Sociological Science is an open-access, online, peer-reviewed, international journal for social scientists committed to advancing a general understanding of social processes. Sociological Science welcomes original research and commentary from all subfields of sociology, and does not privilege any particular theoretical or methodological approach. It is:
- Open access: Accepted works are freely available, and authors retain copyright. Sociological Science applies the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license to works we publish.
- Timely: Sociological Science will make editorial decisions within 30 days; accepted works appear online immediately upon receipt of final version and completion of the production process.
- Evaluative, not developmental: Rather than focus on identifying potential areas for improvement in a submission, editors focus on judging whether the submission as written makes a rigorous and thoughtful contribution to sociological knowledge
- Concise: Sociological Science encourages a high ratio of novel ideas and insights to written words
- A community: The journal’s online presence is intended as a forum for commentary and debate aimed at advancing sociological knowledge and bringing into the open conversations that usually occur behind the scenes between authors and reviewers
Sociological Science is published by the Society for Sociological Science, a non-profit organization.
Sociological Science publishes work of primary interest to sociological researchers and other social scientists interested in sociological topics. By encouraging work from all subfields of sociology, but not requiring that papers be of general sociological interest, the journal facilitates the advancement of knowledge through specialization while allowing for the discovery of connections between subfields.
The journal subscribes to the following principles:
Sociological Science evaluates and selects papers; it does not develop them.
- Although the editorial process can sometimes improve the quality of papers, there are also significant costs to this process, especially in terms of speed and sometimes even in quality (when published papers do not improve as a result of the peer review process). Sociological Science is intended to avoid these costs. In so doing, it will provide a distinctive publication option for sociologists—one that complements existing journals that operate according to the traditional editorial process.
Sociological Science prefers errors of commission (accepting papers that should have been rejected) over errors of omission (rejecting papers that should have been accepted).
- Scientific progress requires free and open exchange, and judgments of novelty and impact are best left to the journal’s readership. Sociological Science, therefore, shall be disposed to publish a paper despite reasonable disagreements between the author(s) and the editorial staff about its importance and/or technical soundness, and shall encourage constructive, public debates.
Sociological Science emphasizes speed and brevity.
- Scientific journals have a greater influence on scientific discourse if they are widely read, and are quick to respond to and record evolving debates and perspectives. This has two implications for Sociological Science’s editorial process. First, Sociological Science strives to minimize the time papers spend in the review process. Second, since the ratio of novel insights to the number of written words should be high, Sociological Science discourages excessive citations to prior work, needless literature reviews, and tangential discussions.
Sociological Science is a journal for both theory and evidence.
- Science advances through a dialogue between theory and evidence. Neither should be privileged in the editorial process. In Sociological Science, papers that primarily identify or resolve empirical puzzles have equal standing with papers that primarily address conceptual puzzles. Similarly, the replication of prior work is an important element of scientific progress, and Sociological Science welcomes replication studies.
Sociological Science is a journal for papers of all formats and styles.
- Contributions to knowledge can take many forms. Authors of Sociological Science articles should be free to adopt the rhetorical form and style best suited to communicating their intellectual contribution.
Sociological Science is a general interest sociology journal, for specialists.
- Scientific advance occurs primarily through dialogue between specialists. Submissions to Sociological Science shall therefore be judged by the extent to which they contribute constructively to that dialogue, and not by their appeal or accessibility to a general audience.
All work published by Sociological Science is subject to the Creative Commons Attributions License. Under this license, authors retain ownership of the copyright to their work, but allow anyone to download, reuse, reprint, modify, distribute, and/or copy their work in Sociological Science, provided that the original authors and source are cited.