Journal Policies

Editorial Oversight

The General Editor(s) are suggested by the outgoing General Editor, who consults with the Editorial Board before a choice is made. Typically, new General Editor(s) are chosen from among current associate editors.

Associate editors are chosen in consultation between the General Editor(s), other current associate editors, and the Editorial Board. Names are solicited, and evaluated according to the journal’s need for an editor who specializes in a particular subfield of Laboratory Phonology. 

Potential guest editors are asked to contact the General Editor(s) if they are interested in proposing a Special Collection. Typically, Special Collections are limited to events that are associated with the Association for Laboratory Phonology. Guest editors must propose a Special Collection to the General Editor(s), including a short biographical statement for each of the proposing editors in the submission (please see the ‘Special Collections’ section for further information on the application process). 

Editorial roles at both the general and associate level are for a term of three years, which may be renewed at the discretion of both the General Editor and the Associate Editor.

Associate editors are responsible for choosing reviewers for a paper assigned to them. The reviewers are then contacted by the Editorial Assistant and asked whether they can review the paper.  

Guest editors function as associate editors and interface with the General Editor(s) in the same way and hold the same responsibilities for their own Special Collection.  The role ceases upon the completion of the Special Collection. 

When a new paper is submitted, the General Editor (or one of the General Editors) reviews it to determine if it should be sent out to review or not. If it does not meet the criteria of the journal or is obviously lacking in a fundamental area such as experimental design or statistical technique, the paper may be desk-rejected. In that case, the General Editor writes a rejection letter without assigning the paper to an associate editor or soliciting reviewers. If the paper is within the purview of the journal, the General Editor(s) sends the abstract to the associate editors, one of whom then volunteers to shepherd the paper through the review process.

Once the desired number of reviewers have agreed to review a paper and have submitted their reviews, the Associate Editor synthesizes the reviews, provides an editorial decision (‘accept’, ‘major revisions’, ‘minor revisions’ or ‘reject’) and writes an editorial letter to be sent to the author(s). 

This letter is reviewed by and may be edited by the General Editor who has been assigned to the paper. Once consensus between the Associate Editor and the General Editor is reached, the Editorial Assistant sends the letter to the author(s). This process may be iterated for one, two, or more rounds until a paper is accepted or rejected.

Laboratory Phonology cultivates a broad and experienced Editorial Board that contains members from across different nations, academic institutions, genders, and demographics. Potential board members are approached by the editorial team while keeping this diversity in mind.

Members of the editorial team/board are permitted to submit their own papers to the journal, however this is subject to the journal’s policy on Editorial Oversight.

Peer Review Process

All submissions are initially assessed by the General Editor, who decides whether or not the article fits the ‘Focus and Scope’ of the journal and is suitable for peer review. If it is, the manuscript is assigned to an Associate Editor, who, in collaboration with the General Editor, invites at least two independent experts to assess the article. Submissions are assessed for whether they address topics of relevance to Laboratory Phonology, are original, are methodologically sound, follow appropriate ethical guidelines, present results clearly, support their conclusions with relevant data, and correctly reference previous relevant work.

Authors may recommend or ask for the exclusion of specific individuals from the peer review process. The journal does not, however, guarantee that it will use these suggestions. All reviewers must be independent of the submission—with consideration given to the relationship with all contributing authors—and will be asked to declare all competing interests.

After the Associate Editor has received all reviews, they will make a final decision on the manuscript, in collaboration with the General Editor. They will send a report to the corresponding author, which includes the text of the reviews. If the final decision is that the article has to be revised, the authors are invited to submit a revised manuscript by a specified date. The revised submission is normally considered by the same Associate Editor, and, if it is again sent out for review, by at least one of the original reviewers who evaluated the original submission. In most cases, the review process for revised submissions is otherwise the same as for original submissions.

Laboratory Phonology utilizes a single-anonymous review process, as author identity is difficult to ensure in a small and close-knit discipline such as Laboratory Phonology. Authors tend to put manuscripts on their websites and are likely to have presented the work at conferences that reviewers attend. Rather than promote a façade of anonymity that we can almost never ensure, we have opted for a single-anonymous review process. This means that reviewers know the authors’ identities, but the authors do not have access to information regarding the reviewers’ identities unless the reviewers volunteer the information.

Once a paper is assigned to an associate editor, they are responsible for suggesting the names of at least five reviewers for each paper. These names are sent to the General Editor, who then approves or disapproves of the names, and makes alternative suggestions if necessary.

Authors are allowed to suggest potential reviewers for their paper, but this does not mean that their suggested reviewers are guaranteed to be chosen. If reviewers are suggested, the general and associate editors consider whether they are appropriate or whether they potentially have a close relationship with the author.

Peer reviewers are supplied with non-anonymized abstracts, manuscripts, figures, and an author cover letter (if submitted). They also have access to supplementary material if it is submitted.

Reviewers are asked to provide constructive and formative feedback, even if an article is not deemed suitable for publication in the journal. They are asked to finish their assessments within four weeks.

Reviewers are asked to provide comments on whether the submitted article:

  • addresses topics of relevance to Laboratory Phonology;
  • is original;
  • is methodologically sound;
  • follows appropriate ethical guidelines;
  • presents results clearly;
  • supports its conclusions with relevant data;
  • correctly references previous relevant work.

It is important to ensure that reports made by peer reviewers are helpful to the author. Editors will assess whether the peer review reports they receive can provide an adequate base on which to make their decisions. The publisher, the Open Library of Humanities (OLH) has a comprehensive ‘Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement’ that contains more detail of best practice for peer reviewers, under the section ‘Responsibilities of Reviewers’.

Peer review reports for Laboratory Phonology can give one of the following recommendations: ‘Reject’ the article, request ‘Minor Revisions’ or ‘Major Revisions’ to be made to the article, or to ‘Accept Without Revisions’. In the case of each review recommendation, the rationale of the decision should be noted clearly, with examples to show, for instance, fundamental problems that cannot be resolved through major revisions, suggested minor adjustments to parts of the author’s argument, or further relevant research that the author should engage with and cite.

While Laboratory Phonology editors can amend the peer review report’s text to remove identifying information, the recommendation provided by the peer reviewer (such as ‘Accept Without Revisions’, ‘Minor Revisions’, ‘Reject’, and so on) cannot be altered once it has been logged on the Laboratory Phonologys journal system. For example, a recommendation of ‘Minor Revisions’ given by a peer reviewer cannot be changed by any journal editors and will remain permanently recorded on Laboratory Phonology’s journal management system, Janeway. If a peer review report is inadequate, the Laboratory Phonology editorial team will approach another peer reviewer and request a separate and additional review of the article.

According to its peer review policy, Laboratory Phonology does not publish peer review reports alongside articles, or the names of the peer reviewers who have undertaken review of the article. Anonymised peer review data is held securely and privately in the journal’s publishing platform for the author to access whenever they choose to. 

Special Collections/Issues

Laboratory Phonology publishes Special Collections in rare instances, primarily when these are connected to the Association for Laboratory Phonology. These collections are proposed by guest editors.

Potential guest editors are asked to complete and submit a proposal to the journal’s General Editor(s) that contains the following information: 

  • Proposed title and brief summary about the goals and relevance to current research of the collection;
  • Short bios of each guest editor;
  • Projected length of the special collection (Note: there is a maximum of 10 articles or 100,000 words);
  • Proposed deadline for abstract and paper submission;
  • Target date for the completion of the first review round (max. 6 months after the acceptance date);
  • Target date for the deadline for revised manuscripts;
  • Target date for the completion of the review and revision process;
  • Proposed call for submissions.

The General Editor(s) then assess the proposal and provide ‘approval’, ‘rejection’, or (most likely) suggested revisions. The journal’s General Editors oversee the process for the Special Collection issue. Associate Editors are not involved in the Special Collection proposal process, nor are they assigned any of the submitted papers. 

Two separate Associate Editors are chosen to select manuscripts, as well as peer reviewers. Please contact the General Editor(s) if you would like more information.

Please see the section ‘Editorial Oversight’ for more information on the role and remit of guest editors.

Organization and Governance

Laboratory Phonology is owned and managed by the Association for Laboratory Phonology, a non-profit organization. Its main activities are organizing a biennial conference, publishing the journal Laboratory Phonology, and promoting the scientific study of the phonologies of diverse languages, especially through the use of quantitative and laboratory methods to the development of phonological theory. The Association formally came into being in 2010, and the first volume of the Association’s journal Laboratory Phonology appeared that same year. It is funded by membership subscriptions. The Laboratory Phonology research tradition continues to focus on broadening the range of data and the range of phenomena that are taken to be relevant to an understanding of phonology and its place in language.  

The primary governing body of the Association for Laboratory Phonology is the 11-member Executive Council, which consists of three appointed Councilors (who serve ex officio for their roles as the Chief Editor of the Association journal or as a representative from the organizing committee for either the previous or the upcoming LabPhon meeting), four Councilors who are elected to serve in a particular office (the President, the Vice-President/President-Elect, the Secretary, and the Treasurer), and four elected Councilors-at-Large. Eight Councilors (four Officers and four Councilors at-large) are elected by the membership of the Association and three ex-officio Councilors are appointed by the Executive Council. The ex-officio Councilors are the General Editor or one of the co-General Editors of the Association's journal, one representative from the organizing committee of the Association's most recent past biennial conference on Laboratory Phonology, and one representative from the organizing committee of the Association's upcoming (or currently occurring) conference on Laboratory Phonology. The appointment of the Editor-in-Chief or designated co-Editor-in-Chief and two Councilors representing the organizing committee for the Association's biennial conference are confirmed by a majority vote of the Executive Council. The General Editor or designated co-General Editors and two Councilors representing the organizing committee for the Association's biennial conference may be removed from office, with or without cause, by a two-thirds vote of the entire Executive Council.

The journal also has a 14-member Editorial Board which is separate from the Councilors of the Association for Laboratory Phonology. The members of the journal’s Editorial Board have three-year terms and can either rotate off or be reappointed if the General Editor(s) ask an Editorial Board member to stay for another term. They are selected in consultation with the Executive Council of the Association for Laboratory Phonology, which is asked to suggest names. The General Editor(s) decide from among these names and may invite colleagues to be a member of the Editorial Board.

Laboratory Phonology is a member of the Free Journal Network as well as the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). The open access nature of publication in Laboratory Phonology is made possible by the generous support of the Linguistics in Open Access Foundation (LingOA), with long-term funding provided by OLH’s Library Partnership Subsidy model.

From September 7, 2021, onwards, the journal Laboratory Phonology has been published by the OLH through the Janeway platform as a fully open access journal. The journal only appears in an online format. From 2016 – 2021, the journal Laboratory Phonology was published by Ubiquity Press, supported by a grant from the Association of Dutch Universities (VSNU). Volumes 1 (2010) – 6 (2015) of Laboratory Phonology were published by Mouton de Gruyter in print and online format. Articles from the first six volumes are now freely available from Mouton De Gruyter's website

Preprint Policy

The journal is happy to accept submissions of papers loaded onto preprint servers or personal websites, presented at conferences, or presented on other informal communication channels. These formats will not be deemed prior to publication. Authors must retain copyright to such postings. Authors are encouraged to link any prior posting of their paper to the final published version within the journal, if it is editorially accepted.


The journal strongly recommends that all authors submitting a paper register an account with Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier (ORCID). Registration provides a unique and persistent digital identifier for the account that enables accurate attribution and improves the discoverability of published papers, ensuring that the correct author receives the correct credit for their work. As the ORCID remains the same throughout the lifetime of the account, changes of name, affiliation, or research area do not effect the discoverability of an author's past work and aid correspondence with colleagues.

The journal encourages all corresponding authors to include an ORCID within their submitting author data whilst co-authors are recommended to include one. ORCID numbers should be added to the author data upon submission and will be published alongside the submitted paper, should it be accepted.

Advertising and Direct Marketing

Laboratory Phonology does not permit any advertising on the journal’s website and will never consider requests of any kind from other parties wishing to advertise in the journal or on its webpages.

This journal does not engage in any direct marketing practices.

The publisher, OLH, employs a Marketing Officer who undertakes general marketing activities for the publisher including the promotion of its journals. The Marketing Officer does not, however, engage in direct marketing for any OLH journals and this does not affect the editorial decisions of OLH journals in any way.

Other Revenue

This journal is funded by OLH’s Library Partnership Subsidy Model and is also funded by the membership dues of the Association for Laboratory Phonology. The journal also accepts Voluntary Author Contributions (VACs) for articles.

Conduct and Expected Behaviour

The journal does not tolerate abusive behaviour or correspondence toward its staff, academic editors, authors, or reviewers. Any person engaged with the journal who resorts to abusive behaviour or correspondence will have their contribution immediately withdrawn and future engagement with the journal will be at the discretion of the Editor and/or publisher.