Higher Education Quarterly

Cover image for Vol. 68 Issue 3

Edited By: Lee Harvey and Celia Whitchurch

Online ISSN: 1468-2273

Author Guidelines

Note to Authors: Higher Education Quarterly

Higher Education Quarterly is an international refereed journal aimed at those interested in policy in higher education. It is not a journal that publishes articles about accounts of teaching and learning practice. Papers that have empirical research content are particularly welcome. The journal is receptive to critical, phenomenological as well as positivistic studies and welcomes studies that use hermeneutic, semiotic, ethnographic or dialectical research as well as the more traditional studies based on quantitative surveys and in-depth interviews and focus groups. Evaluations of the impact of policy at institutional, national or international level, backed up by research evidence, are welcome.

It is important that authors appreciate the international nature of the readership of Higher Education Quarterly. This has three implications.

First, the paper has to be of interest to a broad readership, which means that (a) the paper draws on international examples, or (b) reports some international comparative research, or (c) if country specific, explains how developments in one country have been informed by international developments, or (d) how developments or research in one country has implications beyond its borders. The aim is to provide readers with information about and lessons from ideas and practices that are transportable from other contexts.

Second, the paper should avoid parochial references or assume that the readership will understand the processes used in a specific institution, or agency or be familiar with the higher education system in a given country. Localised abbreviations or taken-for-granted notions should not be cited without explanation. Some words are ambiguous and should be used with care. ‘Faculty’ in the UK, for example, is an organisational unit of a university, in the US it means, what in the UK would be called the academic staff. ‘School’ rarely means a University in the UK, unlike in the US. So it is incumbent on authors to be clear about terminology.

Third, the journal rarely publishes case studies of programmes or single institutions.

Personalised accounts
The journal does not normally publish articles that are personalized. Avoid referring to the first person. Instead of ‘we did a study of…’ ‘I interviewed…’, use the impersonal ‘the study showed…’ ‘interviews were conducted…’ The exception is a well-informed insight piece that would normally constitute an Endnote contribution and would normally be shorter than the standard article.

Normative prescriptions and recommendations
Normative prescriptions and recommendations should be avoided unless there is substantial empirical and theoretical support for them. Higher Education Quarterly does not publish statements that provide an individual’s personal views on what others should do.

If there is a well-argued case based on a well-developed theoretical analysis, policy deconstruction or empirical evidence then helpful normative suggestions or recommendations are acceptable. However, normative suggestions/ or recommendation made on the basis of little or no evidence and reflecting personal and unsupported preference are not acceptable. Avoid statements such as ‘we believe that…’ (see Personalised Accounts above). Furthermore, acceptable recommendations are best presented in a conclusion rather than scattered through the text.

If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services; where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.

For authors signing the copyright transfer agreement
If the OnlineOpen option is not selected the corresponding author will be presented with the copyright transfer agreement (CTA) to sign. The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs below:

CTA Terms and Conditions

For authors choosing OnlineOpen
If the OnlineOpen option is selected the corresponding author will have a choice of the following Creative Commons License Open Access Agreements (OAA):

Creative Commons Attribution License OAA
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License OAA
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial -NoDerivs License OAA

To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services http://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/faqs_copyright.asp and visit http://www.wileyopenaccess.com/details/content/12f25db4c87/Copyright--License.html. If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC-BY license supporting you in complying with Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK requirements.

For more information on this policy and the Journal’s compliant self-archiving policy please visit: http://www.wiley.com/go/funderstatement.

Guidelines for Submission to Higher Education Quaterly

Higher Education Quarterly has now adopted ScholarOne Manuscript, for online manuscript submission and peer review. The new system brings with it a whole host of benefits including:

  • Quick and easy submission

  • Administration centralised and reduced

  • Significant decrease in peer review times

From now on all submissions to the journal must be submitted online at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/hequ. Full instructions and support are available on the site and a user ID and password can be obtained on the first visit. If you require assistance then click the Get Help Now link which appears at the top right of every ScholarOne Manuscript page. If you cannot submit online, please contact Ruth Harris in the Editorial Office by e-mail (hequmanagingeditor@wiley.com).

Authors should present one electronic copy of their manuscript - double spaced, with ample margins, bearing the title of the article, name(s) of the author(s) and the address where the work was carried out. Each article should be accompanied by an abstract of 100–150 words on a separate sheet, together with a biographical note of about 30 words. A note should appear at the end of the last page indicating the total number of words in the article (including those in the Abstract and References). A copy of material e-mailed to editors should be retained by the authors. Any change in subsequent electronic drafts should be clearly identifiable by being in a different colour font. Do not use ‘track changes’.

Papers should be original. If there is an overlap with material published elsewhere, details should be given. Articles would normally be 4000–6000 words and should include an abstract of 100–150. Keywords should be provided (up to six). No need to include ‘policy’ or ‘higher education’ as keywords. A note should appear at the end of the last page indicating the total number of words in the article (including those in the Abstract and References).

All pages should be numbered. Indent new paragraphs by two spaces. Do not number headings. Stand-alone quotations to be normal font but indented (left and right margins), with a line space before and after. Do not italicise quotes.

Do not include any styles in the style sheet other than normal for all text (12 pt Times/Times New Roman, unjustified), use only three levels of headings (Level 1 — 14pt Times bold; Level 2 — 12pt Times bold; Level 3 — 12pt Times bold, italic). Please put a blank line between items in the references (see below). Please ensure all other non-default styles are deleted.

There is a journal style and the editor reserves the right to edit papers to fit the journal style or to suggest how papers could be amended to so fit. This may be before or after the refereeing process.

Writing style
Papers should be written in an easily accessible style, suitable for an international audience of academics, policy makers and practitioners.

All papers should use UK English spelling, grammar and punctuation.

The journal does not favour papers that take the traditional format, using the following headings: context, hypotheses, literature review, results, discussion, summary, conclusion. This tends to lead to a fragmented ‘story’ and repetition especially in the results, discussion, summary and conclusion sections. Subheadings should be meaningful in that they identify the key idea of the text that follows. Subheadings should not be numbered. A clear line of argument (or story) should flow through the paper. The paper needs to keep the reader interested: it should not be a trial to get to the end of the article.

The text should be self-contained so that the reader can understand the point being made without recourse to reading tables or diagrams. These should be included when the provide confirmation of the text, or are an appropriate way to summarise an argument spelled out in the text. However, authors should avoid the following: ‘Table 1 shows the results for the sample….’ Instead, data in tables should be referred to in parentheses at the end of sentences or paragraphs that have already spelled out for the reader what the results show.

Certain phrases, including ‘in terms of’ and ‘whereby’ should be avoided. Avoid starting sentences with ‘and’ and ‘but’ and do not normally insert commas before conjunctions.

Make sparing use of bullet points or numbered lists, which should only contain short statements. Use only standard round bullet points.

Please also hyphenate compounds, such as 'public-sector organisations', ‘thick-sandwich students’, ‘higher-level skills’.

Methodological details
Research methodology should be included in the paper but in an economical way that provides maximum information in as few words as possible. The following should be provided where appropriate: methodological approach including epistemological underpinnings; data sources including sample and population details; sampling method; response rates/drop out rates; how data was collected; forms of analysis (not the name of software packages (e.g. SPSS) but what techniques were used (e.g. cross-tabulation)); any methodological concerns. If the methodology is complex and inhibits the ‘story’ then it is acceptable to put detail in a methodological footnote. Statistical data should be reported in an accessible way—especially where it is fundamental to the argument. Peripheral numerical details, such as significance levels, correlation coefficients, should normally be incorporated into tables or footnotes unless they can be integrated into the text without making it cumbersome and hard to read.

The abstract is very important as it ‘sells’ the article. The first sentence or two of the abstract should sum up the core idea, argument or thesis of the paper. This should be followed by details of the evidence used to support the argument. The implications of the paper (for different stakeholders) should normally follow. Do not simply describe what the paper attempts to do or repeat the introduction or conclusion. The Abstract should make it clear what additional substantive contribution your paper makes to the research area.

Footnotes to the text should be avoided but where used, should be numbered consecutively and presented as endnotes. They should be indicated in the text by a number in square brackets, viz. [1], and then added to the end of the text. Do not use footnote/endnote facilities in Word.

Higher Education Quarterly rarely publishes appendices to papers unless they are a vital part of understanding the content of the paper. Usually, any material that might appear as appendices can be incorporated into the text in some form or deleted.

Tables and figures
All tables and figures must be supplied in black and white only. Tables must be on separate pages at the end of the document and not included as part of the text. Tables should be designated as 'Tables' and numbered sequentially by Arabic numerals. All other diagrams or illustrations should be designated as 'Figures' and numbered sequentially by Arabic numerals separately from Tables. Tables and Figures should have meaningful captions. Tables should be captioned above the table. Figures should be captioned below the figure. The approximate position of tables and figures should be indicated in the manuscript. Keys to any symbols used should be included under tables or figures.

Successful authors will be asked to provide artwork for figures in a finished form, suitable for reproduction. Figures will not normally be redrawn by the publisher.

Avoid using abbreviations other than for established abbreviations of agencies, government departments or institutions where the abbreviation is used at least three times in the article or appears in references. Always put the name in full the first time it is used with the abbreviation in parentheses to follow. Do not abbreviate words such as higher education, quality assurance, higher education institution. Do not use, e.g., i.e., op.cit, or ibid. Do not end lists with ‘etc.’.

Citations of other work should be limited to those strictly necessary for the argument. Any quotations should be brief, and accompanied by precise references, including page numbers or numbered paragraphs depending on the nature of the source. Where quotations are used then the quote should be followed by a reference with an appropriate page number in the following style: (Jones, 1999, p. 10) or (Smith, 2004, pp. 111–13). Note dash not hyphen separating page numbers.

The exception to this is the citing of excerpts from qualitative interviews, which may be longer and where an appropriate coding system is used to label interview excerpts. Do not italicise quotations. Any citation from a website must provide exact Internet address and the date that it was accessed. Any web-based citation source not still accessible on the date of submission of the article should be removed.

There are several software packages available to help authors manage and format the references and footnotes in their journal article. We recommend the use of a software tool such as EndNote or Reference Manager for reference management and formatting.

EndNote reference styles can be searched for here:

Reference Manager reference styles can be searched for here:

References should be indicated in the typescript by giving the author’s name, with the year of publication in parentheses (Harvard style convention). If several papers by the same author and from the same year are cited, a,b,c,… should be put after the year of publication. If the reference is a publication by an agency then this should appear in the text, usually indicated by the normal abbreviation by which the agency is known (for example, QAA for the UK Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education). The abbreviation et al. should be used to refer to sources used when there are more than two authors. Note that the abbreviation is italicised and is followed by a full stop.

Archer, W. and Davison, J. (2008) Graduate Employability: the Views of Employers. Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE). http://www.cihe-uk.com, last accessed 26 February 2008.

Barnett, R. and Griffin, A. (eds.) (1997) The End of Knowledge in Higher Education. London: Institute of Education.

Graham, G. (2005) The Institution of Intellectual Values: Realism and Idealism in Higher Education. Thorverton: Imprint Academic.

Wingate, U. (2007) A Framework forTransition: Supporting ‘Learning to Learn’ in Higher Education. Higher Education Quarterly, 61 (3), pp. 391–405.

Titles of journals should not be abbreviated.

Proofs will be sent to authors if there is sufficient time to do so. They should be corrected and returned to the Editorial Office within three days. Major alterations of the text cannot be accepted.

Free copies: Corresponding authors will receive a free PDF offprint of their article, which they should forward to their co-authors.

Pre-submission English-language editing
Authors for whom English is a second language may choose to have their manuscript professionally edited before submission to improve the English. A list of independent suppliers of editing services can be found at:
All services are paid for and arranged by the author, and use of one of these services does not guarantee acceptance or preference for publication.

Author Services
Online production tracking is now available for your article through Wiley-Blackwell’s Author Services. 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 e-mails at key stages of production so they don’t need to contact the production editor to check on progress. Visit http://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/ for more details on online production tracking and for a wealth of resources including FAQs and tips on article preparation, submission and more.

Early View
Higher Education Quarterly is covered by Wiley-Blackwell's Early View service. Early View articles are complete full-text articles published online in advance of their publication in a printed issue. Articles are therefore available as soon as they are ready, rather than having to wait for the next scheduled print issue. Early View articles are complete and final. They have been fully reviewed, revised and edited for publication, and the authors' final corrections have been incorporated. Because they are in final form, no changes can be made after online publication. The nature of Early View articles means that they do not yet have volume, issue or page numbers, so Early View articles cannot be cited in the traditional way. They are therefore given a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), which allows the article to be cited and tracked before it is allocated to an issue. After print publication, the DOI remains valid and can continue to be used to cite and access the article.