Notes for Contributors

Notes for Contributors

Development in Practice offers practice-relevant analysis and research relating to development and humanitarianism, providing a worldwide forum for the exchange of ideas and experiences among practitioners, scholars, policy shapers, and activists. By challenging current assumptions, , the journal seeks to stimulate new thinking and ways of working. Contributors to this peer-reviewed journal represent a wide range of cultural and professional backgrounds and experience. Development in Practice particularly encourages new writers as well as previously published authors.

Contributions in French, Portuguese, and Spanish are welcome: these will be translated into English for the print version of the journal, with the originally submitted versions being posted to once the issue is published. All print articles have abstracts in these four languages.

Articles are assessed on their contribution to thinking, policy, and practice, and on their relevance and accessibility to a diverse international readership. Articles should therefore not rely primarily on secondary sources, assume advanced specialist knowledge on the part of the reader, or be substantively based on fieldwork conducted more than two years before submission.

Regular features, with maximum word lengths – including abstract, notes, and references – include Articles (6500), Viewpoints and Practical Notes (2500–3000), , Research Round-Up (2000), and Review Essays (4000–5000). Authors should submit these via our online system, manuscript central (, where they will be subject to peer review or a decision by the editorial team. Book Reviews and Essential Readings are commissioned; we do not accept unsolicited submissions.

Articles subject to peer review take some time to process as the editorial team identifies and gets agreement from peer reviewers to look at the article, and the peer reviewer then reviews the paper and make recommendations. We estimate that the process from submission to an initial decision should take two to three months. However the peer-review process relies heavily on the goodwill of others in the academic and development community to find the time to read and comment on papers, and so processing times can vary. Please note that submissions in articles other than English may take longer to process. Once submissions have been accepted, we aim to publish them within one year of the acceptance date.

All contributing authors receive one print copy of the issue in which their work appears, in addition to an e-print (pdf) and 25 offprints of their contribution. Full details of authors’ rights regarding the distribution of pre-print, post-print, and e-print versions of their work are set out in the Copyright Agreement, which is supplied with the confirmation of provisional acceptance.

Types of submissions

1 Article An article of a maximum of 6500 words which contributes to development thinking, policy, and practice, and is relevant and accessible to a diverse international readership. Articles should not rely primarily on secondary sources, assume advanced specialist knowledge on the part of the reader, or be substantively based on fieldwork conducted more than two years before submission. Articles are peer reviewed.

2 Viewpoint Opinion pieces of 2500–3500 words reflecting on a current policy or practice concern that are intended to be lively rather than scholarly and generally take a critical or unconventional stance towards the subject in hand. These are not always subject to peer review.

3 Practical Notes Concise empirical accounts of up to 3000 words usually concerning a specific experience or topic, but presented in a way that will interest a wide international readership.

4 Research Roundup Accounts of up to 2000 words of ongoing or recently completed research that is demonstrably practice-relevant either because of its methodology and/or the findings. Authors should indicate how and by whom the research will be applied and how readers can acquire the full or final product.

5 Book Reviews Book reviews should not exceed 900 words (1200 words for a comparative review), and provide an overview of the content, scope, and relevance of the book(s). Notes and references are strongly discouraged.

6 Literature Reviews Essays of 4000–6500 words (inclusive of notes and references) that focus on current and classic works on a given subject. The essay should provide an accessible guide to the chosen theme, highlighting key works and critical thinkers and/or practitioners.

7 Essential Reading Articles of 1500-1800 words, where the author considers three books, published in the last 30 years, which they deem ‘essential reading’ in their particular area of development. The article should give a short summary of each of book and why they are particularly insightful, ground-breaking or applicable.

Permissions and copyright

Submission of an article or book review constitutes a warranty that it represents original, unpublished work not under consideration for publication elsewhere; and that the author has obtained the necessary permissions to reproduce copyrighted material. It is a condition of publication in Development in Practice that authors vest copyright in their articles, including abstracts, in the Publisher. This enables us to ensure copyright protection and to disseminate print and electronic forms of the article and the journal. For permission to reproduce an item published in Development in Practice, contact .


Formal permission is not required to translate any item published in Development in Practice into any language, subject to proper acknowledgement and provision of an electronic copy for posting on our website. Please send translations to .


All submissions must conform to our presentational requirements and must be made online via the journal’s dedicated Manuscript Central website: Please prepare two versions of your submission.

The Complete Article should include:
• the title and abstract
• the full names, short biographies, and contact details of each author
• the corresponding author should be indicated in the case of multiple authorship.

The Article for Peer Review should:
• include the title and abstract
• have all identifying information removed.

Upload graphics (e.g. tables, figures) as separate files, clearly labelled, and indicate their approximate position within the text.

Submissions must be compatible with MS Word. You will be asked to provide the word count for the Complete Article; to state the number of graphics; and to select from a set of keywords that best describe the content.

You will find further guidance at the ‘Get Help Now’ button on every screen in the Author Centre. The Manuscript Central Phone Support Desk handles queries Monday to Friday 03.00–20.30 EST on +1-434-817-2040 (US number). If you still experience problems in uploading your article, please contact the Editor-in-Chief at  with the subject header ‘SUBMISSION’.

Presentational requirements

Articles and reviews will be edited as necessary to conform to the length and style requirements of the journal or may be returned to the author if substantive changes are needed. Proofs are not returned to authors for checking.

Do not use embedded features (e.g. footnotes, endnotes, pagination, paragraph numbering) other than the heading levels indicated below. Consult a recent issue of the journal if in doubt about any aspect of style.

1 Title, abstract, and authors In the sections indicated in your Author Centre, give the title of the article and the names (given name and family name(s)), bio-data, and full contact details of each author (maximum 50 words per author); select the keywords that best fit your article; and indicate the corresponding author in the case of multiple authorship. The title must clearly reflect the content and not exceed 12 words. The abstract must not exceed 100 words.

2 Headings Do not number paragraphs. Use up to three levels of heading, all in sentence-case: Primary heading (followed by one hard return) Secondary heading (followed by one hard return) Tertiary heading: with the text continuing on the same line.

3 Graphics Present graphics (e.g. Tables, Figures) as separate files, clearly labelled, and mark their approximate position in the text. Tables may be presented in MS Word, but figures and other illustrations must be in TIFF, EPS, or JPEG.

4 Acknowledgements and Notes Indicate acknowledgements at the end of the article, not in the notes. Keep notes brief, indicating their placement with a number in brackets outside the full stop.(1) Collect the notes at the end of the text. Do not use the electronic endnote facility.

5 References Keep references to a minimum (ideally not more than 15 works). Make sure to include all the works cited in your text. Use the author–date system for in-text citations (Razavi 2002: 26–31) and list references alphabetically at the end of the article. Please identify all cited works in the following style:


Razavi, Shahra (ed.) (2002) Shifting Burdens: Gender and Agrarian Change under Neoliberalism, Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press.

Chapter in edited volume

Mahadevia, Darshini (2002) ‘Sustainable urban development in India: an inclusive perspective’, in David Westendorff and Deborah Eade (eds.) Development and Cities, Oxford: Oxfam GB (in association with UNRISD).

Chapter in book cited in references

Cornwall, Andrea (2002) ‘Making a difference? Gender and participatory development’, in Razavi (ed.) (2002).

Article in journal

Fujikura, Ryo and Mikayasu Nakayama (2002) ‘Post hoc review of involuntary resettlement issues in two power-generation projects’, Development in Practice 12(2): 208-212.

Unpublished report/mimeo

Timlin, Aidan (2005) ‘Working with Rights in Christian Aid: Some basic pointers for strategy groups to consider’, unpublished paper, London: Christian Aid.

Conference paper

Barahona Portocarrero, Milagros (2002) ‘Gender, Migration and Transnationalism in Nicaragua’, paper presented at the 2002 Conference on Feminist Economics, Occidental College, Los Angeles, 12–14 July.

Internet reference

Associated Press (2006) ‘Coca production up despite record eradication’, available at (retrieved 26 August 2009).

6 Language

Use British English spelling and conventions, following The New Oxford Dictionary of English with the exception of ‘-ise’ endings, e.g. ‘organise’, which are preferred to ‘-ize’ endings. Avoid jargon and define acronyms, abbreviations, and specialist terms. Translate any foreign terms. Use the SI metric system and provide a Euro or US dollar equivalent for amounts stated in other currencies.