Submission Guidelines

Introduction

The Editorial Board seeks original articles which document theories and methods that Applied Behavioural Science (ABS) practitioners may use to bring about positive change in inter-individual relationships, in groups and teams, in organisations, in communities or in society as a whole, and which are likely to be of interest to a wide range of informed readers in the practitioner community. Articles must not have been previously published or be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere.

The Purpose of Practising Social Change

Practising Social Change is oriented towards a diverse range of busy ABS practitioners who are interested in creating positive social change. Their areas of practice include leadership, community development, adult education, youth development, team development, organisation development, coaching, diversity, inclusion and social justice, therapies, conflict resolution, mediation, spiritual support and other relevant methods and approaches.

Practitioner efforts might be directed towards any of the many possible realms for societal improvement, such as human development processes in organisations, community relations, education, democratic processes, economic development, environmental protection, racial and ethnic justice, gender equity, health care, housing, food, LGBT issues, peacemaking, promotion of the arts, refugee concerns, poverty alleviation, and violence prevention.

The journal seeks to enhance existing theory and practice, to challenge accepted theory and methods where appropriate, and even to articulate emerging theory and innovative methods, by offering insights and discoveries from an author’s experience, different points of view, or new possibilities for practice. Importantly, it seeks to provide readers with ‘take-aways’ which they may be able to implement in their own work.

Proposals

Proposals, in abstract form of circa 300 words, should be sent electronically to the editor at editorofpsc@ntl.org. Such proposals should, under three headings, cite the theories or methods concerned, describe the real world experience of applying them, and the lessons learned and/or the implications for theory and practice.

Review Process

Within two weeks of submission, authors are notified by email that their proposal has either been declined or has been accepted as competitive for publication. The Editor may also elect to provide advice to the author, and/or invite them to resubmit their proposal. If a proposal is accepted, the author will receive a commission from the Editor which may include guidance on content, style and format, and an agreed deadline for submission to the journal.

Suggested Format for Articles

Practitioners, being busy, often want to glean interesting ideas from theory and practice for quick implementation into their own practice and reflection. To facilitate this, Practising Social Change requires that authors keep the length of their articles short, and offers the following format (which includes a three-paragraph Introduction, the body of the text, and a Summary and Reflection at the end) for authors who would appreciate guidance on how their writing might be structured. Please note, however, that this structure is offered as a suggestion only, and is not a prescribed format for the journal.

Description of the Three-Paragraph Introduction

The three-paragraph introduction provides (i) the context, (ii) the contribution the article is making to current knowledge, and (ii) a map and structure for the ‘flow’ or direction of the article. This three-paragraph introduction thus provides a general description of the topic, and describes how you, as the author, concur with, or differ from, the literature or mainstream practices associated with the topic, and what you will be writing. This style of introduction also functions as a roadmap for both the author and the reader.

First paragraph:

Introduce the topic with a broad and historical overview, describing its popularity, impact, etc.

Example: “Since 1991, the terms “communities of practice” (‘C-o-P) and “situated learning” have heralded new possibilities in knowledge management. Related books and articles point out that members of organisations frequently develop knowledge in multiple areas, often occurring as workarounds outside the formal technical manuals. Practitioners in C-o-P consulting now encourage organisations to develop C-o-Ps in order to mine and manage such knowledge.”

Second paragraph:

Introduce your position - how you concur with, or differ from, the way the topic is treated in the literature. Perhaps you have discovered something that is ‘missing’ and which needs to be considered. Perhaps there is a social justice issue that needs to be addressed.

Example: “Lave and Wenger, in their introduction to situated learning and communities of practice (1991), failed to provide an adequate treatment of power relations. These relations naturally emerge in all kinds of communities and organisations, are intertwined with group dynamics, leadership, learning, change and development, and must be considered when we think of implementing C-o-Ps in real-time organisations.”

Third paragraph:

Describe the theme and purpose of your article, and provide the structure that you will use. This informs the reader of your direction.

Example: “In this article, which is based on three cases, I show how power relations are central to C-o-Ps and situated learning, and make an argument for developing best practices in the design of C-o-Ps in organisations. The article is divided into three sections. The first section provides a situational overview of the three cases. The second section describes leadership actions which enable each C-o-P to avoid failure and ultimate dissolution. The third section provides some distinctions and a set of best practices which can be implemented by leaders of C-o-Ps.”

The Body of the Article

As per your third paragraph preview.

Summary and Reflection

Summarise the main points of your article, and offer implications or insights or suggestions which can be used as a ‘take-away’ for the reader’s further consideration or practice. Readers who have limitations on their time can thus confine their reading to the three-paragraph Introduction and the Summary and Reflection, can turn away with something of value, and can return to the middle of the article for more at a later point.

General Manuscript Requirements

Articles should be between 2000 – 3000 words and written in clear, straightforward and lively prose. The Editor will waive this word-count limit if it does not support the explication of the subject matter.
Applied Behavioural Science is a theory-grounded and evidence-based practice field. We ask authors to make reference to any theories that are relevant to their subject matter, and to describe the practice examples which give rise to any propositions they are making for new theoretical frameworks, methods or tools.
We require permission (supplied electronically) for any references to client organisations.
We do not accept material which is clearly intended to promote the author’s own consulting practice.
Subheadings may be used.
All charts, diagrams, drawings, tables and photographic images should be submitted in electronic form.
Contributions should be accompanied by a short, one paragraph biography of the author, which lists any published books in print. Biographies should be no more than 150 words.
Footnotes should only be used where necessary. References to other publications should appear as endnotes.

Further guidance and technical assistance is available from the Editor: editor@ntl-psc.org. The Editor is also able to recommend the services of a freelance copy editor to authors who wish to improve the standard of their manuscript prior to submission.

Final Review

The Editor reserves the right to decline an article for publication if it does not fit with the purpose or requirements of the journal.

Editorial Approach

As an e-journal, Practising Social Change has a global readership, and is edited for clarity and readability in British English which is one of the reference norms for English as it is spoken, written and taught in the world. Different forms of written English (eg American English, Canadian English, Australian English, South African English, New Zealand English and the Hiberno-English of Ireland as well as British English) vary in their use of grammar, vocabulary, spelling, punctuation, idioms and the formatting of dates and numbers, but they are all mutually intelligible. Variations in spelling (which date from a time when spelling was not standardised) are the most distinctive differences between the many forms of the language; our editorial policy is to preserve the system of spelling preferred by authors so that they may share their published work readily with their colleagues, clients and students.

Copyright Agreement

Prior to publication, authors will be provided with a copyright agreement for their signature. This copyright agreement may be viewed here