Submission Guidelines

PublicationsSubmission Guidelines

Submission Guidelines for Publications with ALARA

ALARA produces a number of professional publications, using an entirely volunteer workforce. We are always looking for people to assist with this volunteer effort - please see Working with ALARA if you can assist.

On this page, we discuss:

  1. Submissions for the ALARj
  2. Submissions for the ALARA Monograph series
  3. Submissions for other ALARA publications
  4. Copyright for ALARA publications, and
  5. Author copies of ALARA publications

ALARA publications are generally available via Sydney University Press (electronic and printed copies available for purchase). The individual articles in the ALAR Journal are also available electronically via EBSCO and Informit databases.

Submission Guidelines for ALARj Articles

Journal submissions must be original and unpublished work suitable for an international audience and not under review by any other publisher or journal. No payment is associated with submissions. Copyright of published works remains with the author(s) shared with ALARA. Please see the Copyright guidelines below for more information.

The ALARj aims to include high-quality, thought-provoking articles about Action Learning and Action Research. Authors must ensure their submitted articles meet these expectations of quality to increase the article's likelihood of being accepted for publication.

While the ALARj promotes established practice and related discourse, new and first-time authors are also encouraged to submit articles (inclusion of these articles will be limited). ALARj also encourages unconventional approaches to reflecting on practice including poetry, artworks and other forms of creative expression that can in some instances progress the field more appropriately than academic forms of writing. An abstract or article outline (approx. 500 words) can be emailed to the Editor at editor [at] with a view to developing a full article. If a reviewer is available, we will invite that reviewer to work with the author in a mentoring process to shape the article. This assistance is entirely dependent on the availability of a reviewer.

Journal articles may use either Australian/UK or USA English spelling and should use Harvard style referencing. See for more. It is preferred that footnotes not be used unless especially necessary. Please do not use endnotes.

Submissions should contain:

  • 1 ½ or double-spacing in all manuscripts, including references, notes, abstracts, quotations, figures and tables
  • Double quotation marks within single quotation marks to set off material that in the original source was enclosed in single quotation marks. Do not use quotation marks to enclose block quotations (any quotations of 40 or more words)
  • Harvard style referencing is preferred, although APA style will also be accepted (any other style will not be accepted - the paper will be returned for revision)
  • Maximum of 8000 words for peer reviewed articles and 3000 words for other journal items (including tables and figures)
  • An abstract of 100-150 words
  • Minimal use of headings (up to 3 levels is acceptable)
  • For any images or diagrams, see instructions below
  • On a cover sheet, please include contact information including full name, affiliation, email address, small photo (.jpeg/.jpg - no larger than 150 pixels) and brief biographical note of up to 100 words. This biographical note should describe the Action Learning / Action Research experience of the author(s)
  • The whole content must be thoroughly proofread before submission

Images, Diagrams, Photographs and Tables

The ALARj is published in an A5 format (15 x 21 cm), and appears in colour in its online form and in black and white in its printed form. All images, photographs and tables must comply with the following.

  • Any images, diagrams, photographs and tables should only be used to add value to the article.
  • 'Group' all images prepared with MS Word drawing tools and anchor them to the page.
  • Ensure all images, diagrams, photographs and tables have sufficient internal contrast to be clear when printed in colour and in black and white.
  • Ensure all images, diagrams, photographs and tables are clear when sized at 10 x 14 cm or a smaller size, as appropriate to the image, photograph or table.
  • All text within images, diagrams and tables must be equivalent to Arial 8 pt or Calibri 9 pt or larger when the image is sized at 10 x 14 cm or the desired smaller size.
  • The author(s) must gain the permission of any people in photographs before publishing. The author should have written permission in these instances and forward such permission to the Editor.
  • Submit all images, diagrams, photographs and non-standard Word tables as separate files, as well as including them in the article (Note: the location may change slightly for editing reasons).
  • Files of the images, diagrams and photographs should be jpg / jpeg format and small (under 150 Kb).

Structure of Content

All contributions for review should fit the following structure (only include those sections that are appropriate to your article):

  • Title (concise and extended as required)
  • Abstract (100-150 words)
  • Body of Article – e.g. introduction, background, literature review, main argument or research question, research methodology, research results, discussion, conclusions and future work (see formatting template)
  • Useful links (if referring to weblinks, include these in full)
  • Acknowledgements (up 100 words)
  • Reference list
  • Cover note as described above with biographical notes of authors and optional small photo image of author(s)

Appendices should only be included if the information they contain significantly expands on, and adds value to, the content of the article.

Peer reviewed submissions

Peer review can be either transparent or blind. A transparent review involves the reviewers knowing the identity of the author/s, and the author/s knowing the identity of the reviewers so that a dialogue can ensue. A blind review preserves the anonymity of both the author/s and reviewers. A blind peer review is the more conventional approach and preferred by academic institutions. Author/s preferring blind peer review must indicate so when emailing their submission. Blind reviews also require the author/s to strip any identifying information about themselves from their text.

The review process is managed through an international panel of established practitioners and scholars. The process can take about 3 months or more depending on the revisions required. All correspondence will be directed to the lead author unless otherwise requested. Please ensure your email address is correct.

Authors are reminded that all those involved in the review and publication of the ALARj are volunteers, with other work commitments. The turnaround time for a review is highly flexible, depending on other commitments of reviewers (and editorial team). Authors can email the editor at editor [at] if they have questions about the progress of their article.

Reviewers use the follow criteria:

  1. How well are the paper and its focus both aimed at and/or grounded in the world of practice?
  2. How well are the paper and/or its subject explicitly and actively participative: research with, for and by people rather than on people?
  3. How well do the paper and/or its subject draw on a wide range of ways of knowing (including intuitive, experiential, presentational as well as conceptual) and link these appropriately to form theory of and in practices (praxis)?
  4. How well does the paper address questions that are of significance to the flourishing of human community and the more-than- human world as related to the foreseeable future?
  5. How well does the paper consider the ethics of research practice for this and multiple generations?
  6. How well does the paper and/or its subject aim to leave some lasting capacity amongst those involved, encompassing first, second and third person perspectives?
  7. How well do the paper and its subject offer critical insights into and critical reflections on the research and inquiry process?
  8. How well does the paper openly acknowledge there are culturally distinctive approaches to Action Research and Action Learning and seek to make explicit their own assumptions about non-Western/ Indigenous and Western approaches to Action Research and Action Learning?
  9. How well does the paper engage the context of research with systemic thinking and practices?
  10. How well do the paper and/or its subject progress AR and AL in the field (research, community, business, education or otherwise)?
  11. How well is the paper written?

Making your submission

Submissions are uploaded to our Open Journal System (OJS) editing and publication site. Go to

At the bottom of the page, you need to "Register" as an "author" then upload your paper. The Chief Editor will be automatically alerted once this is done. The Chief Editor then assigns an ALARA reviewer to your paper, or two reviewers if the voluntary capacity is available.

The reviewers use the OJS system to send you feedback within a 2-3 month period (as a general guide). You will receive emails at each stage of the process with feedback, and if needed, instructions included in the email about how to make revisions and resubmit. On resubmission, your paper is given final approval, then edited and formatted for publication.

The journal is published electronically on the OJS website, and to ALARA members via the members section on the ALARA website.

If you or your organisation wants to become an ALARA member, go to our Joining ALARA page.

EBSCO and Informit also publish the journal commercially for worldwide access, and a printed or electronic version can be purchased from Sydney University Press.

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Submission Guidelines for ALARA Monographs

Monographs must be original and unpublished work suitable for an international audience and not under review by any other publisher or journal. No payment is associated with monographs. Copyright of published works remains with the author(s) shared with ALARA. Please see the Copyright guidelines below for more information.

Typical monographs would include rationale, background, a topic literature review, research methodology and methods, ethical considerations, action research phases and findings, interventions, discussion of findings and their implications, references and appendices. They should contribute new knowledge. We encourage dual and multiple authorships.

Submissions should contain:

  • a title page
  • table of contents (including figures and tables)
  • an abstract of approximately 500 words
  • up to 10 key search words
  • an executive summary preceding the monograph
  • range from 8,000 to 16,000 words
  • a brief author biography of up to 500 words
  • and be gender and culture sensitive.

Please submit Monographs by email to the Editor at editor [at] for review. Copy (e-copy only) must be in Word format, 12 point Times New Roman font, 2.5 cm margins, and APA style. Subsections must be indicated by the following heading levels:

  • Level 1 - lower case and bold (14 pt)
  • Level 2 - lower case (12 pt)
  • Level 3 - italic.

No numbering of headings or subsections is to be used. Please keep footnotes to a bare minimum.

Careful proofreading must have occurred prior to submission. All identifying names must be removed. A separate file should be submitted outlining monograph title, author name(s), address, email address, phone and fax numbers.

The review process normally takes up to three months and authors can anticipate extension beyond this if revision is required. All correspondence will be directed to the lead author unless otherwise requested. Please ensure your email address is correct.

Evaluation of suitability of monographs will be based on a monograph:

  • offering new ideas,
  • making a significant contribution to the field,
  • arousing interest and stimulating debate, and
  • showing sound scholarship and rigorous research design.

Reviewers may recommend:

  • Acceptance of monograph following minor revisions,
  • Revision of monograph and resubmission for further review, or
  • Rejection of monograph.

A printed or electronic version of published Monographs can be purchased from Sydney University Press.

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Submission Guidelines for Other ALARA Publications

In general, the submission guidelines for other publications follow the ALARj submission guidelines, except that the communication may not be via the OJS site. Other publications include publications of conference or Congress papers, for example. Unless instructions to the contrary exist for the particular conference or Congress, submissions should be made directly to the Editor, clearly indicating the preference for consideration for publication in the conference or Congress Proceedings publication.

Publication of other materials, such as posters, slides or videos are also possible on the ALARA website (or its YouTube channel). Interested parties should contact the Editor to discuss these types of publications.

Where ALARA members and their associates wish to produce publications from ALARA conferences or workshops, interested parties must first contact the Editor. In many instances, pre-existing agreements regarding publication rights exist and cannot be ignored in the event of other interested parties wishing to publish. In the event of there being an interest to produce a publication outside of ALARA’s publication responsibilities, the opportunities will be discussed at ALARA Management Committee level and the decision communicated to the interested parties.

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In submitting and having your work accepted for publication in ALARA publications, you agree to these copyright and publication terms and conditions.

Background and rationale. ALARA publishes works via a bi-annual journal, an occasional monograph series, occasional other publications and its website. ALARA retains copyright of published works, to ensure that

  1. authors' works are protected, and
  2. authors can benefit from the administration of copyright fees by ALARA, as a registered member of Copyright Agency Limited (CAL).

ALARA does not retain these rights exclusively, and authors are entitled to republish the Article in a printed or electronic collection without charge as long as they ensure that the original ALARA publication is properly credited, and they notify the ALARA Editor of their intent to do so. We like to keep in touch with authors to continue building the AR/AL network of researchers, practitioners and writers, existing and new.

Copyright and authors' works. If you are a current financial member of ALARA, you are entitled, as the author, to 50% of any copyright monies collected as a result of the identified reprint and/or redistribution of your work in the following circumstances.

  1. The published work is an original work submitted to and published in an ALARA publication
  2. The copyright monies are directly attributed to your works and are not general copyright monies for a publication with several works by several authors.

ALARA will

  • manage the communication and referral of any requests for reprinting and/or redistribution of your work,
  • endorse the copyright process herein through its Executive Committee,
  • administer the copyright licensing and fees or monies associated with it, and
  • notify you, the author, of any monies to which you are entitled, as a result of reprinting and/or redistribution requests, at 50% of the total amount, shared with ALARA

Further reading: Copyright Agency Limited (CAL), Australia

All ALARA publications are registered with the National Library of Australia.

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Author copies

ALARA is a voluntary professional organisation. All costs associated with maintaining services are met solely through voluntary member contributions, membership fees and earnings from ALARA-sponsored events.

As a general rule, ALARA does not have the resources to subsidise complementary copies of its publications for authors.

With regard to the ALAR Journal, however, whether they are an ALARA member or not, authors have access to the electronic issue in which their article appears free of charge, via the OJS website for a period of 6 months following publication. When the next issue is due, if the author has become an ALARA member, access will continue; if not, the author will no longer have access to the issue free of charge. Authors of articles can also purchase a printed copy of the ALAR Journal in which their articles appear at a special discount rate for an agreed period of time (usually one month from publication), from Sydney University Press, as arranged at the time of the publication. The Editor of the issue of the ALAR Journal will notify authors of the process for making this reduced priced purchase.

Authors of Monographs (up to a maximum of three authors) receive a complimentary copy of the printed Monograph publication.

Authors of books or collections of conference or congress papers do not receive complementary copies but can purchase the publication at special discount rates for an agreed period of time, as arranged at the time of the publication by the ALARA Management Committee.


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