About the Journal

Focus and Scope

The Review of Disability Studies (RDS) is an anonymous peer-reviewed, open-access academic journal that is targeted towards any person interested in disability studies. We have readers and authors from all over the world. We accept submissions in English of a scholarly nature covering a range of disciplines within disability studies as well as creative works expressing ideas in the area of disability. The RDS journal contains the following sections:

  1. Research and Essays;
  2. Topical Forums;
  3. Creative Works;
  4. Global Perspective on Disability Studies;
  5. Multi-Media Review;
  6. Notes from the Field;
  7. Dissertation Abstracts. The journal is published four times a year, and each issue runs approximately 50 pages.

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Peer Review Process


All works submiteed to RDS are evaluated by peer reviewers. All research articles and essays are assigned review by two anonymous peer reviewers and the Research & Essays Editors. Authors can expect peer review to take a minimum of 4 weeks, although review time may vary based on volume of submissions and the availability of reviewers.

Evaluation Criteria

The relevance and originality of the manuscript,its interest to scholars of Disability Studies, and its contribution to knowledge in the field. Put another way: does the article make a significant contribution tothe literature in its subject area? Does the paper standout in some way from others in its field? How relevantis the submission to the mandate of RDS?

  1. Does the article frame disability in such a way that it embraces non-medicalized, socio-cultural perspectives of disability? If not, are there simple things that the authors could do to revise their approach (such as use of language, inclusion of more relevant citations) or is the article in need of a greater shift of perspective that would require significant redevelopment? Are there other journals that might be a better fit for the article?
  2. Does the article strike a reasonable balance betweenmeeting the specialist standards and language of Disability Studies, and being accessible to general readers?
  3. Are the claims appropriately discussed in the contextof earlier literature?
  4. The quality of arguments, the soundness of methodology and reasoning, the quality of data,and the validity of analysis. How convincing is theargument?
  5. Is the argument balanced? Would the manuscript benefit from shortening orexpanding of any sections? Have any relevant pointsnot been considered?

Publication Decision Categories


The submission (i) has a clear argument that is (ii)supported convincingly by sufficient evidence; (iii) isaware of existing literature in the field; and (iv) throughits argument and evidence makes a contribution to thefield. Only small textual changes are necessary for the manuscript to be ready for publication.

Accept with Revisions Required

The submission (i) has a clear argument that is (ii) supported convincingly by sufficient evidence; (iii) isaware of existing literature in the field; and (iv) throughits argument and evidence makes a contribution to thefield. More significant changes are needed then for “accept” in order for the manuscript to be ready for publication, but with revisions the manuscript is of publishable quality.

Revise and Resubmit

The manuscript merits eventual publication, provided revisions (sometimes extensive) are carried out satisfactorily. Examples of the sorts of revisions commonly required include the following:

  • Development of the argument and analysis;
  • Sharpening of the focus;
  • More supporting evidence;
  • Greater knowledge of relevant existing literature/publications in the field;
  • Fuller documentation and/or answers to queries onspecific points of fact;
  • Rhetorical improvements, especially those affect ingclarity, e.g. excessive use of the passive voice, vague pronouns, weak transitions, etc.;
  • A reduction in the overall length through elimination of redundancies and wordiness.


The manuscript is deemed unsalvageable. This decision could be reached for a variety of different reasons, including methodology, argumentation, evidence, or prose. Please note: if the style is thoroughly confusing (to the point wherea decision to “reject” has been reached), examples should be cited. If the submission makes no original contribution, this point should be made with reference to existing Studies.

Publication Frequency

RDS is published online quarterly, with 4 issues a year.

Advertising Policy

The Review of Disability Studies is the ideal vehicle for reaching an international audience in the field of disability studies. We have and are pursuing affiliations with other major organizations in the field.

Subscribers are academics, advocates, and libraries. It is a highly receptive audience for appropriately targeted advertising. Research shows that specialty journals such as the Review of Disability Studies are cited by professionals as the most useful source of information for the purchase of products and services, more so than conferences, direct mail, and direct sales.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the ISSN? 1552-9215 (online)
  • How long has the journal been in existence? Since 2003
  • What is the average number of downloads for the online version? 1000 average per issue
  • What countries are the readers from? RDS has readers from all over the world, but some of the most common countries represented are Australia, Canada, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States
  • How often is RDS published?  4 issues /year
  • Where is RDS published? University of Hawaii at Mānoa, USA
  • What is the name of the publisher? Center on Disability Studies
  • What is the scope/audience for RDS? Persons interested in disability studies
  • What is the rejection rate? 60%
  • How long does it take for a manuscript submission to be reviewed? 1-3 months
  • What is the average amount of time between a publication decision and publication? It varies significantly with amount of revisions needed, number of articles waiting to be published, topic/country of origin of the article, and type of article. One year is a typical amount of time between acceptance and publication, but the wait can sometimes be longer.
  • Is the journal refereed (peer reviewed)? 2 types of review (a) anonymous peer review (2 anonymous peer reviewers) (b) regular peer review (1 non-anonymous peer review.
  • Is paid subscription required to access RDS Journal articles? No, RDS is an open-access journal

Journal History

In order to address the need for an internationally-focused academic journal in the field of Disability Studies, in 2003 the late David Pfeiffer and the Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa founded, “The Review of Disability Studies:An International Journal” (RDS).

The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal (RDS) provides an international forum for people with disabilities, academics, professionals, artists and creators from all backgrounds and expertise to express ideas relevant to disability studies and people with disabilities. RDS is open to a wide variety of perspectives, approaches, views, and paradigms relevant to the study and experience of disability.