Australian Journal of Public Administration

Cover image for Vol. 73 Issue 2

Edited By: John Wanna

Impact Factor: 0.435

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 35/46 (Public Administration)

Online ISSN: 1467-8500

Author Guidelines

Australian Journal of Public Administration is a refereed publication that appears quarterly under the auspices of the Institute of Public Administration Australia. The journal is supplied free to Institute members. Business correspondence should be addressed to:


Manuscripts should be submitted online at

The following points should be taken as a guide to intending contributors.


Aims and Scope

Aimed at a diverse readership, AJPA is committed to the study and practice of public administration, public management and policy making. AJPA encourages research, reflection and commentary among those interested in a range of public sector settings, including federal, state, local and intergovernmental. The journal focuses on Australian concerns, but welcomes manuscripts relating to international developments of relevance to Australian experience. The editor encourages contemporary and critical analysis.


Editorial Review and Acceptance

The acceptance criteria for all papers are the quality and originality of the research and its significance to our readership. Except where otherwise stated, manuscripts are double-blind peer reviewed by two anonymous reviewers and the editor. Final acceptance or rejection rests with the editorial board, which reserves the right to refuse any material for publication. Submission of an article is taken to imply that it has not previously been published, or is being considered for publication elsewhere, and that the contents are original.


Plagiarism Detection

AJPA employs a plagiarism detection system. By submitting your manuscript to this journal you accept that your manuscript may be screened for plagiarism against previously published works.


Committee on Publication Ethics

AJPA is a member of, and subscribes to the principles of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).



In order to ensure your manuscript is sent for review promptly, please ensure that your paper complies with the guidelines. Where manuscripts do not comply with these guidelines they will be returned to authors for correction prior to review. 


Optimising Your Article for Search Engines.

Many students and researchers looking for information online will use search engines such as Google, Yahoo or similar. By optimising your article for search engines, you will increase the chance of someone finding it. This in turn will make it more likely to be viewed and/or cited in another work. We have compiled these guidelines to enable you to maximise the web-friendliness of the most public part of your article.


Article types

AJPA has a standardised set of article types within which submissions will normally be arranged. While these article types will act as a guide to intending authors, the journal will also publish other article types where appropriate.


Research & Evaluation articles should not exceed 5000 words and will consist of typically academic pieces.


Professional Perspectives of between 2000–4000 words will present material about practical and current issues but will not be required to adhere to ‘scholarly’ requirements.


Controversies will contain thoughtful and provocative presentation of an argument of debate and should consist of 1500–2500 words.


Rejoinders or responses to these controversies must be shown to substantively contribute to the debate to be considered for publication.


From the Field pieces will be between 3000–5000 words and will consist of primary accounts or material commenting on events and occurrences of interest.


Book reviews of between 300–800 words and short reviews or book notes of 100 words are encouraged. Reviews should not be overly academic. They should aim to alert readers to new works in the field and contain some kind of assessment of the worth or importance of new books. The Book Review editor is Shellaine Godbold, Old Canberra House, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia.


Other Reports are limited to 1000 words.


General format, style and structure


Cover sheet. To assist the refereeing process, do not put your name on the main article. A separate cover sheet should be provided indicating name, title, position identification and word length.


Abstract and keywords. Another separate sheet should also provide an abstract between 100–120 words that, as well as providing an overview of the paper, should state what the article has to offer the reader.


‘Summary at a glance’. AJPA will soon begin publishing 'summaries at a glance', which appear in the table of contents, in addition to formal abstracts. The summaries will appear on emailed table of content alerts, which are sent to academics and practitioners. Summaries should therefore provide a brief and direct description of what the article examines and finds. Authors will be asked to include a draft summary with their submission via the electronic system. The summary should be approximately 50 words.


Endnotes. The journal uses endnotes rather than footnotes. Endnotes should appear between the paper and the reference list.


• Manuscripts should be double-spaced, preferably in Times or Times Roman font.



Please use the Harvard reference system, whereby references are indicated throughout the text, for example, (Walsh and Butler 2001) (Davies et al. 1993). Below are examples of the correct formatting for reference lists in AJPA. Please ensure your paper follows this reference style prior to submitting your paper. Notwithstanding the above, articles using legal styles of citation will be considered.


Journal article

Edwards, L. 2009. ‘Testing the Discourse of Declining Policy Capacity: Rail Policy and the Department of Transport. Australian Journal of Public Administration 68(3):288–302.



Dror, Y. 2001. The Capacity to Govern. London: Frank Cass.


Chapter in an edited book

Keating, M. 1996. ‘Defining the Policy Advising Function.’ In Evaluating Policy Advice: Learning from Commonwealth Experience, eds J. Uhr and K. Mackay. Canberra: ANU and Department of Finance, 197-201.


Conference Paper

Aucoin, P. 2008. ‘New Public Management and the Quality of Government: Coping with the New Political Governance in Canada’. Paper presented at New Public Management and the Quality of GovernmentConference, SOG and the Quality of Government Institute, University of Gothenburg, Sweden,13–15 November. URL: <>.


Tiernan, A. and Wanna, J. 2006. Competence, Capacity, Capability: Towards Conceptual Clarity in the Discourse of Declining Policy Skills. Govnet International Conference, Australian National University, Canberra, 1 January.


Conference Paper also published in book format

Tiernan, A. 2010. ‘Weathering the Global Financial Crisis: Reflections on the Capacity of the Institutions of Australian Governance.’ Paper prepared for presentation at the American Political Science Association Annual National Conference, Washington DC, 1–6 September. Washington DC: Wiley-Blackwell, 1-20.



Rudd, K. 2009. John Paterson Oration. Speech to the Australia and New Zealand School of Government Annual Conference, Canberra, 3 September.


Rudd, K. 2008. Address to Heads of Agencies and Members of the Senior Executive Service. Great Hall, Parliament House, Canberra, 30 April.


Reports and Working papers


With authors

Riddell, N. 1998. Policy Research Capacity in the Federal Government. Report prepared for the Policy Research Secretariat. Ottawa: PRI.


Hallsworth, M. and Rutter, J. 2011. Making Policy Better: Improving Whitehall's Core Business. London: Institute for Government. April. URL: <>.


Without authors

Australian Government Department of Defence. 2010. Defence Annual Report 2009-10. Canberra: Department of Defence.


Published findings of a government committee

Scott, G., Duignan, P. and Faulkner, P. 2010. Improving the Quality and Value of Policy Advice. Findings of the Committee appointed by the Government to review expenditure on policy advice.December. URL: <>.


RAGA [Review of Australian Government Administration]. 2010. Ahead of the Game: Blueprint for the Reform of Australian Government Administration. Canberra. March. URL: <>.



Fyfe, M. 2010. ‘Brumby’s Water Plan Savaged.’ The Age, 21 October.



Accepted papers will be passed to Wiley’s production team for publication. The author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Wiley’s Author Services, where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be asked to complete an electronic license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper. FAQs about the terms and conditions of the standard copyright transfer agreements (CTA) in place for the journal, including terms regarding archiving of the accepted version of the paper, are available at: CTA Terms and Conditions FAQs.


OnlineOpen – ‘Gold road’ Open Access

OnlineOpen is available to authors of articles who wish to make their article freely available to all on Wiley Online Library under a Creative Commons licence. In addition, authors of OnlineOpen articles are permitted to post the final, published PDF of their article on a website, institutional repository or other free public server, immediately on publication. With OnlineOpen the author, the author's funding agency, or the author's institution pays a fee to ensure that the article is made open access, known as ‘gold road’ open access.


OnlineOpen licenses. Authors choosing OnlineOpen retain copyright in their article and have a choice of publishing under the following Creative Commons License terms: Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY); Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (CC BY NC); Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial-NoDerivs License (CC BY NC ND)


For more information about the OnlineOpen license terms and conditions click here.



All manuscripts should be submitted to the online manuscript management systems. Editors cannot accept manuscripts directly: If you require assistance with your electronic submission, please contact the Editorial office.




Author Services

For further information on the preparation and submission of articles, authors should visit Author Services enables authors to track their article, once it has been accepted, through the production process to publication online and in print. Authors can check the status of their articles online and choose to receive automated emails at key stages of production so they do not need to contact the production editor to check on progress. Visit for more details on online production tracking and for a wealth of resources, including FAQs and tips on article preparation, submission and more.



The corresponding author will receive an email alert notifying them when their proofs are ready for collection from a website that hosts the proofs. A working email must therefore be provided for the corresponding author. The proof is downloaded as a PDF (portable document format) file. Acrobat Reader will be required in order to read this file, which can be downloaded (free of charge) from the following website: This will enable the file to be opened, read on screen and printed out in order for any corrections to be added. Further instructions will be sent with the proof. Proofs will be faxed if no email address is available. If absent, authors should arrange for a colleague to access their email, retrieve the PDF proof and check and return them to the Publisher on their behalf. Excessive changes made by the author in the proofs, excluding typesetting errors, will be charged separately.


A minimum of 50 offprints will be provided upon request, at the author’s expense. These paper offprints may be ordered online. Please visit, fill in the necessary details and ensure that you type information in all of the required fields. If you have queries about offprints please email

Guidelines updated 23 April 2014