Author Instructions

The International Journal of Public Participation (IJP2) will publish:

  • Reports, analyses, and proposals that connect public participation with decision-making regarding matters of policy, planning, or development  (examples of policy, planning, or development where public participation may occur include:  environmental impact assessment; public health policy; urban, transportation, and energy planning; community economic development; sustainability; risk management; and democratic reform.
  • Discussions of particular issues, events, cases, processes, or tools relevant to the effective practice of public participation; 
  • Commentary on the deeper questions and assumptions underpinning current theoretical and practical approaches to public participation; 
  • and Interviews, book reviews, and other forms of communication concerning matters of importance for the theory or practice of public participation. 
  • Previously published material may be considered if it would contribute to fruitful discussion between scholars and practitioners.

The IJP2 is especially interested in contributions that:

  • Place public participation in the context of the challenges currently facing societies and their governments around the world
  • Address common problems or questions in the practice of public participation, and where possible, relate these to other practices, current theory, etc.
  • Advance understanding of theory in this and related fields and disciplines, e.g., political science, public administration, conflict resolution, community development, etc., and relate it to practice
  • Offer a comparative or international perspective on the theory and practice of public participation.  

IJP2 encourages co-authorship, interviews, and dialogues that bridge theory/practice; official/citizen; practitioners of different practices; two (or more) countries; two (or more) sub-fields (e.g., conflict resolution/public decision-making) with substantial content.

To prepare your work for submission to IJP2:


  1. Articles should be as concise as possible (2000 to 5000 words in length; longer if the subject substantively requires a longer treatment), constructive, and based on evidence (befitting the subject) and careful argument. They should use clear, direct language and avoid jargon. (See Writing Guidelines, below.)
  2. Include a brief abstract of approximately 200--500 words, and a list of key words.
  3. Use footnotes (not endnotes) with Arabic numbers (not Roman numerals) to supplement the main text with any relevant supplemental commentary or information.
  4. Cite your sources in the main body text, using the (author last name, year) format, and include the page number of any direct quotes you use (author last name, year, p. #).
  5. Include a reference list of all sources cited in the text at the end of the main body text. Use APA style ( See examples of APA-style reference items below. Note the capitalization rules (e.g., only journal titles use Title Case) and which elements to italicize. 
  6. Carefully proofread and copyedit your manuscript, or have it proofread and copyedited by others, before submitting the initial version and the final (revised) version. 

Examples for formatting sources in Reference list:

Pearce, W. B., & Littlejohn, S. W. (1997). Moral conflict: When social worlds collide. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Journal article:
Roberts, N. (1997). Public deliberation: An alternative approach to crafting policy and setting direction. Public Administration Review, 57, 124-132.

Chapter in an edited collection:
Mansbridge, J. (1999). Everyday talk in the deliberative system. In S. Macedo (Ed.), Deliberative politics: Essays on democracy and disagreement (pp. 211-239). Oxford: Oxford University Press.  

Writing Guidelines:

  • ‘Tell us what you’re going to say, say it, tell us what you said’.  (introduction, body, conclusion)
  •  Write in the active voice.  Avoid the passive voice except where your ear tells you it’s more natural to use it.
  • Write concretely.  Minimise abstract language.  Prefer Anglo-Saxon words to those derived from Latin via 11th-century Norman French.  (Trivial example:  ‘scrape’ versus ‘abrasion.’)  Avoid jargon.  
  • Use active verbs.  As much as possible, avoid the verb ‘to be’ and its various forms (‘is,’ etc.)
  • Avoid indefinite reference (e.g., ‘this’ or ‘it’ immediately followed by a verb raises communications questions: ‘This what?’ or, to which ‘it’ from a previous sentence do you refer?)
  • Avoid long sentences with clauses.  Break them into shorter sentences.  In doing so, you support the comprehension of both native and non-native English language readers.
  • Don’t over-use ‘that’.  (Example:  ‘The reasons the author offers…’ is preferable to ‘The reasons that the author offers…’)  
  • Don’t repeat yourself—i.e., don’t say something two or three different ways unless doing so is absolutely essential for clarification.
  • Avoid clichés, well-worn metaphors and similes, and malapropisms.  When you use an idiom, please get it right.  (Trivial example:  ‘The author homes in on the source…,’ not ‘The author hones in…’)  Use words correctly:  ‘The author is reluctant to conclude…’, not ‘The author is reticent to conclude…’.
  • Anticipate readers’ questions and objections, consider contrary views, and attempt to stimulate critical reflection on the topics you cover by incorporating your own critical reflections.
  • Define your terms, and use words precisely and consistently.



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