Univ of Wisconsin, Madison
Editor, Sociological Theory
Ideas don’t always come in standard-size packages, so why should journal articles always be the same length? At Sociological Theory, we welcome manuscripts as short as 4,500 words and as long as 14,500 words. (In a few cases, papers may even be allowed to exceed that upper limit, but only after an initial review.)
Short articles used to be the norm in sociology. Papers in the core journals of the discipline typically were ten pages in length or less, growing to the current standard length, roughly double that size, only after mid-century. Some papers, like one of my favorites, Herbert Blumer’s “Race Prejudice as a Sense of Social Position,” barely reached 4,500 words and filled up a mere four or five published pages.
As editor of ST, I encourage you to give me your best theoretical ideas. If the most appropriate vehicle for doing so is a manuscript of no more than 4,500 words, then so much the better! It’s the ideas that matter, not the format in which they’re delivered.
Also, publishing the occasional short paper will allow us occasionally to publish longer pieces, on the model of AJS or Theory and Society. Again, something for everyone.