Scientific Study of Literature

David I. Hanauer | Indiana University Pennsylvania
Founding Editor
Willie van Peer | Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
Associate Editors
Melanie C. Green | University at Buffalo
Arthur M. Jacobs | Freie Universität Berlin
Gerhard Lauer | Universität Basel
Managing Editor
ORCID logoFederico Pianzola | University of Groningen
Assistant Editor
Paul Sopčák | MacEwan University
Copy Editor
ORCID logoJustin Nicholes | University of Wisconsin-Stout
All inquiries should be sent to the assistant editor Paul Sopcak (Grant MacEwan University) at:

Literature has an important role in human culture. Broadly interpreted, literature is defined as all cultural artefacts that make use of literary devices, such as narrativity, metaphoricity, symbolism. Its manifestations include novels, short stories, poetry, theatre, film, television, and, more recently, digital forms such as hypertext storytelling. Scientific Study of Literature (SSOL) publishes empirical studies that apply scientific stringency to cast light on the structure and function of literary phenomena. The journal welcomes contributions from many disciplinary perspectives (psychological, developmental, cross-cultural, cognitive, neuroscience, computational, and educational) to deepen our understanding of literature, literary processes, and literary applications.

Scientific Study of Literature (SSOL) is the official journal of IGEL (the International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature). IGEL membership includes a subscription to SSOL.

SSOL publishes its articles Online First.

For a more in-depth description, read The scope of SSOL: A discussion of the boundaries of science and literature by David I. Hanauer.

Call for papers.

ISSN: 2210-4372 | E-ISSN: 2210-4380
DOI logo
Latest articles

24 July 2023

  • New directions in the scientific study of literature
    SSOL 12:1-2 (2022) pp. 1–3
  • 3 July 2023

  • The new monstrous and its resonance with Frankenstein : A method to detail a social mind
    David Thomson | SSOL 12:1-2 (2022) p. 4
  • 29 June 2023

  • Willie van Peer Anna Chesnokova . 2023. Experiencing Poetry: A Guidebook to Psychopoetics
    Reviewed by Norbert Francis | SSOL 12:1-2 (2022) pp. 164–167
  • 13 June 2023

  • An intricate dance of intersubjectivity : The social and cognitive benefits of a digital shared reading group
    Anna W Gustafsson , Per Johnsson , Kajsa Järvholm , Katarina Bernhardsson , Torbjörn Forslid Anders Ohlsson | SSOL 12:1-2 (2022) pp. 103–132
  • 30 March 2023

  • Swirling currents : Identifying predominant themes and processes through a digital analysis of American nature writing
    Christine R. Junker , Mark S. Cubberley Stephen J. Jacquemin | SSOL 12:1-2 (2022) pp. 28–48
  • 28 March 2023

  • J. Nicholes . 2022. Creative writing across the curriculum: Meaningful literacy for college writers across disciplines, languages, and identities
    Reviewed by Atsushi Iida | SSOL 12:1-2 (2022) pp. 168–173
  • 28 November 2022

  • Readers during the Covid-19 pandemic : Reading choices, habits and emotional experiences
    Karin Kukkonen Ylva Østby | SSOL 12:1-2 (2022) p. 83
  • 25 November 2022

  • Preaching to the Choir and Beyond : The power of a narrative to change moral attitudes
    Ruoyan Zeng Ellen Winner | SSOL 12:1-2 (2022) pp. 133–163
  • 29 September 2022

  • Style of creative nonfiction : A multidimensional analysis of literary essays
    Marianna Gracheva | SSOL 12:1-2 (2022) pp. 49–82
  • 20 June 2022

  • Towards a more complex understanding of our tools and hypotheses
    SSOL 11:2 (2021) p. 147
  • Issues

    Volume 12 (2022)

    Volume 11 (2021)

    Volume 10 (2020)

    Volume 9 (2019)

    Volume 8 (2018)

    Volume 7 (2017)

    Volume 6 (2016)

    Volume 5 (2015)

    Volume 4 (2014)

    Volume 3 (2013)

    Volume 2 (2012)

    Volume 1 (2011)

    Editorial Board
    Markus Appel | University of Linz
    Douglas Biber | Northern Arizona University
    Marisa Bortolussi | University of Alberta
    Brian Boyd | University of Auckland
    Gerald C. Cupchik | University of Toronto
    Robert Darnton | Director of Harvard University Library
    Peter Dixon | University of Alberta
    Richard J. Gerrig | Stony Brook University
    ORCID logoRaymond W. Gibbs, Jr. | University of California at Santa Cruz
    ORCID logoRachel Giora | University of Tel Aviv
    Arthur C. Graesser | University of Memphis
    Frank Hakemulder | University of Utrecht
    Don Kuiken | University of Alberta
    János László † | Hungarian Academy of Sciences
    ORCID logoMax M. Louwerse | Tilburg University
    Raymond Mar | York University (Canada)
    David S. Miall | University of Alberta
    Keith Oatley | University of Toronto
    Mary Beth Oliver | Penn State
    Willie van Peer | Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
    James W. Pennebaker | University of Texas
    Joan Peskin | University of Toronto
    ORCID logoSteven Pinker | Harvard University
    David N. Rapp | Northwestern University
    Margrit Schreier | Jakobs University Bremen
    Yeshayahu Shen | Tel Aviv University
    Mick Short | University of Lancaster
    Gerard J. Steen | University of Amsterdam
    Ed S. Tan | University of Amsterdam
    Reinhold Viehoff | University of Halle
    Peter Vorderer | University of Mannheim
    Joris van Zundert | Huygens Institute, The Netherlands
    Rolf A. Zwaan | Erasmus University Rotterdam
    ORCID logoSonia Zyngier | Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
    Subscription Info
    Current issue: 12:1/2, available as of July 2023

    General information about our electronic journals.

    Subscription rates

    All prices for print + online include postage/handling.

    Online-only Print + online

    Available back-volumes

    Online-only Print + online
    Complete backset
    (Vols. 1‒12; 2011‒2022)
    24 issues;
    3,600 pp.
    EUR 1,829.00 EUR 2,035.00
    Volumes 10‒12 (2020‒2022) 2 issues; avg. 300 pp. EUR 161.00 per volume EUR 187.00 per volume
    Volume 9 (2019) 2 issues; 300 pp. EUR 158.00 EUR 183.00
    Volume 8 (2018) 2 issues; 300 pp. EUR 153.00 EUR 178.00
    Volume 7 (2017) 2 issues; 300 pp. EUR 149.00 EUR 173.00
    Volume 6 (2016) 2 issues; 300 pp. EUR 149.00 EUR 168.00
    Volume 5 (2015) 2 issues; 300 pp. EUR 149.00 EUR 163.00
    Volume 4 (2014) 2 issues; 300 pp. EUR 149.00 EUR 158.00
    Volume 3 (2013) 2 issues; 300 pp. EUR 149.00 EUR 153.00
    Volumes 1‒2 (2011‒2012) 2 issues; avg. 300 pp. EUR 145.00 per volume EUR 149.00 per volume


    Scientific Study of Literature welcomes contributions from several disciplinary perspectives (e.g., psychological, developmental, cross-cultural, cognitive, neuroscience, sociological, computational, educational, historical, anthropological) to deepen our understanding of literature, literary processes, and literary applications. The journal will comprise empirical articles that apply scientific stringency to cast light on the structure and function of literary phenomena.

    Authors should submit an electronic copy of their manuscript directly to the journal’s editorial management system.

    Authors are required to provide the following information:

    (1) the manuscript (stripped of all identifying information), abstract, text of the article, references, footnotes, and (if applicable) appendices; and

    (2) any figures and tables, which can be submitted as separate files.

    Authors are strongly encouraged to only submit materials that are essential to the main message of the paper, limiting excessive use of appendices, figures and tables.

    Manuscript format

    All contributions should follow the format outlined below. Manuscripts that do not follow this format will not be considered for review.

    All contributions should be in English. Spelling should be British English or American English and should be consistent throughout the paper. Manuscripts should not exceed 12,000 words (excluding tables, figures, and references) and should be prepared according to the guidelines of the most current edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA). Please consult this source for the handling of references, footnotes, tables and figures, abbreviations and symbols. Authors of accepted manuscripts must also provide written permission releases for use of material (including text or figures) from other copyrighted sources.

    The title page should include the title of the manuscript and a running head of no more than 50 letters and spaces. To ensure a double blind review process, do not include any identifying information in the manuscript itself.

    The second page should include the manuscript title and an abstract of no more than 150 words. Six keywords should also be provided below the abstract.

    Papers should be reasonably divided into sections and, if appropriate, subsections according to APA guidelines.

    Reference to any figures and plates should be given in the appropriate place where they should appear.

    Tables should be numbered consecutively and should be referred to in the main text.


    In addition to standard statistical notation (degrees of freedom, significance), we recommend effect sizes to accompany the major results. When relevant, bar and line graphs should include distributional information, usually confidence intervals or standard errors of the mean.

    Graphics Files

    Line drawings (figures) and photographs (plates) should be submitted as reproducible originals. They should be numbered consecutively, and appropriate captions should be provided. It is the responsibility of the author(s) to obtain permission to use any copyrighted materials.

    Please supply Figures and Plates as Encapsulated Postscript (EPS) or Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) conversion in addition to the source files. Please ensure the resolution is fit for print media, preferably 300 dpi. Final figures may be modified to fit journal style. Color should be used when absolutely necessary; requests for use of color should be made with the submission of the article.

    Submission and review process

    Authors are kindly requested to check their manuscripts very carefully before submission. All articles published in SSOL are peer reviewed. Manuscripts will first be reviewed by the Editor for suitability for the journal. Once deemed suitable, the assigned Action Editor will initiate the review process, soliciting reviews from experts in the field who will remain anonymous. Authors can expect an initial decision with accompanying reviews within two to three months of submission. The possible decisions are Accept; Accept with minor revisions; Revise and resubmit; Reject.

    Rejected manuscripts will not be considered further for publication in the journal. Manuscripts invited for resubmission following revision may go out for peer-review using the same or different reviewers as the initial round of reviewing. Manuscripts accepted with minor revisions will have the revisions reviewed by the Action Editor before acceptance for publication.

    There is no additional copyediting at SSOL, so authors are encouraged to review their manuscripts closely for grammatical errors and typos. Authors for whom English is not their first language should consider engaging the assistance of a native speaker or editing service.

    The first author will receive a PDF copy of the page proofs for final correction. One corrected set must be returned with corrections by the dates determined by the publication schedule. Any author’s alterations other than typographical corrections in the page proofs may be charged to the author.

    Please make sure that you include all authors and their affiliations on submission (on a cover sheet/in EM). In general, we will not permit adding authors or making changes to the order of authors after the article is accepted for publication. After acceptance it is still possible to add an affiliation for individual authors, if an author moved to another institution during the process of reviewing and revising. Removing affiliations would, in principle, never be necessary -- if an author did (part of) the research and writing while affiliated with an institution, that still remains relevant, even if they moved before the article entered the production process. On submission of the accepted, final version to the editors, please include in the article itself, below the title, a list of all authors in the order in which they should appear in the publication and for each author:

    The copyright of articles published in SSOL is held by the publisher. Permission for the author to use the article elsewhere will be granted by the publisher provided full acknowledgement is given to the source.

    Accepted manuscripts will appear both in the print journal and will be made available online. Authors of articles will receive a complimentary copy of the issue in which their paper appears.

    All further inquiries should be sent to the assisting and managing editor:
    Paul Sopcak (Grant MacEwan University) sopcakp at

    For a more in-depth description, read The scope of SSOL: A discussion of the boundaries of science and literature by David I. Hanauer.


    Scientific Study of Literature offers online submission .

    Before submitting, please consult the guidelines and the Short Guide to EM for Authors .

    All further inquiries should be sent to the assistant editor:
    Paul Sopcak (Grant MacEwan University) sopcakp at


    John Benjamins journals are committed to maintaining the highest standards of publication ethics and to supporting ethical research practices. Please read this Ethics Statement.

    Rights and Permissions

    Authors must ensure that they have permission to use any third-party material in their contribution; the permission should include perpetual (not time-limited) world-wide distribution in print and electronic format.

    For information on authors' rights, please consult the rights information page.

    Open Access

    This journal offers the possibility for accepted papers to be published Open Access through payment of an Article Publication Charge (APC) of EUR 1800 (excl. tax); more information can be found on the publisher's Open Access Policy page.

    Corresponding authors from institutions with which John Benjamins has a Read & Publish arrangement can publish Open Access without paying a fee; information on the institutions and which articles qualify, can be found on this page.

    For information about permission to post a version of your article online or in an institutional repository ('green' open access or self-archiving), please consult the rights information page.


    John Benjamins Publishing Company has an agreement in place with Portico for the archiving of all its online journals and e-books.


    Communication Studies

    Communication Studies

    Literature & Literary Studies

    Theoretical literature & literary studies

    Main BIC Subject

    DSA: Literary theory

    Main BISAC Subject

    LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General