Information for authors
Australian Social Work is an international peer-reviewed journal reflecting current thinking and trends in social work. Authors intending to submit to the journal should prepare their manuscripts with both a social work audience and an international audience in mind. It is strongly recommended that authors familiarise themselves with articles previously published in the journal.
Types of submissions
Authors may submit:
- An original article, which may report the findings of research (including systematic literature reviews) or critically analyse a policy, practice or theoretical issue. Original articles will be within the range of 4,000 to 6,000 words. An abstract of 100–150 words must be included, as well as an implications statement comprising two or three bullet points (between 50 and 75 words) summarising the unique contribution and relevance of the paper (e.g., to society, to social work, to social policy).
- A Practice, Policy, & Perspectives (PPP) article, which may report the findings of small-scale practice-based research (e.g., evaluation research or case study) or examine an important policy issue. PPP articles will be within the range of 1,500 to 4,000 words. An abstract of no more than 100 words must be included , as well as an implications statement as per above. Please refer to the Practice, Policy, & Perspectives guidelines
- A letter to the editor, which may respond to an issue raised by an article in the journal. A letter will not exceed 400 words. Letters to the editor are not peer reviewed.
- A commentary on a published article, which has been invited by the Editor, to stimulate debate on a topic. A commentary will not exceed 1,000 words. Commentaries are not peer reviewed.
- A book review, which has been invited by the Editor or Reviews Editor, on a recently published book determined by the Editor or Reviews Editor to be of interest to the journal’s readership. Book reviews should be between 600 and 800 words. Book reviews are not peer reviewed. Please note that unsolicited book reviews are not accepted. Please refer to the book review guidelines
The maximum word length for each of these manuscripts includes the abstract, implications statement, tables, figures, in-text references, captions, and the reference list. All papers, including resubmitted papers, must not exceed the word limit.
All manuscripts submitted to the journal should adhere to the Information for Authors guidelines on the journal’s Taylor & Francis web page.
In brief, manuscripts should:
- conform to the style outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) (6th ed.) with the exception of any advice provided in the Instructions for Authors
- ensure spelling conforms to the Macquarie Dictionary
- be double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font
- have pages numbered consecutively
- comply with the maximum word length for the type of submission.
Manuscripts must be the original work of the author(s) and will be received on the understanding that they have not been published, simultaneously submitted or accepted for publication elsewhere. The journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and operates in line with the journal's own Code of Practice. Please note that Australian Social Work uses CrossCheck™ software to screen manuscripts for unoriginal material.
We suggest you read Ten tips for submitting your manuscript. We also recommend the following articles for guidance on preparing articles reporting research:
- Qualitative articles: Bigby, C. (2015). Preparing manuscripts that report qualitative research: Avoiding common pitfalls and illegitimate questions
- Quantitative articles: Simpson, G. K. & Lord, B. (2015). Enhancing the reporting of quantitative research methods in Australian social work
- Systematic review articles: Crisp. B. (2015) Systematic reviews: A social work perspective
Online manuscript submission
Online submission of articles is via Manuscript Central. There are instructions on this website to assist new authors. Returning authors will login with username and password.
The online submission process requires:
- full names, institutional affiliations, and addresses (including email addresses) of all authors.
- two copies of each manuscript be uploaded:
- The 'review copy' should be completely deidentified (names of authors removed, as well as any identifying information in headers, footers, footnotes, acknowledgements, including grant numbers or funding details that might identify authors).
- The 'not for review copy' should include all the author details.
See author instructions and tutorials on the Manuscript Central website for further details. Manuscripts that do not comply with style and format requirements, or which are not neat and legible, will be returned without review.
- All original articles and PPP articles are peer reviewed.
- Reviewers are selected by the Editor from a panel, which may include members of the Editorial Board, Editorial Advisors, International advisors, and others with expertise on the topic or methodology of the article.
- The Editor may decide not to send the paper to review if it does not meet the aims of the journal, it fails to meet basic scholarly standards, or it does not conform to the Instructions for Authors.
- The journal operates a standard policy of double-blind peer review where the identities of the author and reviewer are not disclosed to the other party. However, the option of a single-blind peer review is available, please refer to the Instructions for Authors for information.
- Articles may be accepted, returned for minor or major revision, rejected with the option of resubmission after a substantial reworking of the paper, or rejected.
- The Editor may make minor alterations to articles on his or her own initiative.
- The Editor’s decision is final and correspondence regarding the outcome of a paper will not be entered into.
- The review process normally takes at least three months – longer when revision is necessary (revisions are often requested).
- For guidance on peer-reviewing please see the following article: Tilbury, C. (2015). Reviewing manuscripts for Australian Social Work. Australian Social Work, 68(3), 392-396.
Authors of research articles in Australian Social Work should have their research data available for at least 5 years after publication. On request, these data should be shared with other competent professionals for reanalysis, solely for the purpose of verifying the published findings, provided that participants’ confidentiality is protected and unless legal rights concerning proprietary data prevent their release. Where relevant, the specific computer program used for data analysis should be identified.
Final copy and proofs
An electronic copy of the final version of manuscripts accepted for publication (in PC format) will be required. A copy of the manuscript should be retained by the author for proofreading purposes. A PDF proof of the copyedited article will be emailed to the corresponding author for correction prior to publication. No changes to content are permitted at this stage and alterations are restricted to correction of typographical errors.
Online submission of articles via Manuscript Central website