JPED Author Guidelines


The purpose of the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability (JPED) is to publish research and contemporary best practices related to disabled college students , college and university disability services offices, disability educators, and disability studies as a field within and lens for the study of higher education institutions.  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. Consistent with the overall goals of AHEAD, each JPED article includes practical implications for disability services educators in colleges and universities.

Review Process

The JPED is peer-reviewed and uses a masked-in-both-directions review process. Although our reviewers take care to provide developmental feedback, it is essential that prospective authors follow the guidance and formatting instructions in this document carefully. The editorial process is not typically able to address major issues of conceptualization or craft in a way that leads to eventual publication.

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 described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th edition, American Psychological Association [APA], 2020) sections 1.1-1.8 These include quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods, replication, meta-analyses, literature review, theoretical, and methodological articles. Inclusive of all manuscript elements (including title page, references, tables, and appendices) research articles cannot exceed 35 pages and typically are between 25-30 pages.

Practice Briefs

Manuscripts describe innovative programs, services, or contemporary best practices that support disabled college students 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.
  • Setting and/or Participants Demographics: provide enough information about the implementation context for the practice described for the reader to make an informed assessment regarding similarity to their own practice environment-- using a pseudonym or compositing as needed to provide anonymity for participants / institutions involved;
  • 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.
  • 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 Transferability: discuss what has been learned and how this practice/program could be enhanced. Be realistic about any challenges encountered and how others seeking to replicate the practice elsewhere might experience them. Offer suggestions about what could be done differently in the future to achieve better outcomes. Provide a clear description of how and why other disability service educators should consider adapting your practice/program.

Inclusive of all manuscript elements (including title page, references, tables, and appendices) practice briefs cannot exceed 15 pages and typically are between 8-12 pages.

Media Reviews

Prior to preparing a media review, please contact the JPED’s Managing Editor ( to discuss the resource (e.g., book, film, online resource) you are considering reviewing. Media reviews provide:

  • An overview of the resource, identifying the stated purpose, the author/creator and their viewpoint, and a general summary of the content.
  • An evaluation of the resource’s strengths, elaborating on the author/creator’s objectives and how well those objectives were achieved.
  • Recommendations about the audiences that might find the resource useful, why, and how you would suggest the resource be used. Please be sure to address its potential contribution to the field. For any gaps in the resource’s content, rather than framing as weaknesses, consider offering suggestions about other works or perspectives that could be used in tandem with this resource. In other words, of what conversations in our field could this resource be an important part?

Inclusive of the text of the review itself, media reviews should typically be between 750-1250 words. Media review submissions should also be accompanied by a complete APA reference for the resource reviewed as well as references for any additional citations in the text of the review.

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 providing any other information that would be useful to the editors.
  • 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 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 (does not apply to book reviews).
  • 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 edit and proofread the manuscript.. 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.
  • APA Section 5, Bias-Free Language and Guidelines provides guidance for writing about people, identity, and other topics wherein bias in writing is common. Although generally useful, this section’s discussion of disability is reductive. Authors should follow their best judgment in this regard. Additional guidance is provided below.
  • Regarding language related to disability, authors must determine the type of wording that is best for their given study - typically person-first or identity-first language. (See the “AHEAD Statement on Language” for details about these options and for additional resources on the topic.) We encourage authors to be explicit about their choices in the manuscript, informing readers about the rationale for their choice of language. When research or program participants are disabled and it is possible to determine their preferences, the preferred language of those individuals should be prioritized ahead of researcher or practitioner decisions. Additionally, aligned with the AHEAD statement in terms of outdated language use, we discourage “the use of outmoded euphemisms such as ‘special needs,’ ‘physically or mentally challenged,’ differently- or alternatively-abled, etc.” unless there is an explicit reason, such as referring to past practices or terminology to learn something valuable from it for current practice.
  • 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).
  • Provide a complete reference list (APA 2.12) rather than a bibliography following the manuscript. References should be formatted consistently, following APA examples in sections 9-11. Please be sure to carefully edit references as manuscripts will not be sent out for review until they conform to APA guidelines and references represent the most common challenge point for submitted manuscripts.
  • Mask any information that could reasonably reveal the identity of the authors to the reviewers. For example, citations that would identify an author should be replaced with “citation omitted” and the corresponding reference removed from the reference list (APA 8.3). This does not mean that all author citations must be removed, only those that are likely to reveal an author identity by being self-referential. Those which are “in press” or “under review” should also be removed as they are typically from an author. Mask institutional identities in manuscripts if they are likely to reveal the institution of an author. Please do not use a title that can be searched in order to find a previous iteration of the work (e.g., a conference presentation, a dissertation). We will ask you to unmask these elements of your manuscript subsequent to acceptance. These examples are not exhaustive, but it is the author’s job to minimize any information that can reveal author identity.
  • 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 an alternate format in the electronic version of the JPED, making tables/figures accessible for screen readers.
  • In submitted manuscripts, all tables and figures should be placed at the end of the manuscript with a corresponding indication in the text, “< Place Table/Figure X approximately here>”. During layout editing, tables and/or figures should will be embedded in the text either as noted in the manuscript or after its first mention in text (APA 7.6)
  • 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 (end of Section 2, pp. 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 to better understand the types of submissions we print.  All submissions will be through the Scholastica online system, easily accessed by clicking the “Submit via Scholastica” button on the JPED webpage. JPED does not charge authors a fee for submitting a manuscript.

  • If this is your first time using our journal management system, Scholastica, you can sign up and create a free account. Directions for creating an account and logging in can be found in the Scholastica Author Guide
  • Enter your manuscript title, then click “save and continue.” After this page, if you have to pause and come back to complete this submission sometime in the future, you may do so by going to your "My Manuscripts" page and selecting this submission.
  • Next, you can add the “metadata” for your manuscript (title, abstract, keywords), author information, and manuscript files. For all JPED submissions, we ask that you include:
    • A cover letter (APA 12.11)
    • A masked version of your manuscript
    • Any additional tables, graphs, and/or supplementary materials
  • Once you’ve reviewed your completed submission form, you can “confirm and submit” and check “I understand” before submitting. You will not be able to make any changes to your manuscript once you click “submit manuscript.” 

For more detailed information about submitting manuscripts in Scholastica, please refer to their Submitting a Manuscript guide. JPED is committed to accessibility throughout manuscript submission and publication. Should you need additional support or accommodations to submit your manuscript (or should you find the submission process less than fully accessible to you), please email us at

Submit to Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability

Upon Acceptance for Publication

For manuscripts that are accepted for publication, we will request additional information. Once your manuscript has been assigned to a future issue, Valerie Spears (JPED Editorial Assistant) will contact the corresponding author to request: 1) a 40-50 word bibliographic description for each author; 2) and a signed copyright transfer form (Valerie will send templates for both); and 3) approval of galley proofs of the article ready for publication. Galley proofs will include required respones to specific copyediting suggestions. Authors may be contacted prior to this step to respond to copyediting, depending on the level and nature of the edits. Although JPED reserves the right to edit all material for space and style, corresponding 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). If the issue has the potential to be valuable to the readership of the JPED, modification to the journal’s content or format may be possible. Authors who wish to discuss a special issue should contact the editorial team at

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 on the AHEAD website . These author guidelines are also available online. 

JPED’s acceptance rate is moderately selective, accepting approximately 20% of all submitted manuscripts during the last calendar year. JPED is indexed in EBSCO, ERIC and Emerging Sources Citation Index. At present, JPED does not have an impact factor but is working with Clarivate Analytics’ Social Sciences Citation Index to obtain one.

Editorial and Review Teams

The editorial team is composed of Ezekiel Kimball, Ryan Wells, Valerie Spears, Richard Allegra, and Cassie Sanchez. The review board is composed of more than 70 international disability scholars and disability services educators with expertise on disabled college students, disability services, disability studies, and research methodologies.


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

Madaus, J. W., Dukes, L. L. III, Lalor, A. R., Aquino, K., Fagella-Luby, M., Newman, L. A., Papay, C., Petcu, S., Scott, S., & Wessel, R. D. (2020). Research guidelines for higher education and disability. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 33(4), 319-338.