Submissions

The Berkeley Journal of Sociology welcomes submissions of essays, analytical pieces, photo essays, illustrations, reviews, critical replies to published content, and interviews for online publication — on an ongoing basis. We are open to a wide range of styles and topics and encourage authors to think creatively and courageously about their work. If it examines the world through a sociological lens, we are probably interested in hearing from you. From time to time, we will also convene online forums and put out calls for issue-specific submissions.

Submission guidelines

Submissions can be emailed to submissions@berkeleyjournal.org and should meet the following criteria:

  • Files should be sent as .doc or .docx files. If you attach photos or illustrations to your submission, please send them separately as .jpg files in high resolution and (if possible) 300 dpi. If you include photos, please make sure that we are legally allowed to publish them. We usually cannot publish copyrighted photos without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.
  • Articles, essays, and interviews should not exceed 4000 words. There is no minimum length, although few published pieces are shorter than 1000 words.
  • We strongly encourage authors to limit the number of endnotes included in their submission and integrate references and commentary into the main text. See the style guide below for details. If you use endnotes, they should be formatted in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style. Please do not use footnotes.
  • Please do not include a bibliography. Relevant sources should be referenced in the endnotes or in the text.
  • We are not looking for traditional research articles. If your submission includes a dedicated literature review and a methods section, you might be better served elsewhere.

We continuously sift through submissions and aim to respond quickly to each author. Our editors might request one or more rounds of revisions, although we strive to publish time-sensitive submissions as soon as possible. Unless noted otherwise, all web content is published under a CC BY-NC-ND license.

Style Guide

The Guardian has made its exhaustive style guide available online, and we encourage its use. The guide is especially useful for basic questions like “when is it appropriate to use acronyms?” (answer: after you first spell out the full term), or “what’s the proper use of a semicolon?” (as a partial pause, although George Orwell disapproved of them). The full guide can be accessed here.

But many stylistic questions are harder to answer: An academic article follows different conventions than a marrative essay. In most cases, it’s best to submit a draft and ask for feedback. However, here is a list of general stylistic recommendations that has been helpful to BJS contributors in the past:

  1. We are not looking for manifestos. Authors are encouraged to avoid general statements and to drill into the intricacies of their topic.
  2. We are not looking for soapbox proclamations. Instead of merely stating opinions, present factual evidence. Show, don’t tell.
  3. Keep it concise. While online submissions are not subject to the same length constraints as print articles, we often aim to condense articles during the editorial process.
  4. We are mainly interested your own ideas, not in summaries of previous scholarship. Detailed literature reviews can be cut.
  5. If you quote or paraphrase someone else’s ideas, or draw heavily on someone else’s concepts and arguments, please be diligent about citing your sources. Plagiarism, whether intended or not, constitutes a serious intellectual lapse. Sometimes, a simple mention in the text might suffice (“As Karl Marx argued in The Eighteenth Brumaire, …”); sometimes you might want to include a full citation. But keep in mind that we are not publishing traditional research articles: We encourage authors – especially of narrative essays and critical commentaries – to minimize the number of endnotes, and to eliminate discursive references and references that merely indicate the breadth of available literature (or your knowledge thereof).
  6. If you include time-sensitive references in your submission, we will probably edit them out. The article might not be published immediately, so anything like “three months ago” or “last week” is a no-go. Instead, write something like: “In October 2014…”.
  7. We have received a few submissions that toy with sarcasm or satire. Those are very hard to pull off in writing. More often than not, humor fails when printed.
  8. Finally, find your own voice. If you prefer to write as a detached observer or analyst, that’s fine. But if you feel that your submission would benefit from passionate appeals, we encourage you to write accordingly. We are open to a wide range of styles.