The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed at Copyright FAQs.

Please note that OnlineOpen is also available to authors for a fee, making articles freely available to all on Wiley Online Library. If the OnlineOpen option is selected the corresponding author will have a choice of the following Creative Commons License Open Access Agreements (OAA):

• Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License OAA

• Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial -NoDerivs License OAA

If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC-BY license supporting you in complying with Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK requirements. For more information on this policy and the Journal's compliant self-archiving policy please visit:



Please contact Andy Gibson at to enquire about undertaking a review, as unsolicited reviews are not accepted. Review manuscripts should follow the style guidelines described above. Further details will be communicated directly with reviewers.


Publishers are asked to email notification of relevant new books to Hard copies can then be sent directly to reviewers, once assigned.



Allan Bell
Institute of Culture, Discourse and Communication
Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

Associate Editors

David Britain
Department of English
University of Bern, Switzerland

Bonnie McElhinny
Anthropology and Women and Gender Studies
University of Toronto, Canada

Joseph Sung-Yul Park
Department of English Language & Literature
National University of Singapore

Devyani Sharma
School of Languages, Linguistics and Film
Queen Mary, University of London, UK

Reviews and Editorial Associate

Andy Gibson
Institue of Culture, Discourse and Communication
Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand (general enquiries) (book reviews)

Copy Editor

Trish Brothers
Institue of Culture, Discourse and Communication
Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand