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Instructions for authors

What are we looking for?
How to submit an article
Editorial Review Process
Copyright and Permissions
Open Access
Self-archiving and institutional repositories
English language editing service
How to maximise the impact of your article
Contact us

What are we looking for?

  • Research articles:  Longitudinal and Life Course Studies has an international, multi-disciplinary, multi-method focus, encompassing the social and economic sciences, health sciences, developmental and behavioural sciences, and statistics, and we welcome submission of original research articles from across the spectrum. The word limit is normally 7,000 (excluding tables, figures, bibliography, and abstract). Supplementary material can be submitted as an appendix. If the supplementary material is unusually long authors may be asked to host it in a data repository, such as figshare, and cite it as a reference in the article.

  • Study profiles: A study profile should introduce readers to longitudinal data resources on which research is or may be based. It should normally be between 3,000 and 5,000 words long (excluding tables, figures, bibliography and abstract). It should explain the main features of the design and development of the study, its scientific aims, the main research questions that are (or will be) addressed, its achievements, and arrangements, if any, for  data access. Reflections on purposes, problems and social/historical context of the study are welcome alongside formal description. Supplementary material can be submitted as an appendix. If the supplementary material is unusually long authors may be asked to host it in a data repository, such as figshare, and cite it as a reference in the article. Please read the additional guidance for writing study profiles before submitting your work.

  • Research notes: Research notes are shorter than full papers – usually between 2000 and 3000 words in length. They will normally focus on one or two findings from a longer unpublished report, or report interim findings from ongoing research. The text should be written as concisely as possible and referencing should be kept to the minimum.

  • Special Issues and Special Sections: LLCS is pleased to consider for publication Special Issues and Part Special Issues (special sections) comprising sets of papers relating to a common theme. A Special Issue will normally include not less than six and not more than eight papers, not including the guest editorial. A special section will consist of not less than three and not more than five papers, not including the guest editorial. Guidance on the steps to be taken in submitting proposals for these forms of publication in the journal is set out here.

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How to submit an article

All submissions should be made online at the Longitudinal and Life Course Studies Editorial Manager website: https://www.editorialmanager.com/llcs/Default.aspx.

Editorial Manager

Manuscripts must be in Word or Rich Text Format, not pdf. New users should first create an account, specify their areas of interest and provide full contact details.

Preparing your anonymised manuscript

Your initial submission must consist of the following separate files:

    1. A cover page including: the article title, author name(s) and affiliations (institution affiliation and country only, no department details required), the article abstract (up to 250 words), up to 5 key words/short phrases, and the article word count including references. A cover page template is available to download here.

    2. A fully anonymized manuscript which does not include any of the information included in the cover page. It should not include any acknowledgments, funding details, or conflicts of interest that would identify the author(s). References to the authors' own work should be anonymised as follows: "Author's own, [year]". Please note that submissions that have not been sufficiently anonymised will be returned.

    3. If you have any Figures and Tables these must be uploaded as separate files at the end of the manuscript. Please indicate where they should be placed in the text by inserting: ‘Figure X here’ and provide numbers, titles and sources where appropriate.

All authors should comply with the Bristol University Press ethical guidelines.

For help submitting an article via Editorial Manager, please view our online tutorial.

Once a submission has been conditionally accepted, you will be invited to submit a final, non-anonymised version.

Checklist: what to include in your final, accepted non-anonymised manuscript

A cover page including:

    1. Title: short and concise running title and, if necessary, a (short) informative subtitle;
    2. Author names and affiliations (institution affiliation and country only, no department details required);
    3. Abstract: no longer than 250 words, outlining the central question, approach/method, findings and take home message;
    4. Up to 5 keywords;

The main manuscript including:

    1. The non-anonymised text of your article:up to 7000 words for research articles, 5000 words for study profiles and 3000 words for research notes.
    2. Key messages: Each research article must include 3-4 ‘key messages’ summarising the main messages from the paper in up to four bullet points. The contribution made by the paper to the field should be clear from these key messages. Each bullet point must be less than 100 characters. These points may be used to promote your article on social media.
    3. Funding details: list any funding including the grant numbers you have received for the research covered in your article as follows: ‘This work was supported by the [Funding Agency] under Grant [number xxxx].’
    4. Data availability statement: If the article reports the use of data, please declare that the author(s) take(s) responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the analysis. Please also state whether the data is available to other researchers and, if so, where or how it can be accessed.
    5. Statement on human and animal experimentation and informed consent: If the article is based on a study including human or animal subjects, authors must provide a statement identifying the organisation or review board that approved the study, including permit numbers. For research involving human participants, please confirm compliance with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki, and include a statement on informed consent.
    6. Conflict of interest statement: please declare any possible conflicts of interest, or state ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’ if there are none.
    7. Acknowledgements: acknowledge people who have provided you with any substantial assistance or advice with collecting the data, developing your ideas, editing or any other comments to develop your argument or text.
    8. Figures and Tables: should be submitted as separate files. Figures should ideally be in an Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) file format. Please indicate where figures and tables should be placed in the text by inserting: ‘Figure/Table X here’ and provide numbers, titles and sources (where appropriate).
    9. Supplementary data: We recommend that any supplementary data is hosted in a data repository (such as figshare) for maximum exposure, and is cited as a reference in the article. Short supplementary items can be included as appendices to the article.
    10. Journal contributor publishing agreement: please upload a scanned copy of the completed and signed  agreement with your final non-anonymised manuscript. The agreement can be downloaded here.


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Editorial Review Process

All submissions are first desk-reviewed by the editor(s) who will assess whether the manuscript fits the aims and scope as well as the quality standards of the journal. Papers that are selected to be sent out for review will be evaluated through double anonymous peer review by at least two referees. Longitudinal and Life Course Studies aims to return the reviews along with an initial decision within two months of submission.

Please also see our Journals Editorial Policies.

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Copyright and Permissions

Longitudinal and Life Course Studies is published by Bristol University Press on behalf of the Society for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies (SLLS). Articles are considered for publication on the understanding that on acceptance the author(s) grant(s) Bristol University Press (on behalf of SLLS) the exclusive right and licence to publish the article. Copyright remains with the author(s) or other original copyright owners and we will acknowledge this in the copyright line that appears on the published article.

Authors will be asked to sign a journal contributor agreement to this effect, which should be submitted online along with the final manuscript. All authors should agree to the agreement. For jointly authored articles the corresponding author may sign on behalf of co-authors provided that s/he has obtained their consent. The journal contributor agreement can be downloaded here.

Where copyright is not owned by the author(s), the corresponding author is responsible for obtaining the consent of the copyright holder. This includes figures, tables, and excerpts. Evidence of this permission should be provided to Bristol University Press. General information on rights and permissions can be found here.

To request permission to reproduce any part of articles published in the Longitudinal and Life Course Studies please email Bristol University Press: bup-info@bristol.ac.uk. For information on what is permissible use for different versions of your article please see the journal contributor publishing agreeement.

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  • British English spelling and punctuation is preferred.
  • Non-discriminatory language is mandatory.
  • Explanatory notes should be kept to a minimum. If it is necessary to use them, they must be numbered consecutively in the text and listed at the end of the article. Please do not embed notes in the text.
  • Please do not embed bibliographic references in the text, footnotes, live links or macros; the final submitted file should be clear of track changes and ready for print.
  • Tables and charts should be separated from the text and submitted in a Word or Excel file, with their placement in the text clearly indicated by inserting: ‘Table X here’. Please provide numbers, titles and sources (where appropriate).
  • Figures, diagrams and maps should be separated from the text and, ideally, submitted in an Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) file. Figures created in Word or Excel are acceptable in those file formats. If the figures, diagrams and maps are in other formats (i.e. have been pasted into a Word file rather than created in it) please contact dave.j.worth@bristol.ac.uk for advice. Please indicate where figures should be placed in the text, by inserting: ‘Figure X here’ and provide numbers, titles and sources (where appropriate).
  • Authors using data sets which have their own digital objective identifier (DOI) are encouraged to include  such references in their bibliography.  This helps give proper recognition to the work involved in creating and curating large data resources.


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Download the Endnote output style for Policy Press and Bristol University Press Journals.

Bristol University Press uses a custom version of the Harvard system of referencing:

  • In-text citations: give the author’s surname followed by year of publication in brackets
  • List all references in full at the end of the article and remove any references not cited in the text
  • Book and journal titles should be in italics
  • Website details should be placed at the end of the reference
  • Spell out all acronyms in the first instance.

Example of book reference:
Dorling, D. (2010) Injustice: Why social inequality persists, Bristol: Policy Press.

Example of journal reference:
Warin, P. (2012) 'Non-demand for Social Rights: A new challenge for social action in France', Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 20(1): 41-53.

Example of chapter within edited / multi-authored publication:
Levitas, R. (2011) 'Utopia Calling: Eradicating child poverty in the United Kingdom and beyond', in A. Minujin and S. Nandy (eds), Global Child Poverty and Well-being: Measurement, concepts, policy and action, Bristol, Policy Press. pp. 449-73.

Example of website reference:
Womensaid (2016) What is domestic abuse?, https://www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/what-is-domestic-abuse/.

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