About the Journal

Focus and Scope

About the Journal:

Janus Unbound: Journal of Critical Studies is a double-blind peer-reviewed open access journal, aspiring to occupy a unique niche among journals of critical studies. Affiliated with Open SpaceJanus Unbound is envisioned as a transdisciplinary platform for scholarly writing and academic research and exchange within the field of World Literature in particular, and Cultural Studies and the Humanities in general, and a medium of intercommunication for students, teachers, researchers, critics, intellectuals, scholars, and artists all over the world. 

Published bi-annually, it offers lively and informative reading for a broad community, focuses on innovative perspectives, and presents itself as an essential source for researchers of World Literature, Cultural Studies, and the Humanities. 

Janus Unbound is particularly attracted to works that challenge prevailing views and established ideas and encourages thought-provoking research topics, debate, and criticism. It seeks to foster transdisciplinarity, participate in the ongoing reconfiguration of knowledge and challenge received conceptual frames and perspectives. 

JU aims to be a venue for unpublished works, both academic and creative (poetry), and is a platform for originality, excellence, and talent. It appeals to all those interested in transdisciplinary approaches and is designed for adepts at groundbreaking interpretations, critical provocations, and profound philosophical and theoretical discussions. 

JU accepts submissions on a rolling basis and publishes reviews, essays, articles, criticism, interviews, notes, commentaries, book reviews, short communications, and short articles. It also welcomes poetry, long, short, or in-between. 


Current State of the Field:

The current state of the art reveals an extremely restricted coverage of research and a high rate of rejection of oftentimes excellent proposals. JU promises to unbind pervasive constraints in the publishing sphere today and swears allegiance to considering papers for publication on the basis of excellence and merit, and not on the subjective views expressed therein. JU allows full expression of ideas, thoughts, opinions, and encourages criticism



Scope of the Field:

JU is an independent bi-annual publication. It aims to publish and disseminate globally original and cutting-edge research and writing in World Literature in particular, and in Cultural Studies and the Humanities in general. The journal’s approach is transdisciplinary; it aims to publish articles, full-length review essays, and other writings informed by literature, literary and cultural theory, philosophy, and other disciplines from the Humanities. JU values change, novelty, and originality, and is particularly interested in new theories, perspectives, and philosophies that explore emerging fields of research. 

The rationale for Creating the Journal:

JU has been created from the idea that the time is ripe for an intellectual revolution

Aims of the Journal:

The journal views dogmatic logic, strict methodology, restricted space, length, and focus, as ideological, and as impediments to creativity. JU eschews the positivist view that social reality is “out there” waiting to be “found” scientifically, and the view that researchers are able to maintain an objective distance from research subjects and a neutral stance. Instead, the journal


    seriously attempts to produce innovative transdisciplinary analyses by involving a cross-cutting approach; 

    does not content itself with applying methodologies or theories but submits new gestures and presuppositions to critical and theoretical scrutiny; 

    endeavors to open new questions and posit new objects for investigation on the basis of theoretical innovation. 

    takes the view that researchers create and generate personal, subjective views;

    confronts the challenging, ever-changing phenomenon of art, and does that in an unbound fashion;


Practically speaking, JU has been created bearing in mind the often very long review process a submitted work endures; JU vows to make the review process as fast and effective as possible, as is fitting for a platform for new thinking.


JU targets a global audience—that includes students, teachers, researchers, professionals, scholars, philosophers, artists, and critics—reared in the milieu of Philosophy, Cultural Studies, and the Humanities in general, and World Literature in particular.



Submission is performed through emails. Manuscripts submitted to JU will go to the Editor(s) first (info@janusunbound.com) then suitable papers are submitted for double-blind peer review. 

Papers submitted to JU should be of outstanding quality and originality. They should be based on newness, excellence, uniqueness in style and tone, and should be provocative so as to re-orient research and give way to new areas of research.

Language of Janus Unbound:

This journal only publishes manuscripts in English or translated into English, and contributions should be in English or translated into English. JU will, however, be open to other languages in the future, such as French. 

Authors should be aware that they are addressing an international audience. They can use terms that might be meaningful only to a local or national audience but should provide their audience with a clear explanation. If passages are in other languages, please provide us with a translation.


Bi-annual (March/August)


“If not now, when?”


Blue (Freedom and sophistication), Grey (transition and beginnings), Purple (extravagance and hospitality)




There are no submission or publication charges for authors publishing in this journal.

Word Limit:

Papers may go from 2 000 (notes, comments, and short communications) to 12 000 words (long essays). As acceptance of papers is based on excellence and originality, longer papers may also be accepted. Poems should be between 15 to 20 lines; exceptions can be made for excellent poems.

Style Guidelines:

Initial submissions can be submitted without following the guidelines for authors (see below). If the paper is accepted for publication, it is returned to the author to make the necessary changes.

Referencing Style:

The referencing criteria JU upholds are based on the 17th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style (Author-Date). 

1. All citations and references must conform to Chicago's Author-Date style. A quick guide to this format can be found here:


2. All notes must be formatted as end notes.

3. References must be complete (and include full page ranges for articles, chapters of books, etc.).

4. Please submit articles or reviews in 12 point, Times New Roman font.

5. Please double space at time of submission.

Spelling: UK with -ize endings

Using Third-Party Material in your Paper:

Authors must obtain the necessary permission to reuse third-party material. The use of short extracts of text and some other types of material is usually permitted, on a limited basis, for the purposes of criticism and review without securing formal permission. If the author wishes to include any material in their paper for which they do not hold copyright, they will need to obtain written permission from the copyright owner prior to submission. 



Peer Review Process

Manuscripts submitted to JU are first assessed by the editor(s), then, if suitable, sent out for peer review, which follows the procedure outlined below. Our reviewers play a vital role in maintaining the high standards of Janus Unbound: Journal of Critical Studies. The practice of peer-review is to ensure that only good research is published.

Peer-review Ethics:

JU is committed to peer review integrity and upholds the highest standards of review. Once a paper is assessed for suitability by the editor(s), it will be sent out for double-blind peer review by anonymous referees. 

Initial Manuscript Evaluation:

The editor(s) first evaluates all manuscripts (academic and creative). It is rare, but it is entirely feasible for an exceptional manuscript to be accepted at this stage. Those rejected at this stage are insufficiently original, lack excellence, have serious flaws or poor grammar, or are outside the aims and scope of the journal. Those that meet the minimum criteria are passed on to two experts for review. Authors of manuscripts rejected at this stage will be informed immediately

Type of Peer Review:

JU employs double-blind reviewing, where both the referee and author remain anonymous throughout the process.

How the referee is selected:

Referees are matched to the paper according to their expertise. Members of the JU editorial board are often used as referees, but many other experts are also called upon.

Referee reports:

Referees are asked to evaluate whether the manuscript:

      Is appropriate to the journal.

      Is original.

      Suggests new perspectives and insights.

      Is excellent.

Also, the manuscript’s arguments should be strongly supported and clearly demonstrated. Referees should also make sure that the criticism performed is directed toward ideas, not people.

 Please note, once again, that JU assesses papers on the basis of excellence and originality, not on the basis of the author’s personalviews. Referees are not expected to correct or copyedit manuscripts. Language correction is not part of the peer review process. They can however do that if they so wish. Their effort will be appreciated.

How long does the review process take?

JU promises a fast, effective and proper peer review process. The manuscript is to be reviewed within three weeks. Should the referees’ reports contradict one another or a report is delayed, a third expert’s opinion may be sought.

Final report:

The referees advise the editor(s) to accept or reject, but the editor’s decision is final. A final decision to accept or reject the manuscript will be sent to the editor then to the author along with any recommendations or comments made by the referees.





Open Access Policy

This journal is online and free of charge. It provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.



Janus Unbound’s Policy

Please carefully review the following terms and conditions; they comprise how Janus Unbound: Journal of Critical Studies is envisioned.

JU’s Vision:

Janus Unbound is a journal of critical studies.

- The journal’s name stands for change (Janus) and resistance (Unbound).

JU’s principles are freedom of speech and sophistication, transitions and beginnings, extravagance and hospitality, purity of thought and honesty in knowledge. 

- The journal’s colors are midnight blue, purple, and grey. These form a part of the journal’s identity.

-  JU accommodates two sections: an academic section and a creative section.

-  JU values peer review and ensures a proper and fast peer review process (three weeks).

- Manuscripts must be subject to the editors’ initial assessment before they are sent out for peer review. This assessment takes a maximum of one week.

- Everything JU does should be done in an unbound way, as the journal’s name suggests. Its actions and rationales should avoid calcification.

JU’s identity shall not be distorted by any party, external or internal. 

Editorial Team, Editors, Guest Editors, Editorial and Advisory Board:

    JU has one editor: an editor-in-chief.

    JU has three associate editors.

    JU has a number of subeditors: poetry editor, book review editor, copy editor, visual arts editor.

    Should an editor decide to resign, a notification should be made in advance and not in the middle of an issue.

    JU has an Editorial Board and an Advisory Board. 

    The Editorial Collective is composed of editors, subeditors, members of the Editorial board, and editorial assistants.

    Experts invited to serve as editors, assistant editors, members of the Editorial and Advisory boards should only accept the invitation if they feel they can devote time and effort to the journal.



   Guest editors are invited by the editor(s).

    Proposals submitted by potential guest editors are reviewed by the editors, Editorial Board, and Advisory Board.

    Guest editors should abide by the vision of the journal.

    Editorial assistants are part of JU’s Editorial Collective.

    Editorial assistants are not editors, associate editors, assistant editors, nor are they members of the Editorial Board and Advisory Board.

    Editorial assistants manage submissions, ensure coordination between the editors, reply to authors’ or organizations’ queries and perform the different tasks assigned to them by the five editors.  

    Members of the Editorial Collective, including Editorial Board members, and members of the Advisory Board, should contribute at least once a year (two issues) to the journal’s content and success. 

    The Editorial Board and the Advisory Board will each meet twice per year, primarily virtually, though the Editorial Board (or a shadow cabinet thereof) may on occasion be called for extra meetings.  

    All JU members should submit their contact details for internal usage. These will remain confidential.

    All the members of the Editorial Board can be called upon for extra editorial work (e.g. coordination, checking, copy-editing, proofreading, typesetting, design, lay-out etc.), should the occasion arise. 

    Experts who figure on the journal’s website, presentations, Editorial and Advisory Boards have all agreed to join the journal either by email, official social media, or direct contact. 

    No expert’s name shall be displayed on the journal’s platform without their consent.

    No expert shall join the journal if their admission is not agreed upon by the editors.


    Authors published by JU and the views expressed in their work do not represent the views of JU as a journal.

     JU assumes no responsibility for the content provided by the published author. 

    The copyright of the published content is retained by the author(s). The author can reproduce and redistribute their content as they please.



    The peer review process is anonymous, and starts immediately after the editors’ assessment (a maximum of one week), and lasts three weeks. The journal can provide the referee with a reasonable extension should they ask for it. 

    Any piece submitted for publication by JU should be peer reviewed. This includes the works of the editors, the advisory and Editorial Board members, the reviewers, the publisher, and the Editorial Collective. 

    Authors should certify that all information contained in a published content is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge, that the work they submit is their own, and that the published content does not contain any threatening, harassing, libelous, false, defamatory, or offensive material. 

    Submission of a contribution will be held to imply that it contains original, unpublished work and is not being submitted for publication elsewhere.

    When submitting their work to JU, authors should certify that they have not submitted it elsewhere, that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere, and that it has not been published elsewhere.

    The content should be intellectually constructed. And criticism should be performed intellectually, meaning it should be directed against ideas, not against people.

    All authors are expected to state in their paper if they have a conflict of interest.

    All named authors on the papers should confirm that they have jointly participated in the research and writing of the paper and that no author has been omitted from the list of authors. 

    Authors must warrant that their work does not plagiarize or copy someone else’s work without attribution. 

    Authors must warrant that their article does not defame, libel, or bring another person into disrepute and that it does not contain anything illegal (e.g. copyright infringing).

    No external party, such as JU’s affiliations, associations, or the publisher, shall seek to alter or control the content of the journal, and no other party, internal or external, shall alter or control its editorial content. The content is controlled solely by the editors, based on the reports they receive from the referees and on the principles of the journal.

    Should a piece be of outstanding quality, and should it fall within the editor’s area of expertise, the editor(s) reserve(s) the right to accept it for publication without sending it out to reviewers.

Terms and Conditions:

    JU reserves the right to change at any time the rules upon which it is based.

    Third parties are responsible for regularly reviewing JU’s policy. 

    If an author submits, publishes, or contributes to JU, this shall be taken to constitute acceptance by the author of these Terms and Conditions.


Indexing and Abstracting

Janus Unbound is indexed in MLA International Bibliography and is listed in MLA Directory of Periodicals and Ulrich’s Directory of Periodicals.


Sources of Support