Instructions for authors


The European Journal of Empirical Legal Studies (EJELS) welcomes novel and innovative contributions in the form of research articles, short articles, new datasets, and methodological developments and teaching notes. EJELS also welcomes proposals for Special Issues on innovative and focused topics.

EJELS is open to quantitative as well as qualitative scholars, acknowledging the richness in approaching different issues from various angles and using complementary or mixed methods approaches. Editorial decisions are based on the high quality of the research. The Journal is not restricted to any particular field of law nor any particular legal system, but submissions need to be of relevance to a European audience.

Contact the Managing Editor ( if you have any questions.

All submissions should be submitted online through the Journal’s online submission system. Please read carefully through these instructions and the Journal’s Policies and ensure that your submission is in compliance.

The Journal follows an exclusive submission process. This means that articles which are under consideration in other journals or have been published elsewhere cannot be considered for publication in this journal. The Journal does accept manuscripts that have previously been uploaded for review as preliminary versions, on personal websites, presented at conferences, or made available through other informal communication channels. However, authors must hold copyright for the text in question.

All manuscripts which are chosen to be sent to a review process are subjected to a double-blind peer review undertaken by anonymous reviewers who have special expertise in the subject of interest. Our aim is to make a first decision within three months of receipt of the manuscript.

No submission fee, publication fee, or Open Access fee is charged for publication in EJELS.

Manuscript requirements

Contributions can be research articles, short articles, new datasets, methodological developments or teaching notes.

Research Articles: Research articles should be substantive papers that offer a significant scholarly contribution to a timely and relevant legal topic. This category includes review articles. Research articles should typically be between 8,000 and 12,000 words (excluding references and appendices).

Short Articles: Short articles are articles that even though they advance the scholarly field are briefer than a research article, for example contributions that deal with a niche topic. Short articles are typically between 5,000-7,000 words (excluding references and appendices).

New Datasets: With the aim to advance the sharing and reuse of scientific data, creating new avenues for research based on shared data, the Journal publishes papers that present and describe new datasets.

Methodological Developments and Teaching Notes: To foster learning and development of methods, the Journal welcomes papers that describe newly developed, expanded, or especially adjusted methods to the field of empirical legal studies. These papers will typically be up to 12,000 words.

Preparing Your Article

  1. Submissions shall include:
    1. A cover page that contains authors’ names, institutional affiliation, where available, ORCiD; a clear indication of and an active e-mail address for the corresponding author; an abstract that does not exceed 200 words, 2–5 keywords; acknowledgements, funding, conflict of interest statement; the name of the ethics committee and the approval number when relevant.
    2. An anonymized version of the manuscript for double-blind peer-review (this includes deleting author information in the Word file, see File > Properties > Summary). Please refer to the maximum word count above.
    3. Any additional files, for example figures and appendices.
  2. Submissions should use Times New Roman 12p. 1.5 spaces and be submitted in Word file format (.docx).
  3. Submissions shall be written in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Manuscripts by non-native English-speaking authors may require editing to eliminate possible grammatical or spelling errors, and it is strongly recommended that these authors use an English language editing service. The responsibility for correct language usage lies with the authors and not with editors. Figures and tables should be in the text at the right place, not at the end of the text, and figures should also be submitted as separate files. 
  4. Before being published, the submission must comply with the following style guidelines (but may be resolved after acceptance):
    1. Use double quotes (“xxx”) for quotes and single (‘xxx’) for quotes inside quotes. Long quotations should be indented without quotation marks and with a blank line above and below text (block quotes).
    2. References to sources are made using the Chicago Manual of Style (author-date) system (more information) and footnotes (never endnotes).
    3. DOI numbers for articles should be included in the reference list where available, and DOI links should as far as possible be clickable.
    4. Headings should be numbered using the decimal system and with no more than three levels (1, 1.1, 1.1.1).
    5. Abbreviations should be defined at first mention and used consistently thereafter.