|AJ Cann, Peer Review, 2008.|
We get a lot of inquiries from potential authors about the submission and review process here at Southern Spaces. In addition to special series, we accept submissions on a rolling basis. We look for pieces that engage with our mission of critically interrogating the real and imagined spaces of the U.S. South and their global connections.
Southern Spaces has an online submission process that helps us keep submissions and media organized and streamlines review. Once an author has submitted, our editorial staff begins the process of internal review. The staff looks at several criteria:
- Quality: Does the piece do critical/analytical work, or is it only illustrative/descriptive? Does the content meet our standards in terms of research and quality of writing? Would the piece require a substantial amount of editing/reworking?
- Fit for the journal: Does the piece use a spatial approach to its subject? Does it focus on the role of space, place, or region within its main arguments? Does it deal with the U.S. South in some way? How might this piece work in terms of formatting/layout? Does it come with practical, usable media or media ideas?
- Originality: Has the piece been published elsewhere? Do the arguments seem fresh, or have you heard them before? Does the piece traffic in new and progressive ideas about U.S. Souths or southern distinctiveness and nostalgia?
- Permissions: Would using the content or suggested media require extensive, expensive, or impossible permissions?
If the piece meets our criteria, the staff either returns the work back to the author for edits or sends the piece to peer review. Southern Spaces has a double-blind peer review process—neither the author nor the reviewer knows the other’s identity. We have over one hundred editorial reviewers, and we’re constantly adding new specialists. The majority of authors are asked to revise and resubmit work in the internal review stage; it’s fairly rare that a piece is sent straight to peer review. Revise and resubmit isn’t a rejection; it’s how Southern Spaces makes sure that we’re sending the highest quality work to peer reviewers.
Once authors have received their peer review feedback, we begin the final round of revision and copyedits. Southern Spaces generally has a fairly short turnaround time—depending on the amount of revision necessary, we can generally publish articles in three to six months from the initial submission.