R&D publishes research articles, policy & practice notes, and book reviews (see below).
Manuscript Preparation -- Research Articles and Policy & Practice Notes
The manuscript file itself should contain the manuscript title and the manuscript text including all references and bibliography. The manuscript file should be fully anonymized. Kindly remove any information that identifies the author(s) from the manuscript and its metadata, to ensure a smooth double anonymous review.
2. Title page
Kindly submit a separate title page containing the manuscript title, author information, abstract and keywords. The title page should furthermore include the following:
- Acknowledgements (if applicable): Any relevant acknowledgements; including funding acknowledgements (provide project titles and grant numbers where applicable).
- Research Ethics (if applicable): Information on obtained research ethics clearance, relevant research permissions as well as informed consent (for research involving human participants).
- Conflicts of Interest: Please declare any possible conflicts of interest (if applicable, otherwise include the statement “The author(s) declare that there is no conflict of interest.”).
- Title page template
Manuscripts of book reviews do not require anonymization and separate title page. Please see the guidelines under Book Reviews below.
Research articles should provide high-quality, state-of-the-art contributions to the academic debate advancing the research in the field.
We encourage articles based on empirical research in all its forms, as well as those with conceptual or theoretical focus.
Research articles are fully peer reviewed (double anonymous).
A typical structure of a research article may include: an introduction, a literature review, an outline of the theoretical framework, a methods section, a section presenting analysis and results, a discussion section, and a conclusion.
In light of the disciplinary and methodological diversity of the research published in R&D, authors are free to structure their manuscripts in accordance with the needs of their specific research approach. The structure should serve to increase the quality of the presentation of the research and the clarity of the argument. However, the basic three-tiered structure of introduction, main body and discussion should always be followed in order to ensure accessibility of all papers across the diverse readership of the journal.
Research articles should typically have a length of 6,000 to 8,000 words (excluding abstract and bibliography). If longer manuscripts are submitted, a justification should be provided.
Policy & Practice Notes
With the format of policy & practice notes, R&D seeks to foster knowledge exchange between academia, practice and policy. The content should be relevant for the religion and development debate and be of interest to both practitioners and scholars.
The nature of a policy & practice note is relatively flexible. Contributions can, for example, include:
- reflections on and lessons learned from specific programmes, projects or interventions,
- scoping studies and thorough mappings of specific themes,
- summaries of more comprehensive research publications or project results,
- contributions highlighting specific needs for research or action,
- essays of argumentative character or
- perspectives of local actors, religious communities or religious leaders.
It is essential that the article is well-written and well-structured, and the argumentation is both clear and coherent.
The reflective depth is a crucial evaluation criterion in the review process. Articles should not be merely descriptive in nature but provide a critical engagement with the material presented.
Kindly avoid advertising a specific organisation or religious community.
Citation of relevant documents and academic literature can be used but does not need to be extensive.
Policy & practice notes should include an abstract and 3 to 7 keywords. The length of the abstract should be between 100 and 250 words. It should briefly summarize the article and its implications. Kindly note that the abstract should be a standalone text and does not constitute an introduction. Consequently, the introduction needs to contain all the relevant information even without being preceded by the abstract.
Policy and practice articles are fully peer reviewed. Each submission will be reviewed (double anonymous) by a practitioner and a scholar.
Policy & practice notes should have a length of 2,000 to 4,000 words (excluding abstract and bibliography). If longer manuscripts are submitted, a justification should be provided.
It is possible to have an initial conversation about potential book reviews with our book review editor, Barbara Bompani, the University of Edinburgh. Please, feel free to contact her directly at: B.Bompani@ed.ac.uk
How to prepare a book review:
Please do not use references or footnotes in a review, though they are allowed in a review article.
When quoting from the book under review please always include a page number, in brackets after the quote, e.g. (p. 20). It is not necessary to give page numbers if not quoting directly.
The length of book reviews are usually between 800 and 1,000 words and 3,000 words for a review article (that usually discusses four titles).
Please head the review with the title of the book in bold, by (author). Place of publication: publisher, date of publication + page number. If applicable please also provide paper, hardback or e-book price and ISBN. For example:
Africa Works: The Political Instrumentalization of Disorder, by Patrick Chabal and Jean-Pascal Daloz. Bloomington, IN: James Currey and Indiana University Press, 1999. Pp. 192. Paperback: $24.95, ISBN 0253212871.
Please end the review with your name, institutional affiliation and your e-mail address. It is our policy to print your e-mail address, unless you specifically ask us not to.
Center of African Studies,
The University of Edinburgh
If this is your first book review, this is what we are expecting in a good submission:
- A concise summary of the book’s contents and any overarching argument. In case of an edited collection, please try to provide a summary around themes and do not simply list the contents of each chapter.
- There should be an overall assessment of the book.
- The book should be placed in the context of other work on the same subject.
- Criticism, when possible, should be tempered with positive comments.
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