Submission Guidelines

Interested in contributing?

We are seeking high-quality articles, usually fairly short (approximately 2000 words), that provide a critical analysis of policy issues affecting young people. We are keen to publish original articles on a wide range of themes in relation to young people and policy: youth work, youth services, education, employment, justice, health, identity, equality, media, campaigning, leisure and more.

Aims and scope

Our aims are to:

  • highlight and critically debate contemporary issues relevant to young people in society, with particular reference to youth and community work and related professional interventions;
  • provoke dialogue between policy-makers, academics and practitioners; and
  • encourage high-quality contributions to debates around young people’s issues.

Youth and Policy publishes articles which are based upon rigorous original research, or new and innovative contributions to existing thought regarding policies, concepts, and practices relating to young people. We also welcome articles that respond to our publications; scholarly book reviews, and critically reflective pieces by practitioners, researchers and policy makers.

Youth and Policy is widely read by researchers, lecturers, students and practitioners in youth policy, youth work, youth services and education.

We are based in the UK yet our readership is international. Writers based in the UK should give brief explanations of UK-specific terminology or policies. We welcome articles taking an international approach and/or focusing on countries outside the UK, where these are clearly grounded in our aims and made relevant for a wider audience.

Authors are expected to take an analytical approach to theoretical, practical and/or policy issues, and/or to critically present new empirical evidence concerning young people in society. Whilst the focus of the journal is upon contemporary issues, articles informed by historical evidence or with a historical focus will be considered.

Submission process

  1. Write your article. This could be (for example) a report on recent empirical research; a critical analysis of a current issue relevant to the journal; a historical analysis; an in-depth book review; or an article-length response to one of our published articles. We expect articles to be well written; to refer to relevant academic literature where appropriate; to involve critical analysis; to be original (i.e. not submitted elsewhere, unless agreed with us); to be accurately referenced; and to be readable by a wide audience.
  2. Ensure you have proofread your article, checked our presentation and formatting guidelines (below), and checked your references, or ask somebody else to do this for you. All sources referenced in the text should be included in an alphabetical reference list; do not include sources not referenced in the main text. The journal editors are volunteers and do not have time to make detailed corrections. Please aim for around 2000 words where possible.
  3. Submit the article on our online submission form below. The form requires the title of the article, your name(s), and brief one-sentence biographies of each author. Submit your article as a word (.doc or .docx) attachment. We do not require an abstract or keywords.
  4. Please upload any figures or tables as separate jpeg files, indicating where they should be in the text.
  5. All articles are subject to peer review. The editorial board will make a final decision about publication. Your editor will tell you if your article will be published and if changes are required.
  6. We will let you know whether or not we can publish the article, with or without amendments. If publication is agreed, and once you have addressed any suggested changes, we will publish your article. Please feel free to share the article with your contacts.


Presentation and formatting guidelines

  • Referencing: Use Harvard or APA referencing (i.e. the brackets, author, date system) and include an alphabeticised reference list at the end. Do not use footnotes for referencing. Refer to previous articles if you are unsure; however, we are mainly concerned that your article’s referencing must be presented in an internally consistent manner.
  • Websites: If an article or report is online, please reference it as you would a book or journal article. You may include hyperlinks where relevant.
  • Headings and subheadings: Please use only one level of subheading if possible: lower case, bold. If a lower level of subheading is needed, please use: lower case, bold, italics. Please left justify your text, use single spacing, and leave one clear line between each paragraph.
  • Quotations: When quoting directly, single quotation marks should always be used, unless quoting within a quote when double quotation marks are used. Quotes of over 40 words should be indented. Indented quotes do not require quotation marks but should be in italics. When a quote is presented within an indented quote, use single quotation marks.

    Send Your Submission

    Frequently asked questions

    “How long will it take to publish my article?”
    We aim to put articles through a relatively quick review process, although this depends on the availability and commitments of editors, who all work on Youth and Policy as volunteers. As long as you respond to our comments quickly, we hope that your article will be online in a matter of weeks. If your article is particularly time-sensitive, feel free to indicate this on the submission form; however, we cannot guarantee publication to any specific timescale.

    “I am thinking of writing an article – are you interested?”
    Please first check our aims and scope (see above) and have a look at some recent articles / back issues. If you think your article is relevant, feel free to write to us.

    “I would like to submit an article that is longer than 2000 words. Is this ok?”
    We occasionally commission or accept longer articles, but please write to us before starting work on a longer article.

    “Can I submit an article that has been published elsewhere?”
    Sorry, we cannot usually accept articles that have been published elsewhere (get in touch if you have any further queries on this).

    “Why did you change from the old journal format?”
    Please see the editorial in our final issue (116).