Harvard Educational Review
  1. Frequently Asked Questions

    Submissions

    What manuscripts are a good fit for HER?
    As a generalist scholarly journal, HER publishes on a wide range of topics within the field of education and related disciplines. We receive many articles that deserve publication, but due to the restrictions of print publication, we are only able to publish very few in the journal. The originality and import of the findings, as well as the accessibility of a piece to HER's interdisciplinary, international audience which includes education practitioners, are key criteria in determining if an article will be selected for publication.

    We strongly recommend that prospective authors review the current and past issues of HER to see the types of articles we have published recently. If you are unsure whether your manuscript is a good fit, please reach out to the Content Editor at HER_manuscripts@gse.harvard.edu.

    What makes HER a developmental journal?
    Supporting the development of high-quality education research is a key tenet of HER’s mission. HER promotes this development through offering comprehensive feedback to authors. All manuscripts that pass the first stage of our review process (see below) receive detailed feedback. For accepted manuscripts, HER also has a unique feedback process called casting whereby two editors carefully read a manuscript and offer overarching suggestions to strengthen and clarify the argument.

    What is a Voices piece and how does it differ from an essay?
    Voices pieces are first-person reflections about an education-related topic rather than empirical or theoretical essays. Our strongest pieces have often come from educators and policy makers who draw on their personal experiences in the education field. Although they may not present data or generate theory,  Voices pieces should still advance a cogent argument, drawing on appropriate literature to support any claims asserted. For examples of Voices pieces, please see Alvarez et al. (2021) and Snow (2021).

    Does HER accept Book Note or book review submissions?
    No, all Book Notes are written internally by members of the Editorial Board.

    If I want to submit a book for review consideration, who do I contact?
    Please send details about your book to the Content Editor at HER_invites@gse.harvard.edu.
     

    Manuscript Formatting

    The submission guidelines state that manuscripts should be a maximum of 9,000 words – including abstract, appendices, and references. Is this applicable only for research articles, or should the word count limit be followed for other manuscripts, such as essays?
    The 9,000-word limit is the same for all categories of manuscripts.

    We are trying to figure out the best way to mask our names in the references. Is it OK if we do not cite any of our references in the reference list? Our names have been removed in the in-text citations. We just cite Author (date).
    Any references that identify the author/s in the text must be masked or made anonymous (e.g., instead of citing “Field & Bloom, 2007,” cite “Author/s, 2007”). For the reference list, place the citations alphabetically as “Author/s. (2007)” You can also indicate that details are omitted for blind review. Articles can also be blinded effectively by use of the third person in the manuscript. For example, rather than “in an earlier article, we showed that” substitute something like “as has been shown in Field & Bloom, 2007.” In this case, there is no need to mask the reference in the list. Please do not submit a title page as part of your manuscript. We will capture the contact information and any author statement about the fit and scope of the work in the submission form. Finally, please save the uploaded manuscript as the title of the manuscript and do not include the author/s name/s.
     

    Invitations

    Can I be invited to submit a manuscript? How?
    If you think your manuscript is a strong fit for HER, we welcome your request for invitation. Invited manuscripts receive one round of feedback from Editors before the piece enters the formal review process. To submit information about your manuscript for the Board to consider for invitation, please fill out the Invitation Request Form. Please provide as many details as possible. Whether we could invite your manuscript depends on the interest and availability of the current Board. Once you submit the form, we will give you an update in about 2–3 weeks on whether there are Editors who are interested in inviting your manuscript.
     

    Review Timeline

    Who reviews manuscripts?
    All manuscripts are reviewed by the Editorial Board composed of doctoral students at Harvard University.

    What is the HER evaluation process as a student-run journal?
    HER does not utilize the traditional external peer review process and instead has an internal, two-stage review procedure.

    Upon submission, every manuscript receives a preliminary assessment by the Content Editor to confirm that the formatting requirements have been carefully followed in preparation of the manuscript, and that the manuscript is in accord with the scope and aim of the journal. The manuscript then formally enters the review process.

    In the first stage of review, all manuscripts are read by a minimum of two Editorial Board members. During the second stage of review, manuscripts are read by the full Editorial Board at a weekly meeting.

    How long after submission can I expect a decision on my manuscript?
    It usually takes 6 to 10 weeks for a manuscript to complete the first stage of review and an additional 12 weeks for a manuscript to complete the second stage. Due to time constraints and the large volume of manuscripts received, HER only provides detailed comments on manuscripts that complete the second stage of review.

    How soon are accepted pieces published?
    The date of publication depends entirely on how many manuscripts are already in the queue for an issue. Typically, however, it takes about 6 months post-acceptance for a piece to be published.


    Submission Process

    How do I submit a manuscript for publication in HER?
    Manuscripts are submitted through HER’s Submittable platform, accessible here. All first-time submitters must create an account to access the platform. You can find details on our submission guidelines on our Submissions page.
     

    Closing the Open Call 

    I have already submitted an article to HER and I am awaiting a decision, what can I expect? First, any manuscripts already submitted through the open call and acknowledged by HER, as well as all invited manuscripts, R&R’d manuscripts, and manuscripts currently in production are NOT affected in any way by our pause in open calls. Editors are working to move through all current submissions and you can expect to receive any updates or decisions as we move through each step of our production process. If you have any questions, please contact the Co-Chairs, Alyssa Napier and Abigail Orrick at HER_community@gse.harvard.edu. 

    Can you share more about why you are closing the open call? 
    As a graduate student run journal, we perform our editorial tasks in addition to our daily lives as doctoral students. We have been (and continue to be) incredibly grateful for the authors who share their work with us, much of which was written during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Like many, we have also experienced disruptions to our research, childcare, family health, and everyday lives. In closing the open call, we hope to give ourselves time to review each manuscript in the best manner possible while giving our Editorial Board the time to rest.

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    Education Blog