The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice

Cover image for Vol. 54 Issue 5

Edited By: Ian Loader

Online ISSN: 1468-2311

Special Issue Guidance Notes

Special Issues are thematic collections of articles on a specific theme. Each Special Issue of the Howard Journal of Criminal Justice is produced by one or more Guest Editors who work under the guidance of the journal’s associate editors, who collectively are responsible for liaison with contributing authors.

Guidance for making proposals for special issues are provided below. More detailed guidance on the specifications for the format of papers for the Howard Journal of Criminal Justice is provided at

A Special Issue of the journal is normally published as the September issue in a given year. It will usually consist of five papers, each of 8,000 words including all notes and references, plus a shorter introduction piece by the guest editors, and a more informal Counterblast piece which is not more than 2000 words.

In the first instance the associate editors decide whether or not a proposal meets the Aims and Scope of the Howard Journal of Criminal Justice. If it does, then the decision whether or not to proceed any further with that Special Issue is then made on the basis of the evaluation of an extended proposal (see criteria below) by the associate editors (or other suitable referees if deemed appropriate). If a proposal is evaluated positively, a formal schedule is agreed for development of the full draft with the Guest Editors. The Guest Editors will undertake a detailed review process of the papers and the associate editors will then request that the papers are sent out for full evaluation by appointed referees, who can recommend acceptance, modification, or rejection.

Proposals will be judged against the following criteria:

(a) Is the proposed topic of interest and relevance to the journal audience and does it engage with global / international issues concerning ‘crime’, criminalisation and criminal justice?

(b) Does treatment of the issues covered reflect an awareness of current developments in the relevant field?

(c) Does the research to be included in each of the papers outlined in the proposal appear to be well-conceived?

(d) Is the proposal clearly and logically constructed, in a way that would encourage confidence in the proposers as Guest Editors?

(e) Do the Guest Editors have sufficient experience to undertake both editorial duties and review processes?

(f) Do the contributors include researchers who are highly esteemed in the field of criminology and criminal justice?

It should be noted that Special Issues which involve authors from several countries and engage with contemporary global issues will be favoured.

Applications to guest edit a Special Issue of the Howard Journal should include an overview (one page A4 maximum) from the proposing Guest Editors outlining the aims and objectives and a brief summary of the overarching narrative tying together the proposed articles. In addition to this overview, proposals should set out the contents and names of the authors for each article. The proposal should indicate if the named authors have been approached and whether they have agreed to submit their article for review within the agreed timescale. The initial application will also include an explanation of the distinctive contribution the Special Issue is expected to make to understanding criminal justice and why the selected contributors are the appropriate people to provide this.

All proposals should therefore include the following information:

(a) The special issue title

(b) The aims, scope, and focus

(c) An outline of the proposed articles / abstract (120 words)

(d) The names and contact details of the contributing authors

(e) Details of the guest editor[s] [i.e. names, contact details, affiliations, brief biographical details and previous editorial experience]

(f) timetable for submission of the articles for review

(g) Word limit [special issues should be around 45,000 words]

Further instructions for the preparation of papers will be provided to Guest Editors on acceptance of a proposal.

Applications should be made to the Associate Editors of the Howard Journal of Criminal Justice:

Simon Mackenzie

David Scott

The Associate Editors will endeavour to respond to applications as soon as possible, but this may take a number of weeks.