Submissions Guidelines


Who Can Submit?

Anyone may submit original work to be considered for publication provided they own the copyright to the work being submitted or are authorized by the copyright owner(s) to submit the article. Authors are the initial owners of the copyrights to their works (an exception in the non-academic world to this might exist if the authors have, as a condition of employment, agreed to transfer copyright to their employer). This journal does not charge APCs or submission charges.

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General Submission Rules

Submitted articles cannot have been previously published, nor be forthcoming in an archival journal or book (print or electronic). Please note: "publication" in a working-paper series does not constitute prior publication. In addition, by submitting material to the Journal, the author is stipulating that the material is not currently under review at another journal (electronic or print) and that they will not submit the material to another journal until the completion of the editorial decision process at Journal of Critical Scholarship on Higher Education and Student Affairs. Please note that JCSHESA Special Issue topics are usually developed by the current EIC and Managing Editor in collaboration with the entire JCSHESA Editorial Board. That is to say, our Special Issue themes are developed "in house." Special Issues are also only published on a bi-annual basis. Thus, we are unable to commit to working on a Special Issue project or topic proposed by folks who are not on our Editorial Board. If you have concerns about the submission terms for Journal of Critical Scholarship on Higher Education and Student Affairs, please contact the editors.

Types of Articles- We accept the following types of manuscripts.

  • Empirical research studies utilize new or existing data to answer a question critical to higher education and/or address an issue or problem. Multiple methodologies are accepted, including qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods designs. Articles include background information, provide a review of the relevant literature, explicitly describe method/methodology, and illuminate novel findings. Manuscripts must utilize critical social theory frameworks that guide the development and analysis of the study. Authors should discuss relevant findings with particular attention to implications that advance an understanding of the topic as it relates to Higher Education and/or Student Affairs. Papers should not exceed 7,500 words including title page, abstract, references, tables, and figures.
  • Conceptual papers draw on previous literature, research, and theory in a given area to forward new understandings and ways of thinking that shine light on equity and social justice issues in higher education. Papers may critique current theory, research findings, or practices in ways that challenges current understanding to advance new theory. Papers should not exceed 7,500 words including title page, abstract, references, tables, and figures.
  • Literature reviews thoroughly examine the extant body of research on a particular topic through a critical theoretical framework. Reviews synthesize the literature to illuminate a deeper or more nuanced understanding of the topic. Papers should not exceed 7,500 words including title page, abstract, references, tables, and figures.
  • Critical Practices on Campus and in Community are case studies of current activities (e.g., community-based program and/or partnerships, assessment techniques, critical pedagogies, teaching and learning development programs) that relate to Higher Education and Student Affairs but may be based either on campus, in the community, or both. Papers should include historical background, theoretical underpinnings of the program, and a detailed explanation of the program. Papers should also provide assessment data when available and implications that advance an understanding of the program as it relates to Higher Education and/or Student Affairs. Papers should not exceed 7,500 words including title page, abstract, references, tables, and figures.
  • Book reviews summarize the content of a book and provide an analytical discussion of the book’s topic through a critical theoretical lens. Book reviews should be constructive so as to illuminate its contributions to the field and strengths and weaknesses of the book. Books should be no more than one year old from submission year. Reviews should be no more than 2,000 words. If authors wish to submit reviews for other media, please email us at jcshesa@gmail.com.
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    Formatting Requirements

    Journal of Critical Scholarship on Higher Education and Student Affairs has a few formatting requirements for works upon initial submission.


    • Manuscripts should be rooted in critical inquiry and informed by the mission, aim, and scope of the journal
    • Authors should utilize critical social theories and frameworks (e.g., Critical Race Theory, Black feminist thought, CripTheory, LatCrit) that analyze power and oppression to frame research study development or topic of study.
    • When necessary, authors should explicate rationale for use of particular method/methodology and ground these in the existing literature. JCSHESA realizes that authors may employ methodologies that are not commonly used. In this case, authors should provide a significant conceptual rationale
    • Appropriate use of methodology to the scope of inquiry
    • Given the scope of the journal’s audience and connection outside academia, authors should use high quality and accessible language throughout their manuscripts. This “ordinary language” philosophy is influenced by Indian writer and activist Arundhati Roy: “I think it’s vital to de-professionalize the public debate on matters that vitally affect the lives of ordinary people. It’s time to snatch our futures back from the ‘experts.’ Time to ask, in ordinary language, the public question and to demand, in ordinary language, the public answer (Roy, 2001).”
    • Strong and implicit connection to critical praxis with a particular focus on community involvement (e.g., general, university, student)
    • Topic should be timely, significant, and contribute to furthering a critical understanding of Higher Education and Student Affairs
    • Strong organization, adherence to APA Style (7th ed.), and free from major grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors.
      Manuscripts guidelines:
    • Submit manuscript in a .doc or .docx format
    • Format: American Psychological Association (2020) (7th Edition)
    • Spacing and Fonts: Double-spaced, including references, block quotes, tables, and figures. Times New Roman, 12-point font
    • Word limits: The word count of all submitted and revised manuscript types cannot exceed 7,500 words including title page, abstract, references, tables, and figures. Book reviews are limited to 2,000 words including references.
    • Abstract: 200 words or less
    • One line in between each paragraph
    • Keywords: Provide 3-4 keywords
    • Cover pages/Letter to the editors should include whether an author is 'anonymous submitting' or 'open submitting.' Please see the Review Process page for more information on the two options.
  • Additional materials (e.g., photos, tables, figures) may be uploaded in after the initial manuscript and cover letter are submitted by logging into your eCommons account, clicking on the title of your manuscript and uploading Supplemental Content. See below for image requirements.
    • Image requirements: JPEG, PNG, or GIF ONLY (Please no images within PDFs, Word, or Powerpoint documents)
    • At least 1000 pixels wide, or….
    • At least 100 KB in file size, or…
    • At least 150 ppi (pixels per inch)
    • Note: Images copied from the internet are often lower in quality. Original images are best .

    Authors of accepted works are required to submit a 3,500 word Research in Brief or a two-minute article summary video to be placed on the website. More details about this requirement will be shared upon final acceptance. Although bepress can provide limited technical support, it is ultimately the responsibility of the author to produce an electronic version of the article as a Microsoft Word file.

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    What is a Research-in-Brief?

    A research in brief gives authors an opportunity to create a more accessible version of their article. The JCSHESA research in brief publication is easily distributed, allowing for the articles to reach a larger and broader audience. In some Research-in-Briefs, authors can choose to share a deeper understanding of their work and research life with readers. Suggested formats for Research-in-Briefs include, but are not limited to:

    • a research report,
    • a behind-the-scenes with the author,
    • an author interview,
    • an infographic,
    • a web-based interactive platform,
    • a video, or
    • other media.

    Research-in-Briefs will not go through the typical review process, but will be reviewed by an editor on the journal’s board. Authors are encouraged to summarize their work, paying particular attention to the “so what” aspect of their work and highlighting actionable steps to bridge research and practice; minimizing the use of citations; and reducing academic jargon.

    Why a research-in-brief?

    The Research-in-Brief serves as one of the ways that JCSHESA seeks to live out its mission “to be a venue where knowledge is shared,” “problematize and dismantle the ownership of knowledge,” and “to provide meaningful, intentional, and actionable scholarship that can effect change on and with campus and community.” Research-in-Briefs allow readers to quickly engage with critical scholarship, consider the implications and actionable aspects of the scholarship, and dive into the full article should they choose.

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    Rights for Authors and Loyola eCommons


    Loyola University Chicago acknowledges that this is a non-exclusive license; any copyrights in the submission remain with the author or other copyright holder and subsequent uses of the submitted material by that person(s) are not restricted by this license.

    Loyola will make the submission available using a Creative Commons "Attribution / Non-commercial / Share-alike" license, which means that your work cannot be used commercially by others, and any authorized use must be properly attributed and licensed. Your submission will also be accompanied by a copyright statement indicating the author’s continuing rights. Loyola will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the author’s name remains clearly associated with the submission and that no alterations of the content are made for commercial purposesd. (For more on Creative Commons licenses, see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/.)

    If this submission is based upon work that has been sponsored or supported by any agency or organization other than Loyola University, the author represents that they have fulfilled any right of review or other obligation required by contract or agreement with the supporting entity.

    People seeking an exception, or who have questions about use, should contact the editors.

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    General Terms and Conditions of Use

    Users of the Loyola eCommons website and/or software agree not to misuse the Loyola eCommons service or software in any way.

    The failure of Loyola eCommons to exercise or enforce any right or provision in the policies or the Submission Agreement does not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any term of the Submission Agreement or these policies is found to be invalid, the parties nevertheless agree that the court should endeavor to give effect to the parties' intentions as reflected in the provision, and the other provisions of the Submission Agreement and these policies remain in full force and effect. These policies and the Submission Agreement constitute the entire agreement between Loyola eCommons and the Author(s) regarding submission of the Article.

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