Each year we publish statistics on the state of our submissions: who submitted, who was accepted, and who was published in EJIL during the previous 12 months. We do this in order to observe and understand any changes that may be taking place in submission and publication patterns in our Journal. We do this, too, because we publish the very best manuscripts submitted to EJIL, selected through our double-blind review process. We offer no affirmative action in selection. Rather we look for excellence, articles that will be read, recalled, referred to and cited in years to come.
Of course, the EJIL Editors do commission some articles. We would risk becoming merely a refereeing service if we relied only on unsolicited manuscripts. Again, statistics are important in order to check that we are getting the balance right. For the past three years the percentage of unsolicited manuscripts has remained stable at around 65 per cent or two-thirds of the total, which we consider to be a sound balance.
The percentage of manuscripts submitted by women authors this past year dropped slightly to 32 per cent, although 33 per cent of accepted submissions were by women and the figure for published articles was 35 per cent. These figures do not differ markedly from previous years. Nevertheless, it is encouraging to see that the percentages of accepted and published articles submitted by women reflect or even surpass the percentage of overall submissions by women.
In order to gauge the provenance of our manuscripts we perhaps somewhat arbitrarily divide the world into four regions: the European Union, the Council of Europe countries outside the EU (CoE), the US and Canada, and the rest of the world (RoW). Our statistics indicate the country of submission rather than the authors’ nationality, simply because it is not possible to obtain that information. In any case, the figures convey a fairly reliable picture of our authors and EJIL’s presence in the world.
Of the total number of manuscripts submitted in 2016, 47 per cent came from the EU, 8 per cent from CoE countries, 10 per cent from the US and Canada and 35 per cent from RoW countries. The spread of percentages for accepted and published articles, however, differed. A larger percentage of articles from EU countries were accepted and published: 57 and 54 per cent, respectively, whilst significantly fewer manuscripts from the RoW were accepted and published: 23 and 15 per cent, respectively. The US and Canada saw a larger percentage of manuscripts published, 24 per cent, reflecting the increased number of manuscripts accepted the year before. Finally, 12 per cent of manuscripts were accepted from CoE countries, representing quite an increase, whilst the published articles from that area remained stable at 7 per cent of the total.
We encourage submissions from authors in non-English-speaking countries, and provide an excellent copy-editing service for all articles accepted for publication. This past year saw a similar breakdown in percentages of submissions from English-speaking and non-English-speaking countries, 38 and 62 per cent, respectively. However, we saw a leap in accepted articles by authors in non-English-speaking countries, from 34 per cent in 2015 to 65 per cent in 2016, whilst published articles still leaned quite heavily towards English-speaking countries, with 59 per cent of the total. Next year we will see a rise in published articles from non-English speaking countries.