JPED Author Guidelines

The Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability (JPED) welcomes submissions of innovative and scholarly manuscripts relevant to the issues and practices of educating students with disabilities in postsecondary educational environments. Manuscript submissions by AHEAD members are especially welcome. JPED’s acceptance rate is approximately 30%. Manuscripts must be submitted electronically as attachments via email to

 Research Manuscripts

 Research manuscripts should demonstrate scholarly excellence in at least one of the following categories:

  • Research: Reports original quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method research.
  • Integration: Integrates research of others in a meaningful way; compares or contrasts theories; critiques results; and/or provides context for future exploration.
  • Innovation: Proposes innovation of theory, approach, or process of service delivery based on reviews of the literature and research.
  • Policy Analysis: Provides analysis, critique and implications of public policy, statutes, regulation, and litigation.

Practice Brief Manuscripts

 JPED invites practitioners and/or researchers to submit Practice Briefs that can inform readers of innovative practices that could, in time, become the basis of an empirical study. Practice Briefs will describe new or expanded programs, services, or practices that support postsecondary students with disabilities. Practice Briefs are not research articles. Manuscripts that involve data analysis beyond the reporting of basic demographic data or evaluative feedback should be submitted as research articles.

The overall length of a Practice Brief will be limited to 12 double-spaced pages, which includes separate title page, abstract, and references pages. Tables and/or figures may be submitted above the 12-page limit.

 Please submit all components of a Practice Brief (i.e., cover page, abstract, body, appendices) as a single Word document. Manuscripts must be submitted electronically as attachments via email to Practice Brief Manuscripts should use the following headers/sections:

  •  Title Page: Title not to exceed 12 words. Identify each author and his/her campus or agency affiliation. State in your email cover note that the work has not been published elsewhere and that it is not currently under review by another publication.
  • Abstract: The abstract needs to answer this question: “What is this paper about and why is it important?” The abstract should not exceed 150 words.
  • Summary of Relevant Literature: Provide a succinct summary of the most relevant literature that provides a clear context for what is already known about your practice/program. If possible, describe similar practices on other campuses. Priority should be given to current literature published within the past 10 years unless an older, seminal source is still the best treatment of a particular topic/finding.
  • Depiction of the Problem: In addition to a clear statement of the problem being addressed, consider the following questions when stating the purpose of the article: What outcome, trend, or problem might improve if your practice/program works? What gaps or problems or issues might persist or arise if this practice/program did not exist?
  • Participant Demographics and Institutional Partners/Resources: Maintain the anonymity of the students, colleagues, and campus(es) discussed in the article but provide a clear demographic description of participants (e.g., number of students, disability type, gender, race and/or ethnicity whenever possible, age range if relevant) and the types of offices or agencies that were collaborative partners (if relevant).
  • Description of Practice: Briefly and clearly describe your innovative practice/program and how it has been implemented to date. Tables and figures are encouraged to provide specific details you are comfortable sharing. They condense information and enhance replication of your practice/program on other campuses.
  • Evaluation of Observed Outcomes: Whenever possible, summarize formative or summative data you have collected to evaluate the efficacy of your practice/program. This can be anecdotal, qualitative, and/or quantitative data. Support any claims or conclusions you state (e.g., “Our program greatly enhanced students’ ability to self-advocate during their transition to college”) with objective facts and/or behavioral observations to support these claims.
  • Implications and Portability: Discuss what you have learned thus far and how you could further develop this practice/program in the future. Be honest about any challenges you may have encountered. This transparency enhances the rigor of your reporting. What would you do differently next time to achieve stronger outcomes? Provide a clear description of how and why disability service providers on other campuses should consider adapting your practice/program. Finally, how could your practice be studied by researchers? Identify possible research questions, hypotheses, or potential outcomes that could be studied if you and/or colleagues could expand the practice/program into a research investigation.
  • References: Use the current APA guidelines to format and proofread your paper prior to submitting it. This includes the proper use of spelling, punctuation and grammar, appropriate use of headers, correct formatting in listing references, and formatting any tables or figures appropriately.


Format for All Manuscripts

 All manuscripts must be prepared according to APA format as described in the current edition of The Publication Manual, American Psychological Association. For responses to frequently asked questions about APA style, consult the APA web site at

  • All components of the manuscript (i.e., cover page, abstract, body, and appendices) should be submitted as ONE complete Word document (.doc or.docx).
  • Provide a separate cover letter asking that the manuscript be reviewed for publication consideration and stating that it has not been published or is being reviewed for publication elsewhere.
  • Manuscripts should be double-spaced and range in length from 25 to 35 pages including all figures, tables, and references. Exceptions may be made depending upon topic and content, but, generally, a manuscript’s total length should not exceed 35 pages.
  • Authors should use the active voice.
  • Authors should use terminology that emphasizes the individual first and the disability second (see pages 71 - 76 of the APA Manual). Authors should also avoid the use of sexist language and the generic masculine pronoun.
  • Manuscripts should have a title page that provides the names and affiliations of all authors and the address of the principal author. Please include this in the ONE Word document (manuscript) that is submitted.
  • Include an abstract that does not exceed 250 words. Abstracts must be double-spaced and located on page 2 (following the title page). Include three to five keywords below the abstract.
  • Tables and figures must conform to APA standards and must be in black and white only. All tables and figures should be vertical and fit on the page; no landscape format. If Tables and/or Figures are submitted in image format (JPEG, PDF, etc.), an editable format must also be submitted along with a text description of the information depicted in the Table/Figure. This will be provided as alt format in the electronic version of JPED, making Tables/Figures accessible to screen readers.


How to Submit Manuscripts

 All manuscripts (research and practice briefs) must be submitted to JPED at this email address: and must include the following:

  • Subject Line: JPED Manuscript Submission
  • Body of Email: Include a statement that you are submitting a manuscript for consideration for the JPED. Include the title of the manuscript and your full contact information. Please indicate whether you are submitting a research manuscript, practice brief or book review.
  • Attach to the email:
    • Your complete manuscript, prepared as directed above
    • Cover letter as outlined above

You will receive an email reply from the Managing Editor of JPED to confirm receipt of your submission within 5 to 7 business days.


Upon Acceptance for Publication

Valerie Spears (JPED Editorial Assistant) will contact the lead author of manuscripts that are accepted for publication to request:

  • A 40-50-word bibliographic description for each author on the provided template
  • A completed and signed Copyright Transfer form, provided

AHEAD reserves the right to edit all JPED material for space and style. Authors will be notified of changes.

Guidelines for Special Issues

JPED publishes one special issue per year (normally Issue 3, published in the fall). Special issues feature a series of articles on a particular topic. JPED welcomes ideas for special topical issues related to the field of postsecondary education and disability. The issue can be formatted as a collection of articles related to a particular topic or as a central position paper followed by a series of commentaries (a modified point/counter point).

Authors who wish to prepare a special issue should contact the JPED Executive Editor at

The authors should describe the topic and proposed authors. If the series appears to be valuable to the readership of the JPED, the Executive Editor will share an Agreement Form to be completed and returned by the Guest Editor. The Executive Editor may provide suggestions for modification to content or format. The Guest Editor will inform authors of due dates and coordinate all communications with the contributing authors. Each special edition manuscript will be reviewed by members of the JPED editorial board members. The Guest Editor and the Executive Editor will be responsible for final editing decisions about accepted manuscripts.

Book Review Column Guidelines and Procedures

Please contact the JPED Executive Editor at to suggest books to be reviewed or to discuss completing a book review. Contact and discussion should be done before the book review is completed to expedite the review.

 In general, the book review should include:

  1. An overview of the book, including the book's stated purpose, the author's viewpoint, and a general summary of the content.
  2. An evaluation of the book: elaborating on the author's objectives and how well those objectives were achieved; the strengths and weaknesses of the book, along with the criteria you used for making that assessment; and the organization and presentation of information.
  3. Recommendations on whether and to whom you would recommend the book and why and how you would suggest the book be used.
  4. The book’s potential contributions to the field of higher education and disability services.

At the end of the review, please list your name and institutional affiliation. 

Book reviews can range from 800 - 1200 words. Citations within the book review should follow the current edition of the American Psychological Association (APA) Style Manual. Please send in an email attachment in MS Word, double-spaced to per instructions above in “How to Submit Manuscripts.” After the review is submitted, the Executive Editor or designee will edit the manuscript and follow up with you about the publication process.