AJSE - Instructions for Contributors


This journal uses ScholarOne Manuscripts for online submission and peer reviews.

Complete guidelines for preparing and submitting your manuscript to this journal are provided below.


Australasian Journal of Special Education publishes articles for a readership professionally engaged or interested in the education of students with special needs or the education of those who will work these students.

The journal features an applied section, Special Education Perspectives, to inform practicing teachers in regular and special education settings and others interested in the education of students with special needs.

The journal is published as two issues per volume per year. The journal is published in print and online.

This journal is compliant with Open Access policies. Please see the license options and embargo periods here.


Australasian Journal of Special Education considers all manuscripts on the strict condition that

  1. The manuscript is your own original work, and does not duplicate any other previously published work, including your own previously published work;
  2. The manuscript has been submitted only to the journal - it is not under consideration or peer review or accepted for publication or in press or published elsewhere;
  3. All listed authors know of and agree to the manuscript being submitted to the journal; and
  4. The manuscript contains nothing that is abusive, defamatory, fraudulent, illegal, libellous, or obscene.

During manuscript submission, authors are required to disclose the nature of any competing and/or relevant financial interest. The statement should describe all potential sources of bias, including affiliations, funding sources, and financial or management relationships, that may constitute conflicts of interest.

The submitting author must provide contact information for all co-authors. The author who submits the manuscript for publication accepts the responsibility of notifying all co-authors that the manuscript is being submitted. If any of the named co-authors moves affiliation during the peer review process, the new affiliation can be given as a footnote. Deletion of an author during the peer-review process requires a confirming letter to the Editor-in-Chief from the author whose name is being deleted. Please note that no changes to affiliation can be made after the manuscript is accepted.

By submitting your paper to Australasian Journal of Special Education you are agreeing to any necessary originality checks your paper may have to undergo during the peer review and production processes.

The Editors will collaborate with Cambridge University Press using the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics in cases of allegations of research errors; authorship complaints; multiple or concurrent (simultaneous) submission; plagiarism complaints; research results misappropriation; reviewer bias; and undisclosed conflicts of interest.



Australasian Journal of Special Education uses a double-blind review process.

The fitness of a manuscript for publication is based on

  1. Significance/relevance to scope of the journal
  2. Conceptual framework (connections to relevant constructs in literature)
  3. Methods (if manuscript is an empirical study)
  4. Appropriateness to questions
  5. Adequate description of methods (including data collection and analysis
  6. Rigorous and appropriate methods
  7. Findings/conclusions are literature or data-based
  8. Overall contribution to the field
  9. Writing style/composition/clarity

Special Education Perspectives is a special section to welcome applied practice contributions. Manuscripts may refer to any aspect of special education practice, policy, or research, and span:

  1. Evaluations of practice and empirical studies, even if these are not methodologically at the standard required for contributions to the main journal (e.g., no control group)
  2. Conceptual reviews of the literature, with implications for practice
  3. Widely applicable reports from presentations
  4. Position papers
  5. Brief reports of action research
  6. Interesting work in progress, including a new generation of ideas and approaches where preliminary data is reported allowing the author to submit full findings later

The Review Process

Manuscripts initially are assigned to the Editors and screened as above. If these criteria are met, manuscripts are reviewed by at least two qualified referees with documented expertise. When reviews are returned, the Editors consider reviewers’ comments, independently evaluates the manuscript, and makes an editorial decision to reject, request a revision with the stipulation of further peer review, request a revision subject to review by the editors, or accept as is. Authors receive copies of (anonymous) referees’ comments. Referees may be informed of the final disposition of the article. Although feedback will usually be provided to authors, the Editors reserve the right to reject a manuscript for publication without providing a rationale for the decision. Final decisions regarding acceptance of a manuscript will be made by the Editors.


The full Editorial group is listed here.

Further guidance for authors can be provided on request. It is often an advantage for prospective contributors to discuss the length, content, and emphasis of a proposed article with the Editors prior to submission. Queries should be addressed to: michael.arthur-kelly@newcastle.edu.au.


Corresponding Author

This journal uses a contributor agreement that allows for just one author (the Corresponding Author) to sign on behalf of all authors. Please identify the Corresponding Author for your work when submitting your manuscript for review.

The Corresponding Author will be responsible for the following:

  1. ensuring that all authors are identified on the contributor agreement, and notifying the editorial office of any changes to the authorship;
  2. securing written permission (via letter or email) from each co-author to sign the contributor agreement on the co-author’s behalf;
  3. completing the copyright or licence to publish forms on behalf of all co-authors.

Although very rare, should a co-author have included content in his or her portion of the article that infringes the copyright of another or is otherwise in violation of any other warranty listed in the agreement, you will be the sole author indemnifying the publisher and the editor of the journal against such violation. Please contact the editorial office if you have any questions.


All persons who have a reasonable claim to authorship must be named in the manuscript as co-authors; the corresponding author must be authorized by all co-authors to act as an agent on their behalf in all matters pertaining to publication of the manuscript, and the order of names should be agreed by all authors. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.

Authorship credit should be based on

  1. substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data;
  2. drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and
  3. final approval of the version to be published.

Authors should meet all conditions. Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship.

Manuscript Language and Length

All manuscripts must be in English.

Contributions should follow the format and style described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Spelling and punctuation should conform to The Macquarie Dictionary (4th ed.). For matters of style not covered in these two publications the Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers (6th ed.) should be consulted.

The preferred length for research articles and literature reviews is no more than 7000 words, including abstracts, references, tables, and figures. The Editors may, at their discretion, accept papers than exceed this length where it is clear that the complexity and importance of the content warrants a longer paper. In such cases authors should provide a rationale for a lengthier contribution upon submission.

Prospective authors should avoid language that can be seen as discriminating against people on account of disability, race or gender.

Uncommon abbreviations and acronyms should be explained. Full stops should not be used in abbreviations or acronyms (e.g., NSW). Use single quotation marks to introduce a word or phrase used as an ironic comment, as slang, or which has been coined. Use quotation marks the first time the word or phrase is used; do not use them again. Do not use quotation marks to introduce a technical or key term. Instead, italicise the term.

Please use single quotation marks, except where ‘a quotation is “within” a quotation’. Long quotations of 40 words or more should be indented with quotation marks.

When technical terms prove essential, the writer should provide brief explanations supported by contextual descriptions or examples. Do not use quotation marks to introduce a technical or key term. Instead, italicise the term.

Do not use any footnotes. Endnotes should be kept to a minimum and listed at the end of the text under the centred heading ‘Endnotes’.

Authors should keep Tables and Figures to a reasonable minimum and avoid repeating tabulated data in a graphic.

For the convenience of the peer-reviewers, please use a generous margin and line spacing.

Manuscript Style

Title page: Please provide a title page for the co-Editors that states the following:

  1. the name, credentials, affiliation, address, telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address of the corresponding author;
  2. the names, credentials, and affiliations of all authors;
  3. any acknowledgements, financial support, or competing interest statements that may identify the authors;
  4. that this manuscript is an original work that has not been submitted to nor published anywhere else.

The cover letter is not shared with the referees.

Front page: Under the title of the article provide a word count, the abstract and keywords, and suggested running head of no more than 50 characters including spaces should also be provided.

Abstract and keywords: All manuscripts must include an abstract and up to 6 keywords. Abstracts describing the essence of the manuscript must be 200 words or less.

Headings: Headings should be used to help organize the manuscript. Typical headings for research articles include review of literature, method, results, discussion, and references. For theoretical manuscripts, authors are encouraged to use headings that clarify the flow of the manuscript as well as assist the reader in understanding the content of the paper. Section headings should be concise.

Tables and Figures

Both Tables and Figures should be titled with a short and concise description, numbered separately but consecutively (Table 1, … ; Figure 1, … ), and referenced in the text. Tables should be clear, concise, and able to stand alone. with footnotes included to clarify entries. Figures should be provided as a high quality format. For imported scanned material a minimum resolution is 300 dpi. In multi-part Figures, each part should be labelled (Figure 1a, Figure 1b, …).

A list of figure captions should follow the tables in the manuscript.

Figures, graphs, illustrations and photographs (but not Tables) should be prepared to the correct size and each one supplied as an individual file as outlined above. Include placement instructions in the Article document, such as "[Insert fig 1 here]". 
Figures created in Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint need to be saved as PDFs. 
Figures created in a drawing program should be saved as EPS (encapsulated postscript) files. 
Figures created in Photoshop or with other photographic software should be saved with a minimum resolution of 600 dpi and in TIF format. Minimum resolution for scanned graphics is 300 dpi for halftone work (e.g., photographs) and 600 dpi for line art, and these should also be in TIF format. All figures and graphs should be in black and white line art (artwork that has only text and lines, no shades of grey or blocks of colour). 
All photographs should be supplied as separate files in JPEG or TIFF formats for a minimum 300 dpi resolution. (As a rough guide, the file size of each photograph should be above 200KB).

More detail on artwork is here


Acknowledge individuals or organizations who provided advice or non-financial support. If there are no acknowledgements, include the heading ‘Acknowledgements’ followed by the text ‘None.’

Financial Support

Provide details of the sources of financial and in-kind support for all authors, including grant numbers. Grants held by different authors should be identified as belonging to individual authors by the author’s initials. Where no specific funding has been provided for research, please provide the following statement: ‘This research received no specific grant from any funding agency, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.’

Conflicts of Interest

Conflict of interest exists when an author has interests that might influence his or her judgement, even if that judgement is not influenced. Authors must disclose potentially conflicting. Non-financial interests that could be relevant in this context should also be disclosed. If no relevant interests exist, this should be stated. This requirement applies to all the authors of a paper and to all categories of papers If there are no conflicts of interest, include the heading ‘Conflicts of Interest’ followed by the text ‘None.’


All citations and references must be complete and accurate on submission and follow the format and style described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Papers will be declined for publication if they have references that are found to be incomplete or inaccurate. References should be selective, appropriate, and easily accessible.

Examples of citations are:

  • The theory was first propounded in 1970 (Larsen, 1971).
  • Larsen (1971) was the first to propound the theory.

Examples of references are:

  • Heward, W.L. (2006). Exceptional children: An introduction to special education (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
  • Thomas, T. (2009). The age and qualifications of special education staff in Australia. Australasian Journal of Special Education, 33, 109–116.

Professional Editing Services

Cambridge University Press recommends that authors have their manuscripts checked by an English language native speaker before submission; this will ensure that submissions are judged at peer review exclusively on academic merit. We list a number of third-party services specialising in language editing and / or translation, and suggest that authors contact as appropriate.

Their inclusion should not be taken to imply an endorsement of the service.


The corresponding author is responsible for providing copies of permission for lengthy quotations or reprinted or adapted tables or figures. It is the responsibility of the author to check with the publisher or copyright owner regarding specific requirements for permission to adapt or quote from copyrighted material. Appropriate acknowledgement must be given in your manuscript.

Manuscript Submission

Australasian Journal of Special Education accepts submissions only through ScholarOne Manuscripts for online submission and peer reviews.

There is no submission fee or page charges.

Double-Blind Review: Authors must submit a title page as described above with article title; authors’ names, titles and highest academic qualification, and emails; authors’ affiliated institutions; and any acknowledgments, financial disclosure information, author notes, and/or other text that could identify the authors to reviewers. This document is separate from the article and not shared with the referees.

The main document that you upload must be blinded and include an abstract of no more than 200 words.

Prior to sending artwork, the separate files of figures, graphs, illustrations, and so on, should be printed by the author to test that the fonts have been embedded correctly and there is no distortion in the artwork (e.g., lines and fonts reproduce cleanly with no jagged lines or fuzzy edges), as any such faults cannot be corrected by the publisher.


Our editorial board evaluates each manuscript in a blinded peer-review process, which takes approximately 3 to 4 months, not including any times of revision by the author.

Accepted Manuscripts

To assure the integrity, dissemination, and protection against copyright infringement of published articles, you will be asked to assign us, via a Publishing Agreement, the copyright in your article.

Under the conditions detailed on the Journal’s standard transfer of copyright form, when an article is accepted, its authors are free to post their version of the accepted manuscript on a website or repository.

Minor amendments may be made by editorial staff following review to ensure that reasonable standards of content, presentation and readability are maintained.

The Australian Association of Special Education Inc does not hold itself responsible for statements made by contributors.

Colour figures will be reproduced in colour in the online edition of the journal free of charge. If you request colour figures in the printed version, you will be contacted by CCC-Rightslink who are acting on our behalf to collect Author Charges. Please follow their instructions in order to avoid any delay in the publication of your article.

Last updated 7 March 2016.