Author guidelines

Preparing your manuscript

Please follow these author guidelines before submitting to the journal.

All manuscript text should be Times New Roman 12-point font and be double spaced. Before submitting to the journal, all authors must have read and agreed to the UCL Press Journal’s Editorial Policy

Any enquiries can be sent via email to the journal’s editors at admin [at]

Submit your manuscript here


Papers must be submitted in English and should not exceed 8,000 words in total. Where the paper includes Tables and Figures, the word total should be commensurately reduced to allow space for them.

Covering letter

Covering letters are welcome to be submitted with the manuscript for the Editors reference. Should you wish to provide one, please briefly summarise your manuscript, its findings, major themes, relevant discussion points and any disclosures including conflicts of interest the Editor should be aware of. 

File size and formatting

Please submit your manuscript main text/body as Microsoft word (DOC, DOCX). Any supplementary material should be submitted as separate files and referenced in the main text, or designated for review purposes only (including clarifying this in your covering letter to the Editor if relevant.) No one single file should exceed 20 Mb, should you require submitting a file exceeding this size, please contact the journal editorial office for further advice.

English language

All publications are in English (UK). In order to facilitate rigorous and high quality peer-review, all manuscripts should be submitted to a high and coherent level of English language. Should you require help when writing your manuscript, a native English language colleague may be well suited to help edit the level of English language in the manuscript. You may also want to consider using a professional English language editing service to improve the level of English language.

Please note that by using professional English language editing services does not guarantee manuscript acceptance in the journal, and you may be charged for these services.

Image permissions and copyright

Please ensure that where the copyright of any image or figure is used in the manuscript, appropriate permission to reuse in an open access journal publication has been obtained in writing and signed by the copyright holder. Please contact UCL Press for any questions, at

Publication ethics

IJSP Ethics requirements for all papers submitted to the journal.


The International Journal of Social Pedagogy is committed to upholding the integrity of the work published. Papers may be reporting empirical research, or practice papers reporting practice based evidence. Authors submitting research papers are required to follow best ethical practice for research as outlined in the British Educational Research Association, available online at, or similar professional body (please indicate this clearly in your submission). Authors are required to show in their papers that they have received ethical approval for their research from all relevant institutional review boards and that they have followed General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in the handling of personal data.  Where such committees do not operate, authors are responsible for providing evidence of their adherence to relevant ethical guidelines (please indicate this clearly in your submission).

Note: while not all social pedagogy researchers and authors may align themselves with education research, the Editors have elected to follow the British Educational Research Association ethical guidelines (above) as the principles align well with social pedagogical research.

Authors are encouraged to use the following are statements to declare ethics in the manuscript (please select the appropriate statement and include at the end of your manuscript).

Ethics approval statement

  1. The author(s) declare/s that research ethics approval for this article was provided by ___________________ ethics board.
  2. The author(s) declare/s that research ethics approval for this article was waivered by ____________________ ethics board.
  3. The author(s) conducted the research reported in this article in accordance with _________________ standards.

Consent for publication statement (for articles reporting on original research or any activity involving human participants)

  1. The author(s) declares that research participants’ informed consent to publication of findings – including photos, videos and any personal or identifiable information – was secured prior to publication.

Conflict of interest statement

  1. The author(s) declare/s no conflict of interest with this work.
  2. The author(s) declare/s the following interests: ___________________________

Practice papers

Authors submitting practice papers are asked to uphold similar high ethical standards including the principles of anonymity and confidentiality and to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the participants whose practice is discussed in the paper have given their consent to publication. A statement to this effect should be included in the paper, as above. Editors may question authors about the veracity of ethical procedures undertaken. 

Authors are also encouraged to read the UCL Press publication policy on ethical publication, made available at

Article types

Article typeDescription
Original research article

Original research articles are detailed studies reporting original research classified as primary literature.

Review article
Reviews provide critical and systematic appraisal of the current research to provide authoritative judgement to its particular context, topic, and field.
Practice paperPractice papers are short articles highlighting aspects of social pedagogical practice in order to provide relevant insights into how social pedagogy can be embedded in practice settings. These should explicitly draw on social pedagogical theories and principles to show the theory-practice connection.
Perspective and opinion article
Perspective and opinion articles are shorter scholarly articles that cover key specific concepts and ideas, aimed to present a well thought out personal critique of the field, topic, or research, to stimulate further discussion and debate. These articles are normally by invitation only, however, unsolicited articles are welcome and prospective authors should firstly contact the Editors with their contribution before formal submission.
Commentary articleCommentary articles provide further explanation on a new or existing topic as well as an article published in the journal, aimed to specifically address the key topic or subject to provide further clarification to the journals audience and literature. Commentaries are usually shorter articles with concise and narrow narratives.
Book reviewBook reviews are brief concise articles that provide an evaluation of a published scholarly book.

Book reviews are generally invited only, however, suggestions are welcome and should be sent to the Editors of the journal. A book review might assess the importance of a book's contribution to a particular field covered by the journal’s aims and scope and should aim to objectively review the strengths and weaknesses that concern the journal’s audience. Please refer to the journal's aims and scope.


The International Journal of Social Pedagogy operates double anonymised peer review, where both the reviewers and authors are anonymised to each other during review. Authors should submit an anonymous version of the manuscript, stripped of all identifying references to the author(s) for peer review. Authors should submit their manuscript as:

  1. The complete manuscript not blinded, as a word file (.doc/.docx, etc.) and;
  2. An anonymous PDF version of the manuscript, stripped of all identifying references to the author(s) for peer review (anonymisation includes references to authors, acknowledgements, self-references, and any electronic author identification., etc.) Manuscripts may be returned before peer review if manuscripts are not sufficiently anonymised.


It makes a huge difference to the ease of production if you read and adhere to the author guidelines when preparing your manuscript. If your submission does not follow these guidelines it may be returned to you for modification.

  1. Title page (non-anonymised word file)
    The title page must be a single page and attached a the manuscripts first page and include all of the information below, in the same order. No further information should be included:

    1. Title of the manuscript
    2. Full name(s) of contributing authors including their institutions/affiliation and address, and their institutional email address (including ORCiD ID’s - see below note on ORCiD).
    3. The corresponding author(s) should be clearly identified and include their contact email address (normally this will be your university email address).

  2. Abstract
    Present the abstract as an overview of your article (up to 250 words), giving a summary of the contents and major themes. (Note that this will ultimately be used by search engines, and it will form part of the meta-data that will be seen first by people searching your article.)

  3. Keywords
    All articles must list a maximum of up to ten key words.

  4. Main text
    The body of the submission should be structured in a logical and easy to follow manner. A clear introduction section should provide non-specialists in the subject with an understanding of the topic and a background to the issue(s) involved.

  5. Headings and sub-headings
    Up to three level headings may be present and must be clearly identifiable using different font sizes, bold or italics. We suggest using Headings 1, 2 and 3 in MS-Word’s ‘Style’ section.

  6. Funding and Acknowledgement statements
    1. Funding: All sources of funding for the research reported should be declared, including any project and grant codes and details.
    2. Acknowledgements: mentions everyone whose contribution to the work you wish to recognise.

  7. Declarations and conflicts of interest statements
    Clearly state the following in the article as sub-headings:

    1. Conflicts of interest
      Clearly declare any possible conflicts of interest, including but not limited to financial and non-financial competing interests. Where there are no conflicts of interests or competing interests, authors must clearly declare this under the same heading. For further information, please refer to the journal’s Editorial Policy at

    2. Ethics approval
      Authors are required to show in their articles that they have received ethical approval for their research from all relevant institutional review boards and that they have followed appropriate personal data protection regulations (e.g. EU General Data Protection Regulation and the UK Data Protection Act 2018) in the handling of personal data. Where such committees do not operate, authors are responsible for providing evidence of their adherence to relevant ethical guidelines for the subject. Where ethics approval is not applicable (e.g. due to the type of article) please indicate this as "N/A".

    3. Consent for publication
      For all articles involving human subjects, including any images, videos, and any other personal and identifiable information, authors must have secured informed consent to participate in the study and to publication before submitting to the journal, and a statement declaring this must be included in the article. Where consent for publication is not applicable (e.g. no such data is included) please indicate this as "N/A".

  8. Data, supporting information and appendices
    Articles in IJSP do not feature end-article appendices or supplementary information. All illustrative matter should be included in the body of the text or as a table/figure. See below section for further advice on data.

  9. References/bibliography
    A full references list should contain all the sources cited in the text.

  10. Author biographies
    If you wish to include a short biography of each author, please format under the author biographies heading and not as a footnote.

Data and supporting information

Data or information should not be submitted as supplementary information alongside the manuscript, but instead be included in the body of the text as a table/figure or deposited into a publicly available repository, depending on the type of data or information concerned. Where supporting information is included in the article that has no persistent identifier (for example, a Google survey), authors may be requested to deposit the information into a relevant data repository to ensure persistent access, have it registered to a DOI, and cite the DOI in the article.

The journal strongly encourages authors to make all data and datasets on which the conclusions of the manuscript rely to be publicly available either in publicly open repositories (where available and appropriate) or presented in the main paper in machine-readable format (such as formatted tables rather than flat images) whenever possible. Authors are encouraged to follow the FAIR data principles – to make data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable. Further information and guidance on these principles is outlined at


ORCiD helps researchers record and report their work by providing researchers with a personal unique identifier that can be kept throughout their career. UCL Press journals now implement ORCiD in publications and authors are encouraged to register with ORCiD and enter their ORCiD details into their submission as a URL link or ORCiD number. To register, follow the instructions on the ORCiD web pages at


Should your manuscript be requested for revision to raise the acceptability for publication in the journal, please ensure that you follow below points when revising your manuscript and responding to peer review comments. Please provide your timely revisions along with a response letter to any reviewer reports, within the specified revision period to the Editor as instructed in your revision request email. Namely:

  • Clearly show and/or highlight the revisions you have made in the text. This can be accommodated by making use of either a different colour text, highlighting the text, or by using Microsoft Word's Track Changes function.
  • Outline what revisions you made to your manuscript by way of a response letter, addressing all points raised by the editor and reviewers, preferably sequentially (e.g. Editor comments response, Reviewer 1 comments response, Reviewer 2 comments response) and in a bullet point list.
  • Where applicable, perform any additional analyses or experiments the reviewers recommend (unless you feel that they would not make your paper better; if this is the case, explain why in your response letter).
  • Provide a polite objective rebuttal to any points or comments you disagree with.

Referencing style

The International Journal of Social Pedagogy uses the APA style ( This format consists of in-text citations, e.g. (Smith, 1994: 33) and a list entitled ‘References’ placed at the end of a journal article. The list of references should contain only those works cited in the text and should not be subdivided. Each entry on the list of references must correspond to at least one citation in the text.

In the main text:

  • Do not use the ampersand – write ‘and’ in full, e.g. (Smith and Jones, 1990)
  • If there are two publications with the same author/s and year, use a, b etc., e.g. (Smith, 1994a)
  • For three or more authors, use et al.
  • References should be after the closing quotation mark of a quotation but before the full stop in a sentence
  • After block quotations, put the source in parentheses following the quotation

In the list of references:

  • Give the names (surname and initials) for all authors – do not use et al.
  • List works by the same author chronologically, with the earliest first
  • Where there are lots of books by one author, in conjunction with other people, works should be ordered chronologically within each of the following categories in the following order:
  • Single author (Smith, 2000, 2001, 2002 etc)
  • Each set of named two authors listed alphabetically (Smith and Bloggs, 2000, 2001, followed by Smith and Jones, 1990, 1991)
  • Multiple authors, irrespective of alpha order of author names (Smith, Winters and Bloggs, 1990, followed by Smith, Jones and Bloggs, 2000)
  • Use (ed.) for one editor; (eds) for two (‘eds’ does not have a full stop)

Please refer to the APA style guide for further reference:

House style


  • Authors should consistently adopt British spelling conventions (except in quotations from other sources, where the spelling convention of the original should be retained, or where stipulated specifically in by the journal – for example World Health Organization).  


  • Systems should consistently follow British conventions (except in quotations from other sources, where the punctuation convention of the original should be retained). British style uses single inverted commas, except for quotations within quotations (which have double inverted commas).
  • Punctuation should follow closing inverted commas (except for grammatically complete sentences beginning with a capital).
  • Punctuation should precede closing quotation marks (except for dashes, colons and semicolons, unless these are part of the quoted matter).


  • Please consult the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) for guidance. Hyphenation must be used consistently throughout your text. 

Contractions and abbreviations

  • If you need to use them please write in full at the first appearance with the abbreviation in brackets. You may repeat an abbreviation if it reappears later in your article.
  • Abbreviations are usually expressed without full stops, e.g. GNP, USA, PhD
  • British style contractions will have no full points (e.g. Mr, St, edn), though abbreviated words, which do not end with their final letter, will (e.g. vol., vols., ed., eds.) 


  • Keep capitalisation to a minimum and use only for proper nouns and formal names of organisations, etc.

Numbers and dates

  • Spell out numbers up to but not including 10.
  • Elide numbers to minimum digits, e.g. 233-4; dates, e.g. 1993-4. Do not elide in titles and headings.
  • Centuries should be written as words not numbers, e.g. eighteenth century. Hyphenate if used as an adjective, e.g. eighteenth-century masterpiece.
  • Dates as British usage: 18 August 2015.


  • Quotations should be indicated by single quotation marks but use double quotation marks for quotations within quotations.
  • Indent quotations of more than 50 words.
  • Quotations should remain exactly as they are in the original.

Acceptable language

  • Please be sensitive in use of terms that might cause offence or be interpreted as racist or sexist; for example, avoid gender-specific pronouns where possible.