Research from the Field Review Criteria

Research from the Field articles have a practice or case study orientation and share best practices, practical wisdom, and applied knowledge. Context is an essential part of community engagement work; therefore, it is critical to situate Research from the Field submissions philosophically, historically, and theoretically in order to systematically extend our knowledge and understanding. Innovative partnerships that demonstrate the central involvement of students and/or community partners have the potential to make highly interesting pieces for this section. Research from the Field submissions should go beyond a simple project description to include innovative lessons learned or best practice principles with strong application and practice implications. Research from the Field manuscripts should not exceed 6,000 words.

Relevance to Community Engagement

  • Does the article demonstrate best practices of community engagement practice?
  • 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?

Scholarly Contribution and/or Innovation

  • Does the article discuss an important, new, innovative, and/or timely issue that advances the field?
  • Does the manuscript describe an innovative partnership?
  • 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 the manuscript?

Project Context and Values

  • 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?

Assessment, Evaluation, and/or Research

  • Were community partners involved in the assessment, evaluation, and/or research process?
  • Does the article use a logical and sufficient methodology when appropriate?
  • Was IRB approval secured? If not, why not?
  • Does the author adequately identify the limitations of the study?

Best Practices and Lessons Learned

  • Does the article include innovative lessons learned or best practice principles with strong application and practice implications?
  • Does the author identify future directions for research?

Recommendations for the Conclusion section

  • Does the author cogently tell how this study contributes to the literature?
  • 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?