Guest-edited issues of Critical Studies in Television have been of key importance to the success and identity of the journal since its inception in 2006. The reason why the editors continue to support them is because these issues are often better placed to set agenda and introduce a range of topics, themes and debates that don’t necessarily emerge through the normal submission process.

Given their importance to CST, it is crucial that guest editors understand the process and procedures the journal follows and are prepared to take on the demands of that role. The purpose of these guidelines is to lay out the following:

  • How proposals to guest-edit a journal issue should be made and agreed with the CST
  • What’s involved in producing a guest-edited issue: what is expected of the guest editor(s); and what remains the responsibility of the CST editorial board.
  • The timetable for delivering a guest-edited journal issue, with emphasis on the deadlines (as CST has a publishing cycle to which it must adhere).

Proposing to guest-edit an issue?

All requests to guest-edit an issue of the journal will be considered by the CST Editorial Board. In the first instance, please submit the proposal to the Co-Managing Editors, Dr. Janet McCabe Prof. Stephen Lacey . The proposal may take any form, as long as it gives a good indication of the topic on which you’d like to focus.

The standard issue consists of around 5 academic articles of between 6,000 to 8,000 words, but CSTfrequently includes other forms of academic analysis and debate, such as dossiers, transcripts of interviews (with contextualisation); transcriptions of conference presentations (again, with commentary and contextualisation). The Board is open to any format that maintains academic integrity, intellectual rigour and serves the interests of the discipline of Television Studies.

Please note that all issues contain book reviews (approx. 10k words per issue) and space must be allotted to them. However, if you’d like to propose some suitable for books for review, to complement the issue, then please suggest the idea within the proposal and this will be sent to the CST Book Editor, Prof. Christine Geraghty.

Before submitting the proposal, please feel free to contact any member of the editorial team to discuss initial ideas. It is a good idea to seek advice and feedback at an early stage, as it may save disappointment later.

Once the Editorial Board has accepted the proposal, we will appoint a member of the editorial team as your main point of contact with the Board, and, through them, with our publisher Sage. We will also agree which slot in our publishing schedule your issue will be allotted. It is imperative that you can adhere to the deadline; if not, the CST Board reserves the right to cancel the issue. Below we provide a reasonable timeline for commissioning, editing and final deadlines, which we strongly advice you follow as the process takes much longer than expected because of the reviewing process.

We will also ask you to agree to what follows in this document, which will stand as a form of contract between you and the journal.

What does guest-editing an issue of CST involve and your responsibilities as the guest editor(s)

The Editors of CST undertake to provide any advice and guidance that guest-editors may need to help deliver the best journal possible. Please don’t feel afraid to ask your liaison person on the Board if you have any queries, or if anything is unclear.

If for any reason you need to change your plans, please contact the Board as soon as possible to discuss the issues.

The Board will retain control of the relationship with Sage and either raise issues with them on your behalf or direct you to the relevant contact point.

Guest editors will be responsible for:

  1. Deciding on the shape and content of the issue (see above), including commissioning the content. You should agree the overall issue length with the Board within the guidelines (see below).
  2. Establishing a robust blind peer-review process. You may wish to do this via Sage, with reviewers chosen and invited through the ScholarOne system, but other models are possible: for example, appointing a specialist to review several articles in an issue. The key here is to uphold academic standards and observe the principle of blind review.
  3. Observing deadlines. The main cause of difficulty in the guest editing process is not keeping to agreed deadlines. It is imperative that you build in adequate time for review and contact your liaison person immediately if there any difficulties. See below for further information.
  4. Ensuring that contributors work according to the academic conventions laid out by Sage. Submission guidelines are available via CST Online It is the author’s responsibility to ensure articles are delivered in accordance with the guidelines, and articles are normally sent back if not. Tables, diagrams and illustrations are possible and further guidance is available.
  5. Delivering a manuscript that is fully edited and ready to be published. Sage copy editors will only review articles for consistency with Sage conventions. CST editors will not take responsibility for the final editing stage, which remains with the guest editors. Please don’t hesitate to contact your liaison if you have any queries at the final edit stage.
  6. As part of producing a final edit, guest editors are responsible for ensuring that all authors adhere to the agreed word count for their article.
  7. If guest editors are uncertain about the standard of English in an article, then the services of a professional copy editor may be required.
  8. At all stages, our main concern is to maintain high academic standards in our discipline, and if you have any questions on this regard, please do ask them at an early stage. Please note: CST editors retain the right to ask guest editors to review for further amendments any article that we feel does not meet our editorial standards.
  9. CST Editors will agree with Guest Editors a point in the editing cycle where progress can be reviewed.

Timetable and deadlines

As indicated above, it is vital that deadlines are established and adhered to. The production process for Critical Studies in Television usually takes an estimated 16 weeks to complete. Therefore, to meet the publishing date for each journal issue, the deadline by which final copy must be submitted to SAGE is as follows:

Issue 1, Spring – h/c publishing date: March

Deadline for final copy: 15 November (of previous year)

Issue 2, Summer – h/c publishing date: June

Deadline for final copy: 15 February

Issue 3, Autumn – h/c publishing date: September

Deadline for final copy: 15 May

Issue 4, Winter— h/c publishing date: December

Deadline for final copy: 15 August.

Articles can be submitted as and when, if they are ready, and may be published as Online First in advance of the hard-copy issue.

Each issue is approx. 136pp (= 5 articles [8-10k]; 1 dossier [8k]; book reviews [10k])

Please note: these deadlines are for final submission. You should ensure that every contribution to the issue is ready in advance of the relevant date.

As noted above, we will agree a publication date at the outset, and this is normally a minimum of 18 months to 2 years in the future. We recommend that you work back from the relevant date and set your own deadlines for calls for papers (if you are issuing one), first submissions and final submissions.

In our experience, many of the most intractable difficulties arise when not enough time has been allowed for the peer review process and subsequent revisions, so please be realistic about this process.

Guest editors will have their own works schedules with which to contend, and the following is offered as a suggestion only:

Illustrative publication date: Summer 2024:

  • Deadline for final copy:   15 February 2024
  • Cfp issued: January 2022
  • Cfp closes:  March 2022
  • Articles commissioned April 2022
  • 1st submission for peer review: January 2023
  • Peer review concludes & April 2023 contributors notifies
  • Final deadline for completed submissions: 15 November 2023

This leaves 3mths to allow for any slippage in compliance with deadlines (someone will not make the agreed date). It will also allow time for final review and editing across the issue, and articles can be submitted as and when they are completed

  • Final deadline: 15 February (this is when everything should have been submitted).
  • Publication: June 2024

In conclusion, if you have any questions, do ask them as soon as you can.

We wish you the best of luck!