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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.

Author Guidelines

Types of paper for publication:

  • Academic research papers – these are papers involving collection of qualitative data, quantitative data or a mixed methods piece. This can be a dissertation or research report completed for an assignment and re-worked according to the author guidelines below.
  • Literature review – these may focus on any topic appropriate for the journal and can also be systematic in nature.
  • Critical analysis/evaluation – these are position pieces and can involve a critical analysis of a method or a theory.
  • Commentary – these are opinion pieces that involve critique of a particular paper or book. These are well evidenced and critical but typically shorter in length.
  • Case Studies and Reflections on Practice (these are particularly relevant to healthcare students but equally to education).

4.0  Anonymous Peer Review

An anonymous version of every submitted paper is sent out for peer review to two colleagues The journal aims to provide supportive critique and feedback from reviewers and the editor will provide ways to improve your paper even if it should not be accepted for publication.  Feedback will differ dependent upon the type of paper submitted but generally reviewers will comment against the following:

  • What is the main focus of the paper? Is it relevant to the journal?
  • Is the title clear and relevant?
  • What are the strengths of the paper and of the research/evaluation/critique?
  • Is there an appropriate level of critical analysis?
  • How could the paper be improved?
  • Are there adequate and appropriate citations/references?

Upon receiving the feedback from two peer reviewers and additional consideration by the editor a recommendation will be made as follows:

  • Paper accepted for publication
  • Paper accepted for publication subject to minor revisions
  • Paper accepted for publication subject to major revisions
  • Paper rejected with feedback

4.0. Submitting your paper

To submit a paper for consideration please send it as an email attachment to the Editor  Check your manuscript against the author guidelines below carefully before submitting.  Papers that are poorly formatted and not presented in accordance with these guidelines will not be considered. 

Please note: If your paper is accepted for publication, it is assumed you agree to the article also being places in the University of Cumbria’s digital repository “Insight”. 

5.0. Amending your paper

If your paper is accepted subject to revision then it is important when you resubmit that you also detail your response to the feedback and how you addressed it.  When resubmitting the paper you should also include a separate word document that includes the reviewer and editorial comments alongside an explanation of how you addressed these – referencing pages and paragraphs where appropriate.  It may be useful to do this in a table as follows:

Feedback Comment


Page and paragraph number







3. etc




6.0 Presentation Guidelines:

6.1 Referencing:

Your paper should be formatted according to the American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines.  You should consult the APA Manual 7th Edition or use Purdue Owl website before submitting your manuscript.  Below are some specific guidelines:

6.2 Word allowance

This will vary depending on the type of paper.  Typically a quantitative research paper will not exceed 8000 words and qualitative papers would not exceed 10000 words.  A literature review would be more likely to be around 5000 words and a position piece/critical analysis would be between 3000 and 5000 words. Case study 1500-3000 words, reflection on practice 1500-2000 words

6.2 Ethical approval: You must include a clear statement about ethical approval obtained for your paper. This may have been gained within an institutional ethical approval process. If your research or reflective account relates to a taught course, you need to state clearly that your report was given ethical clearance within the arrangements provided by the programme.   Where relevant you should include a clear statement about ethical approval for your research from the institution.  You should:

  • Confirm that the research was granted approval by an authorised body, with its name stated in the non-anonymised draft of the manuscript.
  • If the study was conducted in a context without such a research ethics body, authors should state the ethics jurisdictions of this context and describe in detail how they complied with those.
  • Confirm whether participants provided informed consent and specify whether this was written or verbal assent (for example, in research involving children under 16 years, following written consent by a parent or legal guardian).
  • If a study presents service activity data that fall under, for example, the service audit category, rather than requiring research ethics approval, authors should confirm that they received approval from a relevant research governance body such as a health care organization audit department.
  • It is expected that case study material would usually fall within the research ethics approval category, thus be covered by it. If ethics approval was not granted, this should be explicitly stated, with supporting client consent to publish the case material.
  • Client consent should also be provided for the publication of any additional materials such as texts or images, not covered under the research ethics approval category. do not submit the client’s actual written informed consent with your article, as this in itself breaches client confidentiality.
  • Authors should confirm in writing that they have obtained written informed consent but the written consent itself should be held by the authors themselves.

Go beyond a simple statement of obtaining research ethics approval, instead highlight potential issues (for example, with vulnerable clients) and how these were addressed. This is important both for transparency and sharing lessons with our readers.

Source:  Adapted from Counselling and Therapy Research


6.4 Patient consent: where patients are the focus of a case study or reflection on practice you must state that the patient has signed a consent form. Do not include the form as this may contravene patient confidentiality regulations.

7.0 Submission:

 Manuscripts should be submitted as a Word document, double spaced in Times New Roman 12pt.  The first page of the submission should contain a manuscript title, the list of authors with each one’s institutional affiliation.  The second page should contain only an abstract and 4 or 5 Keywords.  Headings should be in Bold.  Side headings are encouraged to improve the structure of the paper; these should be flushed left and in italics. 

Tables and Figures: where necessary tables should be presented in APA format, an example of this can be found on the Purdue Owl website.

Acknowledgements: You may wish to include a short acknowledgement section to acknowledge your supervisor or anyone who has helped you put your paper together.

8.0 References: Referencing should be in APA format; more guidance can be found as per the resources mentioned above.  Please see an example reference list below and follow the conventions used:

Felson, R. B (2002) Violence & Gender Re-examined.  American Psychological Association, Washington D. C.  

Graham-Kevan, N. (2007). Partner violence typologies.  In J. Hamel & T. L. Nicholls (Eds.) Family interventions in domestic violence (pp.145-163). New York: Springer.

Goodchild, S. (2000, November 12) Women are more violent, says study.  The Independent.  Retrieved from:

Johnson, M. P. (2005) Domestic violence: It’s not about gender – or is it?  Journal of Marriage and Family, 67, 1126-1130. 

Straus, M. A. & Ramirez, I. L. (2002) Gender symmetry in prevalence, severity and chronicity of physical aggression against dating partners by university students in Mexico and the USA.  Paper presented at the XV World Meeting of the International Society for Research on Aggression, Montreal, Canada.  30 July, 2002.  

Wallaby, S. & Allen, J. (2004) Domestic Violence, sexual assault and stalking: findings from the British Crime Survey. Home Office Research Study 276. London: Home Office.

8.0 Submission of a research paper:

  • Title: Should clearly indicate the subject and not be sensational
  • Author: Should include all people who fulfil the criteria of authorship
  • Abstract: of no more than 200 words stating the aim, rationale, methods, results, implications for practice/further research
  • Keywords: At least five
  • Text/body of paper: Introduction; ethical considerations; materials and methods (if appropriate); results; discussion; strengths/ limitations of the paper; conclusion; implications for practice and/or further research
  • References
  • Acknowledgements: If appropriate

9.0 Submission of a case- study:

  • What is the main focus of the paper? Is it relevant to the journal?
  • Is the title clear and relevant?
  • What is the background to the case- study? What is already known about this topic?
  • Rationale (why is this study important?)
  • What has been learned? How does this case-study add to the body of knowledge on the topic under discussion?
  • What are the implications for practice and /or further research?
  • Are there adequate and appropriate citations/references?

10.0 Submission of a reflection on practice:

Reflection allows you to make sense of a situation and understand how it has affected you. A reflective piece may be based on:

  • an example of continuous practice development
  • an instance of practice-related feedback you have received
  • an event or experience in your own professional practice

You may wish to use a model of reflection to help structure your paper.

Things to consider:

  • What key things did you learn from this experience?
  • How did you address any issues or problems that arose?
  • What would you do differently, if anything, next time around?
  • How has it impacted on your practice?
  • Are there any changes you can quickly apply to your practice?
  • What can others learn from your experience?

N.B. Remember to maintain patient confidentiality throughout.

11.0 Submission of a literature review:

 A literature review is a survey of scholarly sources on a specific topic. It provides an overview of current knowledge, allowing you to identify relevant theories, methods, and gaps in the existing research. There are five key steps to writing a literature review:

  • Search for relevant literature
  • Evaluate sources
  • Identify themes, debates, and gaps
  • Outline the structure
  • Write your literature review

A good literature review doesn’t just summarise sources—it analyses, synthesises, and critically evaluates to give a clear picture of the state of knowledge on the subject.

Source:  McCombes,  S. (2019, revised June 2022) How to Write a Literature Review | Guide, Examples, & Templates    (accessed 03 July 2022)


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