As EJIL readers will know, we publish statistics each year on the submissions received, accepted and published in the Journal during the previous 12 months. We call them ‘Vital Statistics’ because we believe that it is vitally important to observe and understand trends in the submission and publication of articles in our Journal: Who is writing, where are manuscripts coming from, which languages do our authors speak, can we detect any changes in submission trends? We present our statistics with no frills, letting them speak for themselves.
There are no special requirements for authors wishing to submit to EJIL. We encourage the new, the innovative, the young and the well-established to submit to EJIL, but there is no editorial affirmative action in selecting manuscripts for publication. Our double-blind review process makes certain of that. Of course, EJIL does commission some articles, and readers will find statistics on the incidence of unsolicited and commissioned articles in our pages here as well.
We have seen a very gradual rise in the percentage of manuscripts submitted and published by women authors in recent years, with the figures now showing that 37 per cent of submissions and published articles for 2015 were by women authors. The number dropped slightly to 31 per cent for accepted articles.
We divide the world into four regions for our statistical purposes: the European Union, the Council of Europe countries outside the EU, the US and Canada, and the rest of the world. This may seem a little misleading as it indicates the place of submission – normally the institution at which authors work or study, rather than their actual nationality – but overall we believe it conveys a fairly reliable picture of our authors and EJIL’s presence in the world. Of the total number of manuscripts submitted in 2015, 44 per cent came from the EU, 8 per cent from CoE countries, 19 per cent from the US and Canada and 29 per cent from the rest of the world; thus, very similar figures to those of the previous year for the first two groups, whilst US and Canadian submissions showed a decline and rest of the world submissions increased. These percentages are closely reflected in the figures for published articles. Only 8 per cent of this year’s authors hail from the US and Canada, though the percentage of accepted articles by North Americans was much higher at 31 per cent. Thus, next year’s statistics may speak differently in this respect.
We encourage submissions from non-native English authors, not least by providing an excellent copy-editing service for all articles accepted for publication. This year 43 per cent of submissions came from English-speaking countries and 57 per cent were from non-English-speaking countries. Whilst the percentage of authors of accepted articles from non-English-speaking countries dropped this year to 34 per cent, the trend remained positive for non-English-speaking country authors for published articles: 47 per cent from English-speaking countries and 53 per cent from non-English-speaking countries.
In EJIL’s earlier years we needed to pay close attention to the balance between unsolicited submissions and commissioned articles so that the inclusion of symposia and other commissioned articles left sufficient space in the Journal’s pages for manuscripts submitted through the normal channels. The ever-increasing number of outstanding unsolicited manuscripts we receive has perhaps inverted this situation, requiring that we allocate sufficient space for our explorations of original and cutting-edge issues in international law through commissioned articles and symposia. This year we published 26 unsolicited articles for a total of 600 pages, and 13 commissioned pieces numbering 214 pages. Starting in 2016 we have increased the number of pages per volume to ensure that we are able to continue publishing the increasing number of excellent article submissions we receive without abandoning symposia and commissioned articles.
EJIL’s Assistant Editors
Producing a scholarly journal may be a labour of love, but a labour it is. An enormous amount of work is required to manage each and all of the areas of our journal – from the submissions to the review process, to communications with the authors and publisher, and to the actual production of each issue. Happily, a group of Assistant Editors is the most recent addition to our masthead. We welcome Eve Bain, Birte Böök, Lucila de Almeida, Elias Deutscher, Anna Isaeva, Sergii Masol and Jed Odermatt and thank them for their contribution to EJIL. We also thank Tleuzhan Zhunussova who served as Assistant Editor over the past year.
With Gratitude – Shirley Wayne
A number of people work behind the scenes to make EJIL the outstanding journal that it is. One of these people is Shirley Wayne, who has worked as the Production Editor for EJIL at Oxford University Press since 2005. Now, as Shirley prepares to begin a new chapter of her life in retirement, we at EJIL would like to offer her our sincere thanks. Not only has Shirley served our journal with dedication, patience and good humour – all necessary traits in this business – she has also gone the extra mile with every single issue, checking, rechecking and ensuring that EJIL meets the highest standards that a journal editor may expect. Let us extend our warmest wishes to Shirley for a happy and fulfilling future.