Author Guidelines

General Requirements For All Submissions

*Note—articles that do not meet these guidelines will be returned to the author.

1 - File Format, Font and Spacing—Articles must be submitted as MS Word, TXT or RTF Documents. All text must be double spaced with 1”margins. Font must be 12 point, Times New Roman. Follow the guidelines put forth by the American Psychological Association (APA 7.0). All submissions not adhering to this will be returned without review.

2 - Abstract, Key Words and Biographical Statements - Each article must include an abstract of no more than 50 words and 3 keywords. Send as a separate document a title page that includes a 1-3 sentence biographical statement of each author, and what degrees, professional credentials, and affiliations are to be listed after the author’s name(s). For content and length requirements for various types of submissions, please see the “specific section” guidelines below.

3 - Peer Review—All submissions to RDS are peer-reviewed. Only  Research Articles and Essays will be anonymously peer-reviewed. These works should be scholarly in nature. All identifying information, including name of author(s), affiliation and contact information, should be deleted from the article. However, please be sure that the title of the article appears in both the document name and in the document itself.

4 - Footnotes and Endnotes—Do not use footnotes at the bottom of the page or any embedded notes. All notes (if used) must be endnotes. References, endnotes, and acknowledgments will appear at the end of the article text.

5 - Citations and References—Use the most current guidelines set forth by the American Psychological Association (APA 7.0).

6 - Article Length- Articles should be no longer than 7,500 words, including references and tables. Additional word restrictions may apply to articles that are part of a forum and will be determined by the guest editor.

Citation and Reference Examples Journal Reference: Hemingway, L., & Priestley, M. (2006). Natural hazards, human vulnerability, and disabling societies: A disaster for disabled people? The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal, 2(3), 57–67. Citation: According to Hemingway and Priestley (2006), people with disabilities are vulnerable in a disaster. Book Reference: Foucault, M. (1990). The history of sexuality, vol.1: An introduction. (R. Hurley, Trans.). New York: Vintage. Citation: Many authors have written about the importance of studying sexuality (Foucault, 1990).

7 - Language, Grammar and Syntax—American English spelling is preferred (i.e. analyze instead of analyse). Do not use contractions or slang unless it is in the original text as quoted. Groups of people that are marginalized or experience discrimination usually have preferred terms to describe themselves and these terms should be used. Please consult regularly with relevant groups as these terms change depending on context and as language evolves. Notes on specific language use should be included as necessary. Corrections of grammar and syntax may occur during the editing process.

  • Disability language – Recognizing that the words we use to describe disability have historically had consequences--and continue to, authors are invited to make explicit the choices for the language they use concerning disability. Furthermore, recognizing the contested nature of these terms, RDS does not dictate the specific language an author must use, nor. Save for patently offensive words, the journal will not exclude authors for nonstandard uses. In most cases, authors are encouraged to use what is considered modern and appropriate language in reference to disability such as “individual with a disability,” “disabled people” and “the disability community.” Terms such as “handicapped,” “retarded,” “crippled,” “the disabled” and “impaired persons” are not used in RDS unless they are being referenced in quotes or as a point of historical comparison.
  • Gender inclusive language – Avoid terms that are gender specific (e.g., mankind, stewardess, etc.) when referring to mixed groups or when use of the feminine can be construed as a diminutive or connote unequal status to an implicitly male norm. Avoid alternating the use of masculine and feminine pronouns in an article unless the alteration refers to shifting social or subjective gender identities. Avoid the form s/he, unless this is a preferred form of reference or is integrally related to the description or analysis of a transgender phenomenon. It is also permissible to use the plural “they” in reference to an individual if the intent is to avoid nonconsensual gendering or if this is the preferred mode of reference for the subject being referred to. Other gender neutral pronouns—e.g., “ze,” “zhe,” “zim”—should be respected as per the preference of the subjects to which they refer.
  • Note on new terms – Please provide a definition of new terms.  Non-standard words, jargon, slang, etc. should be defined or explained for the reader.
  • Please refrain from broad statements such as “most people would agree that…”  and provide multiple citations for all claims that refer to multiple sources i.e., “it has been well documented…”
  • Race and Ethnicity - Efforts must be made to ensure that terms referring to race and ethnicity are those preferred by the group or person being referenced. Use caution as some terms may have stigmatizing, derogatory and negative connotations in particular groups and contexts. Terms such as “racialized” (e.g., racialized women) or “person of color” are often preferred.

8 - Non-Native English Speakers—English grammar and syntax must be understandable enough for the article to be reviewed and edited. Authors with limited English skills are encouraged to partner with a co-author whose first language is English or to write the article in their first language and have the article translated into English by a professional translator. We also suggest considering a translation/editing service to assist ESL authors. Here is a list of companies that provide these services*:

Third Party Editing Services  

*please note: we are providing these for author convenience. We are not endorsing these companies nor are we affliliated in any way with them.

9 - Headings—The use of headings and sub-headings to separate major ideas and themes is encouraged. Use the most current guidelines set forth by the American Psychological Association (APA 7.0) for heading format.

10 - Graphs, Tables and Images —Use no more than three graphs, tables or images per article not to exceed two pages of text. All graphs, tables and images must include an alternative text description.

11 - Copyright Permissions- Work previously published must be so noted with a complete citation. If a copyright was obtained on the previously published work, written permission from the copyright holder must be submitted with the manuscript. Previously published work is not encouraged.

12 - Date of Publication—We cannot guarantee date of publication of any article until the issue in which that article appears is in press. This includes providing verification of publication for the purposes of tenure and promotion. All articles submitted to RDS are “submitted” until they are either “accepted for publication,” “accepted for publication with revisions,” or “not accepted for publication.”




RDS Forum Proposal Submission Guidelines

Submitting a Forum Proposal:

  • Proposals for RDS Forums may be submitted at any time. Proposals must explore questions and themes from a disability studies perspective, and should have relevance to an international audience.
  • Please allow up to 2 weeks from the submission of a proposal for a response from the Editors.
  • Please contact the Forums Editor to discuss and confirm your topic prior to submitting your forum proposal for formal review.
  • After the forum proposal has received a full editorial review, prospective guest editors will be notified of the decision on acceptance.

Guest Editors:

  • All Forums must have at least two guest editors, but no more than four. The designated lead guest editor is responsible for coordinating the initial review and preparing an overall summary statement on the initial decisions.
  • Guest editors are expected to be professional and respectful in communications related to the RDS forum, at all points of the publication process: eliciting works for the Forum; responding to questions about the Forum; working with authors; preparing and delivering review comments and decisions.
  • All submitted works, reviews and decisions must be treated confidentially, and papers should not be shared beyond the guest editors.
  • Public forums should not be used to notify other editors or authors of decisions.


  • Timelines for the Forum will depend on the journal’s publication schedule. The Managing Editor will work with prospective guest editors to develop a timeline as part of the Forum proposal review process. Timelines may need to be adjusted throughout the process to support quality forums and rigorous review.

Review Process:

  • All submissions to Forums must first undergo rigorous review by the guest editors. The RDS Forums Editor should be immediately notified of any works submitted which do not fall under the guest editors’ areas of expertise. This will allow adequate time to send for appropriate external review.
  • As part of the initial review, each guest editor should include a decision, as well as detailed comments on the submitted work. Comments can be in track changes and comment boxes on the paper itself. Lead guest editors should prepare a summary statement highlighting the strengths of the article and areas for improvement, and a justification for the decision. Summary statements should be at least 250 words in length and may draw from the comments directly on the paper.
  • Following the first round of guest editorial review, guest editors will record their decisions and upload their feedback. Before notifying the authors, the Forums Editor and Managing Editor will review the papers and guest editor decisions. To ensure a rigorous review and that submissions meet RDS quality standards, the Forums Editor and Managing Editor may request an additional level of review for papers. At this stage, artistic and creative works will be forwarded to the Creative Works.


Forum Proposal Checklist

  • Forums Submission Form with guest editor affiliation, contact information, statement of experience with reviews, and a short CV (5 pages max).
  • Proposed Timeline that describes the guest editors’ preferred schedule, and/or lists any potential scheduling conflicts (dates when the guest editors are not available).
  • Call for Papers and Creative Works which includes a description of the forum, key issues explored and addressed, and the relevance to international disability studies. The call should include guest editor contact information. RDS reserves the right to request revisions to the call. Calls may request abstracts or completed papers and creative works. Guest editors should consider implications on timeline if accepting abstracts for uncompleted works. Sample papers are available at
  • List of Places/Networks/Listservs where the call can be published. RDS will circulate the call. Guest editors are also encouraged to actively promote the call.