Scientific Study of Literature

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.

All inquiries should be sent to the assistant editor Paul Sopcak (Grant MacEwan University) at:
sopcakp at
ISSN 2210-4372 | E-ISSN 2210-4380
Sample issue: SSOL 7:1
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
Assistant Editor
Paul Sopčák | MacEwan University
Copy Editor
Justin Nicholes | University of Wisconsin-Stout
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 Gerrig | Stony Brook University
Raymond W. Gibbs, Jr. | University of California at Santa Cruz
Rachel 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
Max 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
Steven 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
Sonia Zyngier | Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
All inquiries should be sent to the assistant editor Paul Sopcak (Grant MacEwan University) at:
sopcakp at
Subscription Info
Current issue: 10:2, available as of March 2021
Next issue: 11:1, expected December 2021

General information about our electronic journals.

Subscription rates

All prices for print + online include postage/handling.

Online-only Print + online
Volume 12 (2022): 2 issues; ca. 300 pp. EUR 161.00 EUR 187.00
Volume 11 (2021): 2 issues; ca. 300 pp. EUR 161.00 EUR 187.00

Individuals may apply for a special subscription rate of EUR 70.00 (online‑only: EUR 65.00)
Private subscriptions are for personal use only, and must be pre-paid and ordered directly from the publisher.

Available back-volumes

Online-only Print + online
Complete backset
(Vols. 1‒10; 2011‒2020)
20 issues;
3,000 pp.
EUR 1,507.00 EUR 1,661.00
Volume 10 (2020) 2 issues; 300 pp. EUR 161.00 EUR 187.00
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 each EUR 149.00 each

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)



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


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