BICS: Themed Issues

The ICS has changed the publishing pattern of its journal, the Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies. We are now publishing themed issues rather than general issues. These appear twice per year.

The subject matter of a themed issue may relate to any area of Classical Studies broadly defined, including archaeology. A themed issue might derive from a conference or seminar series which has already taken place, for example, publishing selected papers from those occasions; it might involve entirely fresh commissions; it might represent a balance of papers which have already been presented, and others which are specially invited.

We therefore periodically ask prospective editors of future themed issues to contact us with an expression of interest. We have recently commissioned for issues which will be published in 2019-2021. We are not formally seeking new expressions of interest at present, but always welcome contact from colleagues who might be interested in editing issues of BICS in the future. We currently anticipate that our next commissioning exercise will take place in 2019.

When we ask for expressions of interest, we request that, in no more than 500 words, you specify:

  • The subject area of your 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 accepted firmly or provisionally. (We understand that much is likely to be provisional at this stage.) Please also indicate the level of illustration likely to be required. 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.
  • Length: A complete issue is c. 60-70,000 words; papers in BICS tend to be c. 8000 words, while contributions of over 15,000 words are rarely accepted. 70,000 words is a maximum word limit.
  • Schedule: An indication of when the papers will be ready for peer review.

Proposals for themed issues are reviewed by the Publications Committee of the ICS. Our first review was conducted in March 2016; the second was in May 2017.

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-blind’ review, and it is proposed that this will be managed in collaboration by the editor(s) and the ICS, in a manner to be agreed in detail once the issue has been formally accepted. The issue editor(s) will take responsibility for delivering final copy in a standard format, of an agreed length (70,000 words max.), by an agreed date, in accordance with BICS editorial guidelines. Copy-editing, layout, and production will then be handled by the Institute, with proofs distributed to all contributors before publication.

For reference, the current issue of the Bulletin is available here. Information about our forthcoming themed issues, which will be published in 2017–18, is available here.

All contacts and queries should be directed to Dr Liz Potter.