Instructions for authors

What are we looking for?
How to submit an article
Editorial Review Process
Copyright and Permissions
Open Access
Self-archiving and institutional repositories
English language editing service
How to maximise the impact of your article
Contact us

What are we looking for?

Research articles: normally between 5,000 and 7,000 words, including abstract (200 words maximum), notes, tables, figures and references. The journal values innovation and diversity, and so embraces research that uses a wide range of methodological approaches and is informed by a wide range of theoretical and conceptual frameworks. Scholarly articles may be based on empirical research, literature-based or conceptual. They may use quantitative, qualitative or mixed empirical methodologies. Innovative methods and high-quality participative and practice research that engages with service users, carers and communities is encouraged. ESWR also welcomes research using a variety of perspectives, such as psychological, philosophical, sociological, political, legal, ethical or related to human growth and development, whilst showing clear relevance to social work – whether practice, management, regulation, policy, research, or education and training.

The journal will include high-quality research articles examining:

  • All major social work practice areas, including (but not limited to): vulnerable children and families; mental health; addictions; disability; migrants, refugees and immigrants; employment and unemployment; health care and hospital social work; criminal justice; and sustainable social and community development.
  • Contemporary challenges facing social work and the communities it serves, among them: poverty; social exclusion; discrimination and oppression; inequalities, injustice and relationships of power; abuse, trauma, violence and conflict; cultural, political and environmental hazards.
  • Developing and strengthening effective social work practices, organisations, programmes, policies or movements for achieving positive change and empowerment.
  • Developing and strengthening the social work profession, including social work education and training; professional identity, ethics and values; and interprofessional practice.


Book reviews: between 500 and 1000 words. Book for review should be sent to the Book Review Editor. 

Research, Policy and Practice Exchange: between 500 and 2000 words, including abstract (75 words maximum) and references In addition to traditional research articles and book reviews, ESWR features a Research, Policy and Practice Exchange section for shorter articles, critical discussions and reflections. Within this section, short papers relevant to furthering social work research in Europe are welcomed. These may include: 

  • reflective, research-informed commentaries on topical issues
  • reports of significant new research initiatives, conferences or meetings
  • guidance about, and critical appraisal of research funding sources, research training and capacity development opportunities and resources.

Those interested in writing for this section are invited to contact

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How to submit an article

All submissions should be made online at the European Social Work Research Editorial Manager website:

If you have questions about the submission process, please contact the editorial office at:

Editorial Manager

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.

In the course of your online submission you will be asked to provide the text of a tweet (required) which can be used to promote your article (no more than 130 characters long).

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, and the article word count including references. A cover page template is available to download here. For full articles include also an article abstract (up to 200 words) and up to 5 key words. Include here also, as appropriate, any acknowledgments, funding details, conflicts of interest and a list of authors’ own publications that are cited, marking these as to be added in the appropriate place after peer review. Please indicate clearly on the Cover Page if your submission is for the Research, Policy and Practice Exchange section or is a Book Review. For a book review, give the item title as the name of the book followed by (Review).
    2. A fully anonymized manuscript which does not include the information in the cover page. It should not include any information that would identify the author(s). Citations to the authors' own work should be anonymised in the text as follows: "Author's own, [year]". Please note that submissions that have not been sufficiently anonymised will be returned.
    3. If you have any Figures and Tables these must be uploaded as separate files with a suitable file title. Please indicate where they should be placed in the text by inserting: ‘Figure X here’ and provide a suitable reference to the appropriate file.
    4. In order to improve our accessibility for people with visual impairments, we are now required to ask authors to provide a brief description known as alt text to describe any visual content such as photos, illustrations or figures. It will not be visible in the article but is embedded into the images so a PDF reader can read out the descriptions. Guidance on how to write this is available here:

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

For help submitting an article via Editorial Manager, please view our online tutorial.

Once a submission has been conditionally accepted, you will be invited to submit a final, non-anonymised version, adding in any material that was omitted to ensure confidentiality during peer review.

Checklist: three items to include in your final non-anonymised manuscript after acceptance:

  1. A cover page including:
    1. Title: no longer than 25 words and, if necessary, a (short) informative subtitle
    2. Author names and affiliations 
    3. Abstract: no longer than 200 words, outlining the central question, approach/method, findings and take-home message;
    4. Up to 5 keywords;

  2. The main manuscript including:
    1. The non-anonymised text of your article: normally between 5000 and 7000 words, including abstract (200 words maximum), keywords, notes, tables, figures and references
    2. 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].’
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Figures and Tables: should be submitted 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).
    6. In order to improve our accessibility for people with visual impairments, we are now required to ask authors to provide a brief description known as alt text to describe any visual content such as photos, illustrations or figures. It will not be visible in the article but is embedded into the images so a PDF reader can read out the descriptions. Guidance on how to write this is available here:
    7. Supplementary data: We recommend that any supplementary data is hosted in a data repository (such as figshare) for maximum exposure, and is cited as a reference in the article.
  3. Journal Contributor Agreement: please upload a scanned copy of the completed and signed Journal Contributor Agreement with your final non-anonymised manuscript. The agreement can be downloaded here: coming soon
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Editorial Review Process

All submissions are first desk-reviewed by the editor(s) who will assess whether the manuscript fits the aims and scope as well as the quality standards of the journal. Papers that are selected to be sent out for review will be evaluated through double-blind peer review by at least two referees. European Social Work Research aims to return the reviews along with an initial decision within two months of submission.

Please also see our Journals Editorial Policies.

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Copyright and Permissions

European Social Work Research is published by Policy Press, imprint of Bristol University Press. Articles are considered for publication on the understanding that on acceptance the author(s) grant(s) Policy Press the exclusive right and licence to publish the article. 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. 

Authors will be asked to sign a journal contributor agreement to this effect, which should be submitted online along with the final manuscript. All authors should agree to the agreement. For jointly authored articles the corresponding author may sign on behalf of co-authors provided that s/he has obtained their consent. The journal contributor agreement can be downloaded here: coming soon.

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. General information on rights and permissions can be found here.

To request permission to reproduce any part of articles published in European Social Work Research please email Policy Press:

For information on what is permissible use for different versions of your article please see our policy on self archiving and institutional repositories.


  • British English spelling and punctuation is required for this journal.
  • Non-discriminatory language is mandatory.
  • Explanatory notes 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. Please do not embed notes in the text.
  • Please do not embed bibliographic references in the text, footnotes, live links or macros; the final submitted file should be clear of track changes and ready for print.
  • Tables 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 X here’. Please provide numbers, titles and sources (where appropriate).
  • Figures, diagrams and maps should 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 the figures, diagrams and maps are in other formats (i.e. have been pasted into a Word file rather than created in it) please contact 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).

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Download the Endnote output style for Policy Press and Bristol Univesity Press Journals.

Policy 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 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:
Aghtaie, N. and Gangoli, G. (2015) National and international perspectives to gender based violence, Abingdon: Routledge.

Example of journal reference:
Williamson, E. and Abrahams, HA. (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, vol 29, no 1, pp 178-191

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 MT Segal, EN Chow and V Demos (eds) Social production and reproduction at the interface of public and private spheres, London: Emerald, pp 273-294.

Example of website reference:
Womensaid (2016) What is domestic abuse?, Available:. [24 Aug 2016].

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