Manuscript Submission Guidelines

Action Research Action Research

  1. Editorial Policies
    1.1 Peer review policy
    1.2 Authorship
  2. Article types
  3. How to submit your manuscript
  4. Publishing Policies
    4.1 Publication Ethics
    4.1.1 Plagiarism
    4.2 Contributor’s publishing agreement
    4.3 Open access and author archiving
  5. Declaration of conflicting interests policy
  6. Other conventions
  7. Acknowledgments
    7.1 Funding acknowledgement
  8. Permissions
  9. Manuscript style
    9.1 File types
    9.2 Journal style
    9.3 Reference style
    9.4 Manuscript preparation
    9.4.1 Keywords and abstracts: Helping readers find your article online
    9.4.2 Corresponding author contact details
    9.4.3 Guidelines for submitting artwork, figures and other graphics
    9.4.4 Guidelines for submitting supplemental files
    9.4.5 English language editing services
  10. After acceptance
    10.1 Proofs
    10.2 E-Prints
    10.3 SAGE production
    10.4 OnlineFirst publication
  11. Further information

Action Research is an international, interdisciplinary, refereed journal which is a forum for the development of the theory and practice of action research.

Please refer to the Notes for Authors page for the journal’s purpose, vision and mission, and the Information About the Editors page for more details on the Editors.

1. Editorial Policies

1.1 Peer review policy

Action Research adheres to a developmental double-blind reviewing policy. The identity of both the reviewer and author are concealed from both parties. Under special circumstances, when deemed to support the developmental and collegial nature of our review process, a single blind review may be offered during later revisions where the reviewer may wish to be known to the author.

Upon initial receipt, the editors will either quickly return manuscripts they believe unsuitable for publication in the journal or pass them along for blind reviews from at least two additional sources. The blind reviews, along with a recommendation by the Associate Editor, will be passed back to the Editor-in-Chief for a final editorial decision with regard to acceptance, revision or rejection. The Editor-in-Chief will then contact the contributor. We expect this process to take around 10 weeks.

For further detail on the quality criteria used for assessing manuscripts submitted to the journal, please see the page on Quality Criteria.

For additional information on the collaborative process through which the Associate Board agreed on the quality criteria, please click here.

1.2 Authorship

All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

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2. Article types

The journal publishes quality articles on accounts of action research projects, explorations in the philosophy and methodology of action research, and considerations of the nature of quality in action research practice.

All papers submitted ought to link theory and practice, in whatever way the author deems appropriate. It is assumed that the author, in seeking to share their work more broadly will consider the issue of how their contribution builds upon and advances the theory and practice of action research. In most cases we prefer to see theoretical and practical insights intertwined. The journal will include:

  • A strong editorial comment column
  • An Open Forum for readers to initiate and sustain debate (see also the Action Research Community blog: http://arj-journal.blogspot.com/)
  • Peer reviewed articles that contribute to the practice, theory and method of action research

Articles should be between 5,000 and 7,000 words inclusive.

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3. How to submit your manuscript

Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you carefully read and adhere to all the guidelines and instructions to authors provided below. Manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned. Double check, also, that you have removed all identifying information from the manuscript. Only your cover letter to the EIC should contain identifying information.

Action Research is hosted on SAGE Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne� Manuscripts. Please read the manuscript submission guidelines below, and then simply visit http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/arj to login and submit your article online.

IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created. For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.

All papers must be submitted via the online system. If you would like to discuss your paper prior to submission, or seek advice on the submission process please contact the Editor-in-Chief, Hilary Bradbury, at the following email address: bradbury@ohsu.edu

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4. Publishing Policies

4.1 Publication Ethics

SAGE is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the SAGE Author Gateway

4.1.1 Plagiarism

Action Research and SAGE take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of articles published in the journal. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked using duplication-checking software. Where an article is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article (removing it from the journal); taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author’s institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; banning the author from publication in the journal or all SAGE journals, or appropriate legal action.

4.2 Contributor's publishing agreement

Before publication, SAGE requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. SAGE’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants SAGE the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than SAGE. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit our Frequently Asked Questions on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

4.3 Open access and author archiving

Action Research offers optional open access publishing via the SAGE Choice programme. For more information please visit the SAGE Choice website. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit SAGE Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.

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5. Declaration of conflicting interests                  

Within your Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement you will be required to make a certification with respect to a declaration of conflicting interests. Action Research does not require a declaration of conflicting interests but recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway

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6. Other conventions

None applicable.

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7. Acknowledgements                                                         

All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.  Please supply any personal acknowledgements separately to the main text to facilitate anonymous peer review.

7.1 Funding Acknowledgement
requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading.  Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. 

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8. Permissions

Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway..

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9. Manuscript style

9.1 File types
All submissions should be made online at the Action Research SAGE Track website.

Please ensure that you submit editable/source files only (Microsoft Word or RTF) and that your document does not include page numbers; the Action Research SAGE Track system will generate them for you, and then automatically convert your manuscript to PDF for peer review.

9.2 Journal Style
Action Research conforms to the SAGE house style. Click here to review guidelines on the SAGE UK House Style.

9.3 Reference Style
Action Research adheres to the APA reference style. Click here to review the guidelines on APA to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

9.4. Manuscript Preparation
The text should be double-spaced throughout and with a minimum of 3cm for left and right hand margins and 5cm at head and foot. Text should be standard 10 or 12 point.

9.4.1 Your Title, Keywords and Abstracts: Helping readers find your article online
The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article online through online search engines such as Google. Please refer to the information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords by visiting SAGE�s Journal Author Gateway Guidelines on How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.

9.4.2 Corresponding Author Contact details
Provide full contact details for the corresponding author including email, mailing address and telephone numbers. Academic affiliations are required for all co-authors. These details should be presented separately to the main text of the article to facilitate anonymous peer review.

9.4.3 Guidelines for submitting artwork, figures and other graphics
For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit SAGE’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.

If, together with your accepted article, you submit usable colour figures, these figures will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. If a charge applies you will be informed by your SAGE Production Editor. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from SAGE after receipt of your accepted article.

9.4.4 Guidelines for submitting supplemental files
This journal is able to host approved supplemental materials online, alongside the full-text of articles. Supplemental files will be subjected to peer-review alongside the article. For more information please refer to SAGE’s Guidelines for Authors on Supplemental Files.

9.4.5 English Language Editing services
Non-English speaking authors who would like to refine their use of language in their manuscripts might consider using a professional editing service. Visit http://www.uk.sagepub.com/journalgateway/msg.htm for further information.

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10. After acceptance           

10.1 Proofs
We will email a PDF of the proofs to the corresponding author.

10.2 E-Prints

SAGE provides authors with access to a PDF of their final article. For further information please visit http://www.sagepub.co.uk/authors/journal/reprint.sp.

10.3 SAGE Production
At SAGE we place an extremely strong emphasis on the highest production standards possible. We attach high importance to our quality service levels in copy-editing, typesetting, printing, and online publication (http://online.sagepub.com/). We also seek to uphold excellent author relations throughout the publication process.

We value your feedback to ensure we continue to improve our author service levels. On publication all corresponding authors will receive a brief survey questionnaire on your experience of publishing in Action Research with SAGE.

10.4 OnlineFirst Publication
Action Research benefits from OnlineFirst, a feature offered through SAGE’s electronic journal platform, SAGE Journals Online. It allows final revision articles (completed articles in queue for assignment to an upcoming issue) to be hosted online prior to their inclusion in a final print and online journal issue which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. For more information please visit our OnlineFirst Fact Sheet.

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11. Further information

Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Editor-in-Chief, Hilary Bradbury, at the following email address: bradbury@ohsu.edu

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