Institute of Classical Studies In this section

The ICS seeks expressions of interest from academic colleagues who wish to edit a themed issue of BICS

All queries about new expressions of interest are welcomed: please contact the Editor in Chief, Susan Deacy (, in the first instance. More information on how to prepare a themed issue proposal can be found below.

BICS Aims and Scope

The Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies (BICS) is the flagship publication of the Institute of Classical Studies and has been a forum for classical studies since 1954. It welcomes and champions the research of a diverse and world-wide range of scholars.

The journal publishes research that drives forward intellectual debate by disseminating scholarship at the cutting edge of classical research. It follows a rigorous and robust peer-review process involving reviewers with a diverse range of expertise. It also:

•    embeds ethical publication practices 
•    embraces the potentials of Open Access publishing for wide and equitable dissemination of scholarship 
•    supports self-archiving and inclusive publishing in line the Developing Countries Initiative of its publisher: Oxford University Press.

BICS Themed Issues: New Proposals

Since 2018 the journal has published two themed issues each year. Recent themed issues include ‘The Divine Plato’: philosophy and literature in the Second Sophistic, Problems with Greek Gods and Decolonising Classics in Africa.

The themed issues appear in print and online.

The aim of a themed issue is to explore a particular topic within Classics (broadly defined and including archaeology) by bringing together a range of voices to share new ideas which advance Classical research.  

Why publish with BICS?

A themed issue of BICS combines the advantages of serial and standalone publishing. Each issue is part of BICS which has an established international readership and subscription base.

Our partnership with Oxford University Press gives the journal worldwide marketing and distribution, alongside an internationally outstanding classics list and a stable of high-quality humanities journals.

The journal currently operates as a hybrid, offering open-access publishing options upon payment of an APC.

The journal operates Advance Articles whereby articles can be published online ahead of the official publication date of the themed issue. Once published online articles will be readable and citable. 

Developing a themed issue of BICS

The subject matter of a themed issue may relate to any area of classical studies broadly defined.

Guest Editors have the freedom to develop their issues as they wish. A themed issue might comprise entirely freshly commissioned papers, for example or it might derive from a research workshop or seminar series which has already taken place, publishing selected and revised papers from those occasions. Alternatively, it might represent a mix of papers which have already been presented, and others that are specially for the issue.

Conferences and seminars often generate excellent material for issues, but BICS issues are not conference proceedings as such. Where an issue has been developed from a conference or seminar series, it will be essential to explain to us how the material has been or will be developed for publication, why certain papers have been included or excluded, and how coherence for the themed issue has been achieved. Prospective Guest Editors should note that we have made a strategic publishing decision not to publish conference proceedings as such.

Each issue should be a high-quality contribution to a thriving, specialist field of research. As a part of a serial, it should also be a publication of sufficient breadth that it will offer interest to classicists who are not specialists in that field.

Currently the themed issue schedule has been filled until June 2026. Proposals will be for publication in December 2026 or later. 

In no more than 1200 words, prospective editors are asked to specify:

•    The subject area and working title of your proposed issue.
•    Publishing rationale: why this topic deserves publication at this time, with an overview of the relation of your proposed treatment of the theme to other relevant work in the field.
•    Contents: a list of articles to be included in the volume, and their authors, with an indication of whether each has already been approached and/or agreed to contribute and whether a first draft of each paper has been completed. For those papers not yet written, please indicate the likely date of completion of first draft. Editors should further specify how they will bring unity and coherence to the issue, and how they expect to solicit, support, and shape individual contributions. If the content is derived from a conference or seminar series, please make very clear how the material will be developed for publication; why certain papers have been included; and please identify any papers that have been freshly commissioned for publication.
•    Estimated length: generally a complete issue is no less than c. 70,000 words; papers in BICS tend to be c. 8000 words, while contributions of over 15,000 words are rarely accepted. 
•    The make-up of the editorial team, including level of editorial experience.
•    The level of illustration likely to be required.
•    Schedule: An indication of when the special issue will be ready for peer review. Please take into consideration: as the journal now operates Advance Access articles we aim to publish articles online a year to six months before the official publication date. 

Please send your proposal to Susan Deacy. 

Our review of your proposal

Proposals for themed issues are reviewed by the Publications Committee, the ICS Director and Editor. Susan Deacy will contact those who have submitted a proposal with the final decision. 

Once a themed issue is accepted in principle, a detailed schedule will be agreed. At this stage, all proposed authors must be confirmed. Among other things, the schedule will cater for peer review: in line with publication standards, all papers will go through a process of double-anonymised review. The issue editor(s) will take responsibility for delivering final copy in a standard format of an agreed length, by an agreed date, in accordance with BICS editorial guidelines. Copy-editing, layout, and production will then be handled by OUP in partnership with the Institute, with proofs distributed to all contributors before publication.

For reference, the current issue of the Bulletin is available here.

All contacts and queries should be directed to Susan Deacy.