Regular Manuscript Review Criteria

Regular Manuscripts submissions are quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods empirical studies. We also welcome submissions that utilize new and emerging methodological techniques. Regular Manuscript submissions should be based on a solid theoretical or conceptual framework and demonstrate central involvement of students and/or community partners and advance the field of community engagement scholarship, and should not exceed 8,000 words.

Scholarly Contribution

  • Does the article discuss an important, new, innovative, and/or timely issue that advances the field?
  • Does the manuscript describe an innovative partnership or approach?
  • Does the author show originality of thought and creativity?
  • Does the article expand our understanding of the topic or insightfully link to other topics or disciplines?
  • Does the author present a logical and sufficient rationale regarding the primary topic of manuscript?
  • Has the author identified gaps in the extant literature that this study seeks to fill?

Relevance to Community Engagement

  • Does the article demonstrate the best practices of community engagement scholarship?
  • Does the article demonstrate the central involvement of students and/or community partners?
  • Is the topic of the article of interest to a large segment of the journal’s readership?
  • Does the article draw on the relevant work and extant literature in the topic area?

Values and Research Context

  • Does the author provide sufficient information about the university, community, and community issue being addressed?
  • Is the target audience described and appropriately addressed in the article?
  • Does the author present alternative points of view when appropriate?
  • Is the article freedom from prejudice and bias?
  • Is the author’s own point of view vis-à-vis the article’s topic clearly positioned?
  • Is the connection of the author to the project and its assessment clear?

Theoretical or Conceptual Foundation

  • Does the author appropriately identify a clear theoretical or conceptual foundation that guides the execution of the research?
  • Are the study’s research questions appropriately connected to the theoretical or conceptual foundation identified by the author?

Research Methods

  • Does the article contain a detailed methods section that includes a full explanation of
    • Participant selection,
    • Materials utilized,
    • Study design, and
    • Rigorous and appropriate analytic approaches?
  • Was IRB approval secured? If not, why not?
  • Were community partners involved in the research process?

Recommendations for Findings and Implications sections:

  • Are the research findings presented clearly in a way that informs theory, practice, and/or policy?
  • Has the study extended, revised, filled a gap, or forged new ground in the literature?
  • Does the author outline the limitations of the study and areas for future research?

Recommendations for the Conclusion section:

  • Does the author cogently tell how this study contributes to the literature?
  • Does the study expand our understanding of the topic or insightfully links to other topics or disciplines?
  • Can the best practices and lessons learned identified by the author be applied to a broader context?
  • How can the conclusions be used to inform decision makers?
  • Do the conclusions and/or recommendations keep with the primary focus of the article?

Style, Organization, and Readability

  • Does the article present information clearly, logically, and concisely?
  • Is the article readable and written so as to maintain readers’ interest?
  • Does the article conform to APA formatting?
  • Does the article contain minimal jargon?