Writer’s guidelines

German Version

Dear authors,

we thank you for being interested in writing an article for Soziologiemagazin. It is our goal to give students a possibility to publish academic sociological essays for more than just a university audience. This text should not only fulfil formal criteria of science but also give our readers an additional benefit. In order to make the conditions for accepting your submissions as transparent as possible we initially explain all steps of our review procedure (1.). To make sure that your article has the best chances of publication please carefully read and consider our general writer’s guidelines (2.).

1. Review procedure

The quality management of Soziologiemagazin’s contents is the uppermost in our three-stage review process. After your article has been submitted by the call for paper’s deadline (einsendungen(at)soziologiemagazin.de), it will be anonymized and screened by editorial staff members. They will evaluate the article by using a catalogue of criteria. In a second step the editorial staff will forward the best articles to the members of our Academic Advisory Board (AAB). The AAB reviews the articles by considering the criteria catalogue and provides us with recommendations and references. In a third and final step all of the authors are contacted and given annotations and comments. In addition, we will announce which essays will be published in our magazine. All selected articles will be improved and edited in cooperation between the writers and the editorial staff until they are ready to be published. All reviews and conference reports undergo a shorter procedure: In this case, only the editorial staff screens, evaluates and selects the texts.

2. General information on how to write your article

2.1 Authors

In order to write an article in a sociological or social science-related style the disciplinary background of the author has only limited relevance. The magazine therefore inclusively invites students of all disciplines, all semesters and all curricula to submit their papers and proposals. We kindly invite all students who are enrolled in a university or college degree (also PhD students) or those who have finished their studies within the last year.

2.2 Submission

Your manuscript should be submitted by the deadline of our current call for papers to einsendungen(at)soziologiemagazin.de as an e-mail-attachment (in .doc(x) format). The same applies to reviews or reports. The document, in case of an article proposition, should also include an abstract of approximately 130 words in which the main subject, main arguments and findings are concluded. Abstracts are written in an impersonal style (neither “I” nor “we”) and should not contain direct quotations. All information about the author(s) have to be submitted in an additional document and should not be found within the article, report or review. The magazine only accepts articles that have not yet been published.

2.3 Extent

The manuscripts should not exceed 5,000 words in length (excluding references). Footnotes will not be printed – thus, notes have to be included in the text and references should be cited in Harvard citation style (see citation guidelines). Reviews and reports should not exceed 2,000 words in length.

2.4 Formatting

Please use Times New Roman, 12pt, hyphenless justification and line spacing 1.5 (main headings in 14pt and bold style, other headings in 12pt and bold style). For accentuation and highlighted passages please only use italics. Instead of a numbered outline we ask you to insert non-technical subheadings every 300 to 400 words that refer to the respective content (that is: no “introduction”, “conclusion” or “excursus”).

2.5 Content

One of the content-related evaluation criteria is that the articles need to deal with a specific sociological or social science-related problem that refers to the topic of the call for papers in the broadest sense. We are especially pleased with creative and innovative articles that have a connection to current academic discourses and despite their originality (including the use of new sources) do not lose sight of relevant and approved literature – even if it is used only to differentiate your position from established ones.

Furthermore, we request not to submit texts in form of term papers. There are at least two major differences between a good term paper and a good scientific article that should be kept in mind:

a) A term paper usually deals with a very restricted body of literature that is based on the bibliography of a seminar. Scientific articles, however, directly or indirectly follow scientific debates and problems which are currently discussed in journals, monographs and anthologies (and in addition, scientific blogs are becoming more popular).

b) Sometimes, term papers consist of a purely descriptive overview or an account of the current state of research on a certain topic which is realized by the comparison of established approaches or the exemplary verification of a popular thesis. In contrast to that, a good scientific article tries to generate an additional scientific benefit. On the one hand, this includes a comprehensive knowledge of the current discussion (see above). On the other hand, it means taking a new perspective and the creation of innovative argumentation patterns, either on the basis of primary data or of a theoretical analysis.

Finally, it should be noted that articles based on extensive final papers often do not meet the criteria of a scientific paper. This is due to the fact that many of these articles consist of many individual fragments of the final paper, resulting in an incoherent text. The reduction of a final paper to a twenty-page article is bound to be difficult to understand. Thus, we recommend another approach: Pick a partial result of your paper that you find particularly original and interesting and focus your article on the justification or explanation of this partial result. Thereby, any irrelevant empirical data as well as preliminary theoretical and methodological considerations will become unnecessary.

2.6 Structure

Ideally, your article is structured as follows: In your introduction (I.) you present a current problem you would like to deal with and then state your question/hypothesis. You also explain how you are going to answer this question or prove your thesis, which includes an outline of your article. This part is followed by the current state of research (II.), focusing on your own perspective and question you would like to develop and underlining its relevance. After briefly explaining the methods you use, your own argumentation begins. Empirical papers should first introduce readers to the used data before presenting and interpreting the results of the research (III.). In the conclusion you summarize your findings and relate it to the wider context of research (IV.): Is your own thesis compatible with other studies concerning the same topic? What do the results mean for further research? Is a change of perspective necessary? Are certain positions of other researchers proven or falsified? Which implications do the results have for society in practice?

2.7 Style, expression and spelling

It is very recommendable to pay attention to a good legibility while writing your text. Although different people may have different preferences, there are some rules which should be respected and usually are of general validity:

  • Sentences should not consist of never-ending sequences of subordinate clauses. This does not mean that a sentence may not extend to more than four lines – as so often, a happy medium is wanted.
  • Please only use foreign words if really necessary.

  • Chains of genetives, accumulation of adjectives, passive sentence structures, many nominal expressions and repetition of words (especially at the beginning of sentences) are to avoid.
  • Please stick to the current rules of spelling and a logical use of tenses (past perfect, past tense, perfect tense, present, future I, future II) – they are essential for legibility.

2.8 Citation

Citation follows the Harvard style. Name, year of publication and, following a colon, page number are provided. Some examples:

(Meyer 2000a: 1); (Meyer 2000b: 1f.); (Meyer 2000: 1ff.); (Meyer 2000: 1, 120); (Bäcker/Meyer 2000: 1)

  • If an author is named in running text the first time, she/he is to be introduced by full name, for example: “It is the merit of the sociologist Norbert Elias to have recognized that …”

  • If a source is depicted analogously or paraphrased, a “cf.” is to be placed before the name. Example: (cf. Meyer 2000: 1). Please make sure to put the bibliographical reference before the full stop. In case the author refers to a bibliographical reference in more than one sentence, a paragraph should be inserted.

  • Entirely cited sentences: The bibliographical reference follows after the full stop.

  • Direct quote including many lines: Please indent (0.5 left and right); no quotation marks required; bibliographical reference after the full stop of the last sentence.

2.9 Formalities

In general

  • Numbers up to twelve are written in letters, if it is logical, which is the case with “ten zebras”. The other case: “two stamps for 10 cent”.

  • Numbers with more than three digits should, for reasons of legibility, contain a comma, for example: 3,000, 240,000.

  • Please do not use abbreviations such as e.g. and i.e. (etc., however, is allowed).

  • Abbreviations such as ASA, BSA are written out when first appearing in the text with the abbreviation in brackets, in case the expression appears again later on.

  • Please write date specifications out: 11(th) December 2013.

  • Please write special characters out, such as %, $, €.

Formatting of bibliographical references following this scheme:

  • If there are more than three authors of an anthology, only name the first one, the others are replaced by “et al.”

  • Please only provide one place of publication. In case there should be more than one, please add “i.a.”, for example: New York i.a.

  • Please use the dash (–) for the numbers of the pages.

Three things to conclude with:

  1. The editorial staff reserves the right to edit submitted texts.

  2. Unfortunately, no duty may be paid for publishing a text in our magazine.

  3. Liability is not assumed for handed in texts.

Have fun writing!


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