Editorial Guidelines

Language, Society and Policy : a journal connecting research in linguistics and languages with policy and the public.


Policy papers

We welcome papers on any policy issue where language and linguistics research is relevant. The only condition is that the paper is based on peer-reviewed published research. 

The aim of policy papers is to connect research with policy through focusing on a specific piece of research and explaining its relevance for policy. The link to policy can range from pointing out conclusions and lessons for practice through to discussion of existing policies and practices and formulation of policy recommendations. In all cases, the emphasis is on providing research evidence for criticising, endorsing or proposing a policy. 

Authors should aim at pieces of 2,000-3,000 words, writing in language accessible to non-specialists, and avoiding technical terminology. Papers should be preceded by a summary (in bullet points up to 300 words) outlining the main policy issue, the research and conclusions of the paper. A section for further reading at the end should include the main research publications on which the article is based, and any further resources for interested readers. The list should not involve exhaustive referencing of scholarly articles but rather aim to highlight approximately 5-6 key publications, preferably accessible by non-specialists.

Opinion Articles

We welcome articles (of 1000 words) by linguists and stakeholders commenting on current issues relating to language and linguistics research. 

Research Lab Papers

We welcome papers explaining pieces of research for non-specialist readers with the purpose of communicating to the general public what is involved in language research, as well as recent and exciting findings for which there may not be a direct link to policy but which support public understanding of language and linguistics research. 

Papers should have a question for their title (e.g. Are all languages equal? Can chimpanzees learn a human language? Can a computer learn to make metaphors? Can you be truly multilingual?) Authors should aim at pieces of 1,500-2,000 words, writing in language accessible to non-specialists, avoiding technical terminology.  Papers should be preceded by a short preamble (150 words) summarising the question addressed in the article the research and conclusions, and the main policy issue, if relevant. A section for further reading at the end should include the main research publications on which the article is based and any further resources for interested readers. 

Dialogues

We publish dialogues between scholars representing distinct approaches and convictions regarding a research topic that is relevant for public debate. 

Submission and editorial process

Articles should be submitted to lspdtal@hermes.cam.ac.uk in Word. Graphs should be submitted separately in jpeg or png. Authors should also provide a short biography of 2-3 sentences. 

Each paper is reviewed by the Editors and members of the Editorial Board. Decisions are reached within 6 weeks of submission. Publication is expected no later than 12 weeks after submission to ensure relevant papers can contribute to current policy debates.

House Style

Languages, Society and Policy follows the MHRA style guide, using the author–date citation system. Full details of this style can be found at: http://www.mhra.org.uk/series/MSG/. 

We encourage authors to consult this resource with queries, and particularly to read through the ‘Quick Guide to MHRA Style’ before submitting their articles. 

In-text citations should give the author’s or editor’s surname, date of publication and, where necessary, page numbers, as follows: (Trudgill 1983: 127–40). 

Download the Guidelines (PDF)


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