Are you working in an emerging or under-recognized area of inquiry that needs more focused attention in RHM and the larger field? Are you part of a scholarly conversation that is seeking to shift common understandings of or rhetorical approaches to studying an area in health and medicine? Do you want to enhance your editorial skills and learn more about the editorial process of a journal? If so, you might consider proposing a special issue of RHM.

Beginning in 2019, RHM will have the flexibility to publish up to one special issue each year. Therefore, we are accepting proposals for special issues, on a rolling basis, by individuals or groups (including groups that include researchers in other disciplines and other health/medical stakeholders).


At RHM, we develop special issues a little differently. The most notable difference is that you will work with one of the co-editors throughout the process, from developing the call for papers (CFP) through working with the journal’s assistant editors to develop supplementary Web content to preparing the issue for print. This ensures a good mentoring experience and good support from the journal’s review process and other resources.

Development and Proposal Review

The first step in developing a special issue proposal is to reach out to the two RHM editors, who can talk with you about the viability of the idea as it relates to the journal’s plans and publication trajectory (we might, for example, recommend that you start with a dialogue or some smaller contribution first, or recommend another scholar with whom to collaborate). If you get the green light to develop the proposal, one of us (your potential co-editor) will work with you more closely on this, and the proposal will be reviewed by the RHM editorial board, who will either recommend not pursuing the project or advancing it with suggestions for revision or refinement.

CFP Promotion and Paper Review

If your proposal is accepted pending revisions, you will lead the process in revising the call for papers (CFP), which will probably ask for shorter pre-proposals for papers first and which can include the range of the journal’s submission types (add link here). The RHM assistant editors will help distribute the call far and wide. After you receive full manuscripts, your co-editor will work with you to shepherd these through the journal’s regular review process, including selecting reviewers, writing decision letters, and guiding authors in revision. You will be the primary point person for responding to (potential) authors’ queries, drafting decision and recommendations, and working with reviewers and authors to ensure timely review and revision, respectively.

Preparing Publication and Promotion

Once manuscripts are accepted, you will work with the RHM editorial staff to prepare them for publication, including copyediting, and to develop supplementary material for the website, such as video or podcast interviews with authors. Some of this material, along with select manuscripts designated as open-access, can appear on the RHM website head of the print issue. The final phase of your work will involve working with the assistant editors to promote the special issue, including among any relevant non-academic groups.

Proposal Requirements:

  • Justification for the topic and how it is situated within current RHM and related scholarship (~1000 words + short bibliography)
  • Potential ideas and contributors for RHM submission types other than research articles; these can include reviews and dialogues as well as commentaries and persuasion briefs with broader audiences that include non-academic stakeholders
  • Sample CFP draft for your issue (no more than two pages)
  • Brief statement of why you want to do a special issue, which could include how it advances your own scholarship and values as well as those of the field (200-500 words)
  • Current cv

Send initial inquiries and, if ideas are approved, proposals to Co-Editors Lisa Meloncon and Blake Scott at