Policy Press

Debates and Issues Submissions: Guidance for contributors

The Debates and Issues (D&I) section is a unique feature of the International Journal of Care and Caring (IJCC): International Journal of Care and Caring | Bristol University Press (bristoluniversitypressdigital.com)

This section is permanently free to access and open to contributions from a wide range of stakeholders. The section attracts contributions from practitioners, policy makers, carers and those working on, or interested in, care and carers’ issues.

D&I articles should contribute to international sharing of ideas, expertise and experience between NGOs, policymakers, trade unions, employers, academics and others and will cover topics of interest to an international audience. Examples include articles that:

  • highlight innovative policy or practice at the local, national or international level;
  • debate current, controversial issues or matters of concern;
  • focus on aspects of advocacy, identification, claims-making and contestation


Frequently asked questions

If I want to submit an article or group of articles what do I need to do?

Before submitting a Debates and Issues contribution author(s) should send the D&I Editor a 100-word summary for a single article or a 600-word proposal for a group of two or more articles. Please send your summary to the Editorial Office, ijcc@sheffield.ac.uk The D&I Editor is more than happy to discuss ideas about possible articles via e-mail before you write a summary.

Will the summary I sent to the D&I Editor be published in the journal?

No, the summary is for you and the Editor to be clear about the focus of your article. It is not usually published in the journal.

Once the summary has been accepted what happens next?

Authors should then prepare an article of between 1500 and 2500 words and submit it via Editorial Manager https://www.editorialmanager.com/ijcc/default.aspx

Are other types of articles published in the D&I section?

Yes, we welcome rejoinders, or responses, to existing D&I articles. These should be of up to 1,000 words in length and should be submitted by email: ijcc@sheffield.ac.uk

Are keywords required?

Yes. We ask that you use five keywords at the start of your article that relate to the topic you have chosen to write about.

Is the article peer reviewed?

No, the article is not peer reviewed; it is not an ‘academic paper’. It will be reviewed by one of our D&I Editors who will make a recommendation to the Editor-in-Chief (who makes final decisions on journal content and assigns papers to specific print issues).

How long is the turnaround between submission and publication?

The journal is published in four issues per year. Your article will be published in a timely manner. The Editor-in-Chief needs to balance region, paper focus, range of authors and other considerations so it is unlikely your D&I Editor will commit to a specific timeline for its inclusion in a print issue when an article is accepted (unless it is intended for a Special Issue or Themed Section of the journal).

Will changes be made to my article?

Editors usually suggest some changes to articles received and will send these to you. It is your responsibility to respond to these in a timely way. It is usual for several revised drafts to be required before your article is accepted for publication. This work is usually done via e-mail (until your final draft is ready, see below How do I submit my article?).

Do I need to use references?

Most D&I articles include some references: there is a maximum of 10. For guidance on style and references, see International Journal of Care and Caring | Bristol University Press (bristoluniversitypressdigital.com)

If English is not my first language is that a problem?

No, although it is important for the article to be written in accessible, clear and coherent English. It is not the role of our editors to rewrite submitted articles, although suggestions may be made. Where an article needs work to bring it up to the required standard, the Editor handling it will return it to the author to make appropriate changes. If English is not your first language, we may suggest that you consult with a translation service. Note that the journal is for worldwide distribution in the English language.

Is it possible that my article could be rejected?

Yes, this is possible, for example if the article is not written in English of an acceptable standard, does not address the issues set out in the summary, or does not meet this guidance. The Editors’ aims for this section of the journal are, however, that it should be as inclusive as possible. We wish to encourage submissions from a wide range of contributors, many of whom may not be used to writing articles for journals.

How much detail is needed about the national or regional context of my article?

IJCC is an international journal and as such all papers need to provide some relevant background information. Depending on the focus of your article, this could mean, for example, informing the readership about aspects of the national or local policy context you are writing about. If your article refers to money, figures given should include the US dollar equivalent.

What about using local / national or culturally specific terminology?

Where terms are used that may not be understood by an international audience, these need to be explained or defined (when first used).

Can I include tables, charts and/or figures?

Yes, this is welcome, but please submit these in a separate file for editing and typesetting purposes. (Tables and charts should be submitted using a MS Word file. Images should adhere to the guidelines found on IJCC’s website International Journal of Care and Caring | Bristol University Press (bristoluniversitypressdigital.com).

What do I need to include in my article?

Contributions by a single author (or co-authors) should be structured to include:

  • a short introduction, setting the background and context for the points which follow;
  • the information, perspective(s) or argument the author(s) wish to cover, set out in clear, concise English in separate paragraphs;
  • a concluding discussion, in which the author(s) summarise the main point(s) they wish to make.
  • debates between two or more authors may follow an alternating format, in which each responds, comments on, or adds to the previous author’s arguments, observations or evidence. (Two companion papers can work well, for example a carer’s reflection on an experience accompanied by a professional’s perspective on the issues raised.)
  • an appropriate style and tone: it is important that articles are written in a style and tone that makes them accessible to a non-academic audience, while retaining academic coherence and credibility. As the journal’s audience is international, it is also pivotal that topics ‘travel’ and can be understood by readers from other countries and contexts.


To get an idea of the tone, length, subject matter and range of papers that we publish, we strongly encourage authors to take advantage of our free Debates and Issues papers, available by browsing IJCC online at: International Journal of Care and Caring | Bristol University Press (bristoluniversitypressdigital.com)

How do I submit my final article?

Once the article’s author(s) and the D&I Editor have agreed the article is final, it must be submitted via ‘Editorial Manager’ (EM), the journal’s online editorial management system, at which point copyright will be assigned. Guidance on how to use Editorial Manager can be provided if needed.

Do I need to do anything else after that?

Yes, once an article(s) has been submitted via the Editorial Manager website, it will be passed to Policy Press’s copy editor for final corrections. It will subsequently be returned to the author for proof-reading prior to publication. Authors must respond within the timescales indicated at this important stage.

Thank you for your interest in the International Journal of Care and Caring.

To contact the journal by email: ijcc@sheffield.ac.uk

To access the journal: International Journal of Care and Caring | Bristol University Press (bristoluniversitypressdigital.com)