JPED Author Guidelines


The purpose of the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability (JPED) is to publish research and contemporary best practices related to college students with disabilities, college and university disability services offices, disability educators, and disability studies.  Each article includes practical implications for disability services educators in colleges and universities. The JPED is peer-reviewed and uses a masked-in-both-directions review process. The sponsoring organization for the JPED is the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD,, the primary source of disability related expertise on accessibility, legislation, rights, and any other disability-related information as it pertains to higher education.

Manuscript Topics and Types

Published manuscripts will advance JPED’s purpose as detailed above (i.e., research, best practices, implications for disability services educators).

Research Articles

Manuscripts demonstrate scholarly excellence using one of the types of articles and papers as described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th edition, American Psychological Association [APA], 2020) sections 1.1-1.8 and 1.10.

Practice Briefs

Manuscripts describe innovative programs, services, or contemporary best practices that support college students with disabilities or disability services, and are organized using the following first-heading levels (APA 2.27):

  • Summary of Relevant Literature: provide a succinct summary of the most relevant and contemporary literature that provides context for what is already known about the practice/program.
  • Depiction of the Problem: provide a statement of the problem being addressed.
  • Description of Practice: briefly describe the intended outcome for the innovative practice/program and how it has been implemented to date. Tables and figures may enhance specific details.
  • Participant Demographics and/or Institutional Partners/Resources: provide a demographic description of participants and/or the offices/agencies that were collaborative partners (if relevant).
  • Evaluation of Observed Outcomes: summarize formative and/or summative data used to evaluate the efficacy of your practice/program; support claims with evaluation data.
  • Implications and Portability: discuss what has been learned and how this practice/program could be enhanced. Be honest about any challenges encountered. What could be done differently next time to achieve better outcomes? Provide a clear description of how and why other disability service educators should consider adapting your practice/program.

 Book Reviews

Prior to preparing a book review, contact the JPED’s Managing Editor ( to discuss the book you are considering reviewing. Book reviews provide:

  • An overview of the book, identifying the book’s stated purpose, the author’s and his/her viewpoint, and a general summary of the content.
  • An evaluation of the book’s content, elaborating on the author’s objectives and how well those objectives were achieved, the organization and presentation of the book, and the strengths and weaknesses of the book along with the criteria you used for making that assessment. Recommendations should specify to whom you would recommend the book, why, and how you would suggest the book be used, and address its potential contribution to the field.

Manuscript Preparation

All manuscripts must be prepared according to the standards of the APA publication manual (7th edition). Authors submitting manuscripts to the JPED will be well-served to thoroughly understand Section 12 of the APA manual where the publication process is described as preparing for publication, understanding the editorial publication process, manuscript preparation, copyright and permission guidelines, and during and after publication.

When submitting a manuscript to the JPED, follow these specific guidelines:

  • Submit one complete Word document (.doc or .docx) that contains all manuscript components (i.e., title page, abstract, body, references, tables/figures).
  • Provide a separate cover letter (APA 12.11) asking that the manuscript be considered for publication and stating that it has not been published, or is not being reviewed for publication, elsewhere.
  • Manuscripts should have one-inch margins in 12-point Times New Roman font. Double space the abstract, body, and references; single space the title page and tables/figures. The length (of all manuscript components) for:
    • Research articles is between 25-35 pages.
    • Practice briefs is a maximum of 16 pages.
    • Book reviews is 800-1,200 words.
  • The title (APA 2.4) should not exceed 12 words.
  • Place the abstract (maximum 250 words, APA 2.9) on page two (following the title page). Include three to five keywords (APA 2.10) below the abstract.
  • Use APA Section 1, Scholarly Writing and Publishing Principles, related to types of articles and papers; ethical, legal, and professional standards in publishing; ensuring the accuracy of scientific findings; protecting the rights and welfare of research participants and subjects; and protecting intellectual property rights.
  • Use APA Section 2, Paper Elements and Format, to align paper elements, format, and organization. Indent paragraphs (APA 2.24), and adhere to heading levels (APA 2.27) to organize the manuscript.
  • Content and method are important. Use APA Section 3, Journal Article Reporting Standards, related to overview of reporting standards; common reporting standards across research designs; and reporting standards for quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research. Please refer to Madaus et al. (2020) for research guidelines for higher education and disability where instructions are provided for describing samples and study locations, and appropriately selecting and describing the methodologies employed.
  • Writing is important, carefully clean the manuscript; it is not the editor’s role to clean your manuscript so that it can be reviewed. Use APA Section 4, Writing Style and Grammar, related to continuity and flow, conciseness and clarity, verbs, pronouns, and sentence construction. Use APA Section 6, Mechanics of Style, related to punctuation, spelling, capitalization, italics, abbreviations, numbers, statistical and mathematical copy, presentation of equations, and lists. Refer to APA 6.32-6.39 to properly report numbers expressed as numerals or in words.
  • Use APA Section 5, Bias-Free Language and Guidelines, related to general guidelines for reducing bias, and reducing bias by topic. Authors should use APA 5.4 to make an informed decision related to person-first or identify-first language. The JPED prefers person-first language unless the author can make the case for a preference of identity-first language.
  • Use APA Section 8, Works Credited in Text, related to general guidelines for citation, works requiring special approaches to citation, in-text citations, and paraphrases and quotations. All citations must be referenced, and all references must be cited; avoid undercitation and overcitation (APA 8.1). Double-space and block quotations of 40 words or more (APA 8.27).
  • Use a reference list (APA 2.12) not a bibliography; it follows the manuscript. Follow APA examples in sections 9-11; carefully clean references. It is not the editor’s role to clean your references.
  • Tables and/or figures, following references, are in black and white only, and must conform to APA standards in APA Section 7. Follow examples related to table lines. Align numbers in tables to the single digit or the decimal. 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 alternate format in the electronic version of the JPED, making tables/figures accessible for screen readers.
  • Do not include footnotes, instead, incorporate footnote narratives into the manuscript.
  • Because of the importance of articles including practical implications for disability services educators in colleges and universities, authors will be well-served to include in the discussion a multiple paragraph subsection where practical implications for disability services educators are discussed.
  • Before submission, ensure that the manuscript is ready by using strategies, examples, and checklists provided by APA:
      • Sample papers (pages 50-67).
      • Strategies to improve your writing (APA 4.25-4.30).
      • Tables checklist (APA 7.20).
      • Figure checklist (APA 7.35).
      • In-text citation styles (Table 8.1).
      • Examples of direct quotations in the text (Table 8.2).
      • Reference examples (section 10 and 11).
      • Manuscript preparation (APA 12.9-12.13).

    Manuscript Submission

    Before you decide to submit your manuscript, authors are encouraged to read past articles in the JPED (available at to better understand the types of submissions we print.  A manuscript must be submitted electronically as an attachment via email to, and must include the following:

    • Subject line: JPED manuscript submission.
    • Include in the body of the email a statement that you are submitting a manuscript for consideration for the JPED. Include the title of the manuscript and the full contact information for the corresponding author (APA 2.7).
    • Attach to the email your complete manuscript, prepared as directed above, and a cover letter as outlined above.
    • You will receive an email reply from Richard Allegra (Managing Editor of JPED) to confirm receipt of your submission within seven business days.

    Manuscript submissions by AHEAD members are especially welcome.

    Upon Acceptance for Publication

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

    • A 40-50 word bibliographic description for each author, and a signed copyright transfer form (Valerie will send templates for both).
    • The JPED reserves the right to edit all material for space and style. Authors will be notified of changes.

    Special Issues

    The JPED occasionally publishes special issues which feature a series of articles on a particular topic. The JPED welcomes ideas for special topic issues related to the field of postsecondary education and disability or disability studies. 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 discuss a special issue should contact the JPED Executive Editor at

    The topic and proposed authors need to be described. If the issue has the potential to be valuable to the readership of the JPED, the Executive Editor may provide suggestions for modification to content or format. If an agreement can be reached, the Executive Editor will share an agreement form to be completed and returned by the Special Issue Editor. The Special Issue Editor will inform authors of due dates and coordinate all communications with the contributing authors. The Special Issue Editor and the Executive Editor will be responsible for final editing decisions about accepted manuscripts.

    Publication Information

    JPED is published four times a year in multiple accessible formats (e.g., printed, DAISY, MP3, Text only, PDF), and each issue is distributed to nearly 4,000 individuals. All back issues are archived and accessible to all at These author guidelines are published at

    JPED’s acceptance rate is moderately selective, ranging between 20-25% during the past calendar year. JPED is indexed in EBSCO, ERIC and Emerging Sources Citation Index; we anticipate in winter 2020 that the JPED will be indexed in Clarivate Analytics’ Social Sciences Citation Index, so that the Journal Citation Reports’ (JCR) impact factor can be reported.

    Editorial and Review Teams

    The editorial team is composed of Ezekiel Kimball, Ryan Wells, Valerie Spears and Richard Allegra. The review boards are comprised of more than 70 international disability scholars and disability services educators on college students with disabilities, disability services, disability studies, and research methodologies.


    American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).