ISA Digital Worlds

Structure of Commentaries

Each entry can be commented on. Commentaries can be commissioned by the Editor or Associate Editors or submitted by authors. Sociopedia.isa does not have any deadlines, but agreements are made about the time frame. When submitted commentaries meet the journal's guidelines, they are evaluated by the Editor or Associate Editors. When accepted, authors sign a contributor's agreement with Sage, which subsequently edits and publishes the commentary (contributors will retain copyright in their commentary. The ISA will hold the copyright in the editorial arrangement of Sociopedia.isa). Before the commentary is published, the author of the entry that is commented on is offered the possibility to write a reply. If he/she accepts this invitation, the commentary and the reply are published simultaneously in Sociopedia.isa.

After two years, authors of entries are asked to write an update of their work, taking into account any commentaries they may have had. When updated entries are published all previous commentaries are withdrawn from the website. Commentaries do remain mentioned on the list of published entries

A commentary should contain several elements. Please structure the commentary in accordance with the indicated order. Commentaries that do not meet the requirements will not be taken into consideration.

Some general remarks:

  • Length: a commentary should be between 500 and 1000 words in total, excluding the bibliography (see below).
  • References should be in Harvard style. Since the commentary is published online, no footnotes can be published.
  • Language: The commentary is written in English. Non-native English speakers need to make sure that their commentary is written in correct English. It is recommended that non-native speakers have their commentaries checked by a native speaker.
  • OptionalSociopedia.isa offers native speakers the opportunity to submit a French and/or Spanish translation of their commentary for publication alongside their original (English) commentary. The author needs to make sure that such a translated commentary is an exact copy of the final version of the original (English) commentary and that it is grammatically in order. Copies in other languages need to be structured in the same way as original commentaries.

The commentary should be structured in three parts:

Title: “Commentary on article “ADD NAME” by “ADD NAME AUTHOR”.

  1. Introduction: a short description of what the argument is about of approximately 50 words.
  2. Elaboration of the critique (between 400-900 words). The critique may address such topics as
    1. Theoretical foundation: critique of the way the field is delineated by the author, or of the way theories are interpreted; critique of the scope of the literature cited; or critique of the theories discussed.
    2. Empirical references: Empirical evidence may be incomplete, misinterpreted, or irrelevant.
  3. Short concluding statement of approximately 50 words.

Finish up the article with the following two elements:

  • Cite up to 5 references. Optionally, these references may be recommended for further reading.
  • Add a short author biography of approximately 10 to 20 words including the name, location (e.g. affiliation with a university or other institution) and expertise of the author.

Additional note:

Referring to commentaries:

Mention both the title and the link to the commentary. For instance:
Schmidt, Volker H. 2010. "Commentary to 'Modernity and Modernization' by Shmuel Eisenstadt" in Sociopedia.isa (