For Global Social Challenges Journal authors


Learn everything you need to know about publishing in the Global Social Challenges Journal, including: 

Why publish with us?
Call for submissions
How to submit your article
Special collections
Editorial review process
Copyright and clearing permissions
Open Access and Article Processing Charges
Style and references
Author toolkit
Contact us

Why publish in the Global Social Challenges Journal?

We are a not-for-profit, Open Access journal with a mission to address urgent global social issues through interdisciplinary research.

The journal aims to encourage inclusivity and diversity in publishing. We welcome contributions from researchers and practitioners at all career stages from around the world and particularly encourage those in less established positions and/or more disadvantaged contexts to consider submitting to the journal.

Call for Submissions

How can we re-imagine society in an era of pressing global societal challenges? Significant threats and dangers lie ahead, but so do opportunities, as new ways of being, thinking and doing emerge. This journal aims to facilitate thinking about these positive new trajectories and become the journal of choice to address the complexities of global social challenges across disciplines and fields. Ours will be the first such journal to be based in the social sciences, whilst drawing together accessible international scholarship across and beyond disciplines to inform policy and practice. It will be an important home for research that contributes to the creation of alternative futures that are socially and environmentally just and sustaining.

We welcome submissions for:

  • Research articles: Submissions should reflect the themes, aims and scope of the journal, including conceptual and methodological pieces which further debate and research. Submissions may be up to 8,500 words including references. However, we will consider different word counts that are appropriate to the content.
  • Interventions: We also invite other forms of shorter, non-standard contributions. We describe three categories of these below and encourage authors to submit these in the spirit of 'interventions': lively and timely interjections that help give readers a more textured sense of the events, impacts and debates that inspire, shape and sometimes challenge the core research contributions of the journal. Submissions should be no more than 3,500 words and will be internally reviewed by two Editors-in-Chief or Associate Editors. In keeping with the aim for these interventions to engage practically and intellectually with the journal’s interests beyond a narrowly conceived academy, contributions should be written in highly accessible language. We particularly encourage submissions from practitioners beyond the academy and from collaborations between academics and other individuals and groups.

    o Policy and practice: Policy and practice submissions explore the processes of knowledge exchange, co-production and impact that widen the research community and/or adapt research to the needs of particular groups or stakeholders. Contributing to the journal’s commitment to fostering dialogue between academics, policy makers, thought-leaders, NGOs, practitioners and the public, these interventions will develop understanding of how research can be set to meet one or more global social challenges, through a variety of formats. Some will follow the making of specific policy briefings, tracing processes of design and dissemination, where others will document journeys of co-production or participatory learning. We encourage a full spectrum of methodological underpinnings, from impact evaluation to co-production and other participatory approaches. For this category only, internal review may be supplemented by input from an external individual with relevant policy knowledge or experience.

    Provocations: A provocation is a genre of writing that stimulates or incites new ways of thinking and acting, sketches a new trajectory or links different fields of enquiry, provides a springboard for ongoing discussion of timely, pressing issues and articulates the global reach of its central problem or question, even when highlighting a particular geographical example.

    o Debates: Debates address contemporary matters of concern, strategies for change or forms of organisation that respond to global social challenges, where there is an element of debate and disagreement around contentious issues. The intervention is unlikely to pose a resolution, but rather lays out the lines of contention so as to invite further reflection and response. Opposing views on an important new book might constitute one possible focus, or issue-focused debates written either as one voice with multiple perspectives, or as a dialogue, or two separate mutually responsive sections. We also welcome debate contributions that respond to arguments in papers we have published, and in turn invite other responses. 

We also welcome submissions for Special Collections.

How to submit your article

All submissions should be made online at the Global Social Challenges Journal Editorial Manager website. Please check the relevance of your article to our aims and scope before submitting.

Manuscripts must be in Word or Rich Text Format (not pdf). New users should first create an account, specify their areas of interest and provide full contact details. Our author toolkit contains a helpful video guide on how to make a submission.

Preparing your anonymised manuscript 

Your initial submission must consist of the following separate files:

  1. A cover page including: the article title, author name(s) and affiliations, the article abstract (up to 250 words), up to 5 keywords, 3-4 ‘key points’ summarising the main content of the submission in bullet points, funding details, a conflict-of-interest statement, the article word count including references. Download the cover page template
  2. A fully anonymised manuscript that does not include any of the information included in the cover page. It should not include any acknowledgements, funding details or conflicts of interest that would identify the author(s). References to the author's own work should be anonymised as follows: 'Author's/s' own, [year]', and title and publication removed. Please note that submissions that have not been sufficiently anonymised will be returned. 
  3. If you have any figures and tables, these must be emailed as separate files. Please indicate where they should be placed in the text by inserting: ‘Figure X here’ and provide numbers, titles and sources where appropriate.

All authors should comply with the Bristol University Press/Policy Press ethical guidelines.

Once a submission has been conditionally accepted, you will be invited to submit a final, non-anonymised version.

What to include in your final, accepted non-anonymised manuscript 

A cover page, including:

  1. Title: short and concise running title and, if necessary, a (short) informative subtitle;
  2. Author names and affiliations;
  3. Abstract: no longer than 250 words, outlining the central question, approach/method, content and key points. It is important that this abstract is accessibly written;
  4. Up to five keywords.

The main manuscript, including:

  1. The non-anonymised text of your article: no more than 8,500 words (including references) for Research Articles and 3,500 words for Interventions (policy and impact; debates; provocations)
  2. Key points: Each research article must include 3-4 ‘key points’ summarising the main content of the submission in up to four bullet points. The contribution made by the submission to the field and relevance to ‘global social challenges’ should be clear from these key points, which should also be covered in the main text. Each bullet point must be less than 100 characters. These points may be used to promote your article on social media.
  3. Funding details: list any funding including the grant numbers you have received for the research covered in your article as follows: ‘This work was supported by the [Funding Agency] under Grant [number xxxx].’
  4. Conflict of interest statement: please declare any possible conflicts of interest, or state ‘The author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’ if there are none.
  5. Acknowledgements: acknowledge people who have provided you with any substantial assistance or advice with collecting the data, developing your ideas, editing or any other comments to develop your argument or text.
  6. Figures and tables: should be emailed as separate files. Figures should ideally be in an Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) file format. Please indicate where figures and tables should be placed in the text by inserting: ‘Figure/Table X here’ and provide numbers, titles and sources (where appropriate).
  7. Supplementary data: supplementary data can be submitted with the article or hosted in a data repository (such as figshare) for maximum exposure, and cited as a reference in the article.
  8. Data availability statement: If the article reports the use of data, please declare that the author(s) take(s) responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the analysis. Please also state whether the data is available to other researchers and, if so, where or how it can be accessed.
  9. Video, podcast and blogposts: Please submit using hyperlinks, or email the Managing Editor at info@globalsocialchallenges.com for further information on how to submit.

Special Collections

We welcome submissions for Special Collections bringing together a set of original articles that reframe or develop knowledge on a topic relevant to our aims and scope. A Special Collection should integrate individual articles around a common theme, advance debate and/or practice in a particular area, make a significant and lasting contribution, and ideally be relevant across disciplines and fields. Download the guidance on how to propose a Special Collection

Editorial review process

All submissions are first desk-reviewed by members of the editorial team who will assess whether the manuscript fits the aims and scope as well as the quality standards of the journal. Submissions will be checked for consistency with the journal’s aims and scope. Submissions that are selected to be sent out for review will be evaluated through double-anonymous peer review by at least two referees. The Global Social Challenges Journal aims to return the reviews along with an initial decision within two months of submission. Please also read our Journals Editorial Policies and Ethical Guidelines.

Copyright and clearing permissions

The Global Social Challenges Journal is published Open Access by Bristol University Press. Articles are considered for publication on the understanding that on acceptance the author(s) grant(s) Bristol University Press the right and licence to first publication of the article. Bristol University Press will publish the article under the Creative Commons licence selected by the author(s). Copyright remains with the author(s) or other original copyright owners and we will acknowledge this in the copyright line that appears on the published article.
Where copyright is not owned by the author(s), the corresponding author is responsible for obtaining the consent of the copyright holder. This includes figures, tables and excerpts. Evidence of this permission should be provided to Bristol University Press. See general information on rights and permissions.

The permission to reproduce or reuse articles published in the Global Social Challenges Journal depends on the type of Creative Commons Licence selected by the author. Full information about the licences can be found at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/. Please email Bristol University Press at bup-info@bristol.ac.uk if you have questions about the permissible use of articles published in the journal.

Open Access and Article Processing Charges

The journal will operate on a Gold Open Access basis. In the first year (for articles submitted by 31st December 2022), only those with full funding for publishing OA will pay an Article Processing Charge (APC). Thereafter, we will continue to offer waivers or discounts on APCs for those without funding and in low- and middle- income countries. For full information on our fees and waivers, please refer to our APCs and Open Access options for journals.

Style and references

  • British English spelling and punctuation is expected.
  • Non-discriminatory language is mandatory.
  • Explanatory footnotes should be kept to a minimum. If it is necessary to use them, they must be numbered consecutively in the text and listed at the end of the article. Do not embed notes in the text or bibliographic references, live links or macros. You can download our preferred Endnote output style here
  • The final submitted file should also be clear of track changes and ready for print. 
  • Tables, figures and charts should be separated from the text and submitted in a Word or Excel file, with their placement in the text clearly indicated by inserting: ‘Table/Figure/Chart X here’. Please provide numbers, titles and sources (where appropriate).
  • Diagrams and maps should also be separated from the text and, ideally, submitted in an Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) file. Figures created in Word or Excel are acceptable in those file formats. If figures, diagrams and maps are in other formats (i.e. pasted into a Word file rather than created in it) please contact dave.j.worth@bristol.ac.uk for advice. Please indicate where figures should be placed in the text, by inserting: ‘Figure X here’ and provide numbers, titles and sources (where appropriate).

Bristol University Press uses a custom version of the Harvard system of referencing:

  • In-text citations: give the author’s surname followed by year of publication in brackets.
  • List all references in full in alphabetical order by surname at the end of the article and remove any references not cited in the text.
  • Book and journal titles should be in italics.
  • Website details should be placed at the end of the reference.
  • Spell out all acronyms in the first instance.

Example of book reference:
Williamson, E. and Abrahams, H.A. (2014) ‘A review of the provision of intervention programmes for female victims and survivors of domestic abuse in the UK’, Journal of Women and Social Work, 29(1): 178–91.

Example of journal reference:
Aghtaie, N. and Gangoli, G. (2015) National and International Perspectives to Gender-Based Violence, Abingdon: Routledge.

Example of chapter within edited / multi-authored publication:
Hester, M. (2012) ‘Globalization, activism and local contexts: Development of policy on domestic violence in China and England’, in M.T. Segal, E.N. Chow and V. Demos (eds) Social Production and Reproduction at the Interface of Public and Private Spheres, London: Emerald, pp 273–94.

Example of website reference:
Womensaid (2016) 'What is domestic abuse?', Available from: www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/what-is-domestic-abuse/ [Accessed 24 August 2016].

Author toolkit

For resources and advice to support you through the publication process and beyond, please refer to our Author toolkit.

Contact us

If you have any further questions, please contact the Managing Editor, Sarah Bird: info@globalsocialchallenges.com