Policy Press

Publishing with a purpose

Instructions for authors

What we're looking for
How to Submit
English Language Editing Service
Open Access
Self-archiving and institutional repositories
How to maximise the impact of your article
Contact Us

What we’re looking for

Academic articles should not be longer than 8000 words, including abstract (150 words maximum), notes, tables, figures and references. The journal provides a forum for dialogue between research, policy and practice in the field of families and relationships across the life course. It is underpinned by sociological understandings of the fluid, complex and diverse nature of contemporary relationships, seen in varied social, cultural and historical contexts. While rooted in sociological theory and methods, submissions to Families, Relationships and Societies come from subject areas across the social sciences and related life course disciplines and from policy and practice communities. Papers are expected to have relevance to academic, policy and practitioner audiences, enabling a wide range of perspectives to be brought together in one place to foster innovation and development within disciplines and advance interdisciplinary research and practice.

Open Space: Information on how to submit an Open Space contribution

The Open Space section of the journal Families, Relationships and Societies offers a unique opportunity to consider facets of family lives, relationships and societies from unexpected and novel (including non-academic) perspectives. The Open Space section is included in Special and Themed Issues of the journal only, so do look out for future calls. These calls will offer and encourage dialogue with a broader community than usually found in academic journals and enable alternative perspectives and insights to be shared. Contributions to this section usually range between 1-3,000 words. Further guidance will be provided as particular calls are made. For further details please contact the Open Space editor Tina Miller (tamiller@brookes.ac.uk).

Please follow the instructions below on how to submit your Open Space article to Editorial Manager. Open Space submissions do not carry abstracts. Contact the Editorial Assistant (frs@ed.ac.uk) if you require any assistance.

Special issue guest editors will be responsible for supplying the whole issue of a journal, including Open Space articles that fit the theme of the special issue, if they wish to include these.  Support from the Open Space editors will be provided if guest editors struggle to find Open Space pieces.

All articles are refereed to assess their suitability for publication.

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How to submit an article

All submissions should be made online at the Families, Relationships and Societies Editorial Manager website: http://www.editorialmanager.com/frs/default.aspx, 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.

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 a plain language summary of the paper (optional) which will be transmitted to Kudos on article acceptance. Kudos is an online platform dedicated to helping authors maximise the impact of their research. You can find out more about how it works in our guide to Kudos.

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 (institution affiliation and country only, no department details required), the article abstract (up to 150 words), up to 5 key words/short phrases and the article word count including references. A cover page template is available to download here.

    2. A fully anonymized manuscript which does not include any of the information included in the cover page. It should not include any acknowledgments, funding details, or conflicts of interest that would identify the author(s). References to the authors' own work should be anonymised 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 please upload them as separate files at the end of the manuscript. Please indicate where these 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.

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.

Checklist: what to include in your final, accepted non-anonymised manuscript

    1. A cover page including: the article title, author name(s) and affiliations (institution affiliation and country only, no department details required), the article abstract (up to 150 words), up to 5 key words and the word count.

The non-anonymised final manuscript including:

    1. 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]."

    2. 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. Find out more about declaring conflicts of interest in the Bristol Universty Press/ Policy Press Ethical Guidelines.

    3. Acknowledgements: acknowledge those who have provided you with any substantial assistance or advice with collecting data, developing your ideas, editing or any other comments to develop your argument or text.

    4. Figures and Tables: should be included as separate files at the end of the manuscript. Please indicate where these should be placed in the text by inserting: ‘Figure X here’ and provide numbers, titles and sources where appropriate. For advice about less common file formats please contact dave.j.worth@bristol.ac.uk.

    5. Supplemental data: We recommend that any supplemental data are hosted in a data repository (such as figshare) for maximum exposure, and are cited as a reference in the article.

Editorial Review Process

All submissions will be subject to double anonymous peer-review processes (unless stated otherwise) by referees currently working in the appropriate field.

The editors aim to provide quick decisions and to ensure that submission to publication takes the minimum possible time. The final decision on publication rests with the editors. 

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Copyright and Permissions

Articles are considered for publication on the understanding that on acceptance the entire copyright shall pass to Policy Press as publisher of Families, Relationships and Societies. Authors will be asked to sign a copyright agreement to this effect. All authors should agree to the copyright assignment. For jointly authored articles the corresponding author may sign on behalf of co-authors provided that s/he has obtained their consent for copyright assignment. When submitting online, the copyright assignment agreement is considered to be signed when the corresponding author checks the relevant box. The copyright assignment agreement can be read here.

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 Policy Press.

General information on rights and permissions can be found here: http://bristoluniversitypress.co.uk/rights-and-permissions.

To request permission to reproduce any part of articles published in Families, Relationships and Societies please email Policy Press: pp-info@bristol.ac.uk. For information on what is permissible use for different versions of your article please see our policy on self archiving and institutional repositories.

Please also read our Journals Editorial Policies and Ethics Guidelines.

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  • British English spelling and punctuation is preferred.
  • 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, before the references. 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 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).


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

Bristol University Press and Policy Press use 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:
Dorling, D. (2010) Injustice: Why social inequality persists, Bristol: Policy Press.

Example of journal reference:
Warin, P. (2012) 'Non-demand for Social Rights: A new challenge for social action in France', Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 20(1): 41-53.

Example of chapter within edited / multi-authored publication:
Levitas, R. (2011) 'Utopia Calling: Eradicating child poverty in the United Kingdom and beyond', in A. Minujin and S. Nandy (eds), Global Child Poverty and Well-being: Measurement, concepts, policy and action, Bristol, Policy Press. pp. 449-73.

Example of website reference:
Womensaid (2016) What is domestic abuse?, https://www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/what-is-domestic-abuse/.

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