Guidelines for Special Issues and Thematic Symposia

Guidelines for Special Issues and Thematic Symposia

The governing objectives of the Journal Contemporary Jewry for submission with respect to a Special Issue or Symposium are (a) scholarly excellence, (b) relevance to Contemporary Jewry, and (c) newness and significance of topic.

Proposals concerning any topic of Contemporary Jewry will be welcome for consideration by the Editor-in-Chief. In order to arrive at a decision with respect to a proposal for a Special Issue or Symposium, the Editor-in-Chief, in consultation with the Editorial Board at the journal, will review the submitted proposal and may recommend (a) acceptance, (b) revisions, or (c) rejection of the proposal.

Proposals should be submitted to the attention of the Editor-in-Chief:

Harriet Hartman, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ, USA


NOTE: Guest Editors, while replacing the Editor-in-Chief in the Editorial process, need to comply with the Publisher’s Code of Conduct as described here:

There is more information on this in the Appendix – Publisher’s Code of Conduct at the end of this document.

Formats available

There are two formats available for collected papers at Contemporary Jewry, each of which serves different purposes:

1. Special Issues generally comprise 10 to 11 papers. 

2. Thematic Symposia generally comprise 5 to 6 papers and are published as a separate section within a regular issue of Contemporary Jewry.

For both Special Issues and Symposia reviewing processes must take place in accordance with the principles of transparency and objectivity, which is achieved through adherence to the established practice of blind peer reviews.

For Special Issues calls for papers must be openly and widely circulated; submission must not be restricted (e.g. to people who attend a particular conference). This is also encouraged for Symposia.

Rules for submitting a Proposal

The proposal should be submitted as a word document with the Call for Papers embedded or attached and should clearly indicate whether it is a proposal for a Special Issue or a Symposium.

1. The name and contact details of the Guest Editor(s)

2. The title of the Special Issue or Symposium

3. Abstract or summary of the proposed topic

4. Justification for why the Special Issue or Symposium is needed

5. Explanation of the suitability of the topic for the Journal Contemporary Jewry

6. A copy of the Call for Papers

7. A proposed schedule for each stage of the process including timelines and deadlines for receiving, reviewing and revising manuscripts into final publishable form. It is expected that collections of papers are submitted for publication within 18 months of the submission deadline given in the Call for Papers or the conference at which the papers were presented.

8. Backgrounds of the proposed Guest Editor(s) (including visibility on the topic in question and editorial experience)

9. A list or description of indicative scholars who might submit to the Special Issue or Symposium

10. A list of proposed ad hoc editorial board members/reviewers (including email addresses or affiliations) for the Special Issue or Symposium

11. A strategy for promoting the call for papers (including details of any conference or workshop with which the Special Issue or Symposium might be associated).

Upon approval by the Editor-in-Chief, the Call for Papers should be circulated widely by the Guest Editor(s) for Special Issues in venues besides the Journal Contemporary Jewry

Special Issues and Symposia on-line submission and reviewing process

Once the Special Issue or Symposium is agreed upon, the Guest Editor(s) will be in charge of inviting and selecting papers for the Special Issue. Papers must adhere to the Editorial style of the Journal Contemporary Jewry which can be found at:


Instructions for authors

All papers must be submitted through the Journal Contemporary Jewry on-line submission system (Editorial Manager) which can be found at:

The following process should be adhered to:

1. Guest Editor(s) is required to run the submission and review process through Editorial Manager. Editorial Manager needs to be set up to allow editor, reviewer and author access to individual Special Issues and Symposia. Guest Editor(s) need to liaise with the Editor-in-Chief, who will put the Guest Editor(s) in touch with the relevant parties at Springer to make the necessary arrangements. This includes the allocation of a unique identifier which will be added to the list of available article types in Editorial Manger to distinguish the Special Issue or Symposium from other Special Issues and regular articles. The allocated name for the special issue needs to be clearly identified in the Call for Papers.

2. All submissions to the Special Issue or Symposium must be reviewed on the basis of a blind peer-review process conducted in Editorial Manager.

3. The Guest Editor(s) is invited to submit an introductory essay that provides a substantive and critical overview of the topic, and is of publication standard in its own right. This essay will be submitted through the Editorial Manager system to the Editor-in-Chief for peer review.

4. Any other paper to the Special Issue or Symposium authored by Guest Editor(s) will be submitted through the Editorial Manager system to the Editor-in-Chief for peer review.

5. The Guest Editor(s) assesses all submissions for rejection without review or review within 10 days of submission or the due date identified in the Call for Papers.

6. Where papers are rejected without review, the Guest Editor(s) must not advise the authors to submit to the regular sections of the journal unless the Guest Editor(s) has fully assessed the paper for scholarly quality and appropriate scope for the journal (i.e. the paper was rejected solely on the grounds that it did not fit the scope of the Special Issue or Symposium).

7. The Guest Editor(s) assigns papers to reviewers in Editorial Manager.

8. Review reports are assigned to the Guest Editor(s), who makes the final decisions about revisions and rejections.

9. Revised papers are assigned to the Guest Editor(s), who re-assigns papers for further review or makes a final decision.

10. During the review process, the Editor-in-Chief, may request additional reviews for particular papers, further revisions, and has the right in consultation with the Guest Editor(s), to reject papers if they do not fulfill standards of scholarly excellence.

11. The reviewers are sent a copy of all the decision letters as soon as the decisions are made.

12. The Guest Editor(s) has access to all papers and the related files throughout the review and selection process.

13. Final acceptance decisions in Editorial Manager will be made by the Editor-in-Chief consultation with the Guest Editor(s).

14. The Guest Editor(s) is responsible for selecting 10 or 11 papers for the special issue or 5-6 papers for the symposium in consultation with the Editor-in-Chief.

15. Any remaining submissions will be treated as rejected. If, in the view of the Guest Editor(s) a paper is not selected for a special issue or symposium, but is of a suitably high standard to warrant being assessed as a regular paper by the journal, it should be transferred to the Editor-in-Chief.

16. Guest Editor(s) must inform the Editor-in-Chief who is going to read and correct page proofs for each article, i.e., authors, Guest Editor(s) or both.

17. Final approval and the go ahead are given by the Editor-in-Chief, for the collection to go to press.

18. The Editor-in-Chief can decide to cancel a Special Issue or Symposium if the Guest Editor(s) fails to deliver the Special Issue or Symposium by the submission deadline (as indicated in the Rules above) or fails to negotiate an extension of the submission deadline with the Editor-in-Chief.

Contributing authors to Special Issue or Symposia articles may post an earlier draft of their paper on an institutional repository, provided that repository is either the author's institutional repository or that of the society or institution hosting the conference. However, upon publication of the Special paper online, the author and/or hosting institution or society is required to reduce the posting to an abstract only and then link to the online version on SpringerLink.

Appendix - Publisher’s Code of Conduct

In this Appendix the term “Journal” shall mean the journal for which the Editor-in-Chief is editorially responsible.


The Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Editor(s)-in-Chief are expected to follow the COPE guideline entitled Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors.The Publisher has responsibility to ensure that journals published by the Publisher adhere to editorial and publication ethics standards recommended by COPE, and the Publisher will support Editor(s)-in-Chief in their pursuit of adhering to such COPE standards. When dealing with publication and research ethics issues, Editor(s)-in-Chief are expected to follow COPE guidance and flowcharts or any guidance provided by the Publisher. The final course of action should be decided by the Editor(s)-in-Chief. In difficult cases, or where there is no existing COPE guidance, the Editor(s)-in-Chief may seek advice from the Publisher, and some cases may need to be resolved in collaboration between Editor(s)-in-Chief and the Publisher. The Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors and general guidelines and flowcharts are available from the COPE website ( are expected to be aware of the editorial policies and information provided for authors by the Journal.If there is more than one Editor-in-Chief for the Journal, it is understood that the responsibility concerning Editorship of the Journal is shared between them.

Peer review

Editor(s)-in-Chief are expected to comply with the Journal’s peer review policy (e.g. open, single- blind, double-blind).Peer review is an essential component of the research publication. It aims to assess the validity of the reported research and suitability for journals’ scope and aims. In order to maintain the integrity of the published record the Editor(s)-in-Chief are expected to ensure that all manuscripts reporting primary research, or secondary analysis of primary research, accepted for publication in the Journal are peer reviewed by reviewers who are competent in a relevant field and/or have expertise in a relevant methodology, as judged by their publication record, and are free of potential bias. Such bias includes, but is not limited to, any recent collaboration between the peer reviewers and the authors of the manuscript. The requirement for Editor(s)-in-Chief to ensure absence of conflicts of interest amongst peer reviewers expressly applies to peer reviewers suggested by the authors of the manuscript.Editor(s)-in-Chief are expected to obtain a minimum of two peer reviewers for manuscripts reporting primary research or secondary analysis of primary research. It is recognized that in some exceptional circumstances, particularly in niche and emerging fields, it may not be possible to obtain two independent peer reviewers. In such cases, Editor(s)-in-Chief may wish to make a decision to publish based on one peer review report. When making a decision based on one report, Editor(s)-in-Chief are expected to only do so if the peer review report meets the standards set out in section 8 below.Peer review reports should be in English and provide constructive critical evaluations of the authors’ work, particularly in relation to the appropriateness of methods used, whether the results are accurate, and whether the conclusions are supported by the results. Editorial decisions should be based on peer reviewer comments that meet these criteria rather than on recommendations made by short, superficial peer reviewer reports which do not provide a scientific rationale for the recommendations.Editor(s)-in-Chief are expected to independently verify the contact details of reviewers suggested by authors or other third parties. Institutional email addresses should be used to invite peer reviewers wherever possible. Each manuscript should be reviewed by at least one reviewer who was not suggested by the author.Manuscripts that do not report primary research or secondary analysis of primary research, such as Editorials, Book Reviews, Commentaries or Opinion articles, may be accepted without two peer review reports. Such manuscripts should be assessed by the Editor(s)-in-Chief if the topic is in the area of expertise of the Editor(s)-in-Chief; if the topic is not in area of expertise of the Editor(s)-in-Chief, such manuscripts should be assessed by at least one independent expert reviewer or Editorial Board Member.

Manuscript handling

Editor(s)-in-Chief are expected to provide a professional service to authors. Correspondence should be handled in a timely and professional manner. Arrangements should be in place to ensure editorial staff absences do not result in a reduced service to authors.Editor(s)-in-Chief are expected to make full use of the online submission and peer-review system provided by the Publisher and, where necessary, maintain offline tracking systems, in order to preserve a full record of the peer review of each manuscript, where offline tracking is used, Editor(s)-in-Chief should upload offline records to the online submission and peer-review system as soon as possible.


Editor(s)-in-Chief are expected to respect and uphold the confidential status of materials submitted to the Journal and should ensure that material remains confidential while under review.

Libelous and defamatory content

Editor(s)-in-Chief are expected to seek advice from the Publisher if they believe a manuscript contains potentially libelous or defamatory content.

Editorial policies and field-specific standards

Editor(s)-in-Chief are expected to ensure that manuscripts accepted for publication comply with the Journal’s editorial policies and specific research requirements and ethics standards for the relevant field. For example, where manuscripts contain any data from human or animal subjects, or endangered plants, Editor(s)-in-Chief are expected to ensure that the manuscript complies with internationally agreed or comparable national ethics standards for such research. For example, international standards for human research are set out in the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki and national guidelines which are intended to protect the safety and rights of research participants. Research on endangered animal and plant species should be carried out in compliance with standards set out in the IUCN Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Further information on these standards and those for animal research is available from the Publisher. In cases of uncertainty, Editor(s)-in-Chief should seek advice from the Publisher.

Conflicts of interest of Editor(s)-in-Chief

Editor(s)-in-Chief are expected to inform the Publisher of any interests that may influence, or may be perceived to influence, their decisions as Editor(s)-in-Chief of the Journal. Financial and non-financial interests (including, but not limited to personal relationships, professional interests or personal beliefs) should be disclosed. Please note that the declaration of these interests does not disqualify the Editor(s)-in-Chief from the role as Editor(s)-in-Chief of the Journal.Although Editor(s)-in-Chief may publish in the journal for which they are Editor(s)-in-Chief, they are expected to ensure that a (senior) member of the Editorial Board is assigned to assume responsibility for overseeing peer review and making decisions regarding acceptance or rejection of any manuscript submitted and/or co-authored by the Editor(s)-in-Chief.Where Editor(s)-in-Chief have a conflict of interest regarding a specific manuscript, a (senior) member of the Editorial Board should be assigned to assume responsibility for overseeing peer review and decisions making on that manuscript.Editor(s)-in-Chief are expected to ensure that Editorial Board members are not involved with the peer review or decision-making process on any manuscript on which they are an author or on any manuscript where they may have a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest.Editor(s)-in-Chief submitting to the Journal any manuscript on which they are authors are expected to comply with the Journal’s editorial policies for authors on disclosures of potential conflicts of interests.

Complaints, appeals and post-publication issues

Editor(s)-in-Chief are expected to have a written appeals and complaints procedure for the Journal and should seek advice from the Publisher where one does not exist. The Editor(s)-in-Chief should respond promptly to complaints (from non-anonymous and anonymous complainers alike) and, in collaboration with the Publisher, where applicable, follow guidance set out in the COPE flow charts on whistleblowers. All reasonable complaints should be handled within a timely manner. The Editor(s)-in-Chief should seek advice from the Publisher in difficult situations, particularly where an issue may necessitate the publication of a retraction or expression of concern. Unresolved cases may be referred to COPE for advice.Complaints against the Editor(s)-in-Chief will be investigated by the Publisher in the first instance, but may be referred to an independent ombudsman or COPE for advice if appropriate.


Editor(s)-in-Chief should not act as representatives of the Publisher or make statements to the media, post comments or write editorials claiming to represent the Publisher without the Publisher’s prior agreement.