English Language and Linguistics is going from strength to strength. The journal is now in its twenty-third year, and the number of submissions to ELL is steadily increasing. This has led to two developments (both very welcome) which we thought we should let readers know about in this short editorial. We first set out a little background.
Most readers now interact with ELL electronically (with 15,349 article downloads in the first half of 2018), but we (and our publisher, Cambridge University Press) retain a commitment to publishing the journal in hard copy as well as in electronic form, with multiple issues per year. This allows us to maintain traditional expectations of journal publication, with page numbers and all the other attention that published articles receive. It also allows us to maintain another positive tradition: the publication of one Special Issue per year. For several years now, we have been sending out a ‘call for proposals’, inviting members of the ELL-related research community to submit proposals for potential Special Issues, one of which is selected by the editors. The articles submitted to these Special Issues are subjected to the same quality and reviewing standards as regular submissions, and we look forward to continuing this tradition.
What is the fate of regular submissions? Two years ago, we conducted a full investigation, which showed a 40 per cent acceptance rate. We think that this is healthy: articles have a good chance of being published once they have passed through review, but it is no easy ride, and authors can be proud to see an article appear in ELL's pages. Once an article has been fully accepted in its final form, it is published on the Cambridge University Press FirstView site, at which point it is assigned a DOI. Book reviews are also published on FirstView once they have been accepted. This means that there are no significant delays between the acceptance of an article or review and its initial publication. Articles and reviews are then gathered together to be published in an issue of ELL, largely on the basis of when they appeared on FirstView (but not exclusively on that basis to allow for some thematic and length considerations in an issue). It is in connection with this that we have our first piece of news: we are delighted to announce that ELL is moving to quarterly publication, beginning with this issue. At the same time, the size of each issue will increase. This will lead to a considerable increase in the space available in ELL: the page budget for 2018 was 576 pages in three issues, and it will grow to 896 pages in four issues from this volume. This will shorten the amount of time that articles and book reviews spend on FirstView before print publication.
As ELL's three Editors and its Book Review Editor, we gratefully acknowledge the help of our twenty-member Editorial Board and, of course, of the many reviewers who do the crucial if largely unsung work of providing the reports that keep up the quality of the articles that ELL publishes. It is in connection with personnel that we have our second piece of news. One of the developments in article submission over the past few years is that we have been receiving an increasing number of pieces in which statistical analysis plays a significant role. We welcome this wholeheartedly (although ELL will also always welcome research where statistical analysis is not applicable). In order to ensure that articles submitted to ELL use statistics appropriately, we are delighted to report that ELL has appointed a Statistics Consultant, Natalia Levshina, from Leipzig University, who will provide expert advice on pieces where such input is appropriate, in addition to regular reviewers' reports.
To conclude: English Language and Linguistics is indeed going from strength to strength. We encourage submissions in all areas of English linguistics, and we look forward to reading them.