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Guidelines for Authors

The Harvard Educational Review (HER) accepts contributions from researchers, scholars, policy makers, practitioners, teachers, students, and informed observers in education and related fields. In addition to publishing original empirical and theoretical research, HER welcomes articles that present reflective accounts of educational activities from settings in the United States and abroad. Across all submissions, HER encourages authors to discuss how their identity and positionality may have shaped their research agenda, choice of methods, process of collecting and analyzing data, and the findings. Given that HER’s readership is broad, we advise that authors tailor their manuscripts for a generalist audience.

Over the years, HER has published rigorous and creative articles by and for those seeking justice and equity in/through education. As communities, educators, and students around the world continue to experience the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, increasing national and political polarization, and racial violence, we stand by our earlier commitment in advancing our mission of social justice scholarship. As such, the Editorial Board encourages the submission of manuscripts presenting original empirical and theoretical work as well as essays and Voices pieces that contribute to our understanding of educational theory and educational practice in the current historical moment. We encourage submissions from authors whose work addresses issues of educational equity and social justice, from BIPOC authors and authors of other identities underrepresented in academic publishing, and from early-career scholars.

It is the policy of HER to consider for publication only manuscripts that are not simultaneously being considered elsewhere, or that have already been published. To this end, HER requires that authors remove manuscripts from publicly available websites before submission.

Submission Types

Research Articles

Manuscripts reporting original research related to education should include: background and context and/or theoretical/conceptual framework, literature review, methods, findings and analysis, and discussion sections. The literature review should be relevant to the research topic and findings. All methodologies need to be clearly described and should match the research questions or stated purpose of the manuscript. The findings should be clearly stated, and the arguments set forth should emerge from the analysis of the data presented in the manuscript. Accepted manuscripts typically include clear implications of the research and are accessible to HER’s generalist readership.


An essay should have a well-developed argument with a clear purpose. A good essay will not merely summarize previous work but will advance an original argument or provide a useful synthesis of a particular area of inquiry. Essays should employ compelling evidence to justify the author’s claims. Evidence can draw from (but is not limited to) practice, theory, personal experience, and/or empirics. Strong essays will be engaging to readers, logically structured, and have an internally cohesive and coherent argument.

Successful essays can take many forms, including:

  • Literature reviews
  • Normative arguments
  • Explorations of theory in practice
  • Articulation of promising avenues of research to pursue and/or gaps in a particular field

Voices: Reflective Accounts of Education

In recognition of the value of experiential knowledge, HER welcomes reflective accounts of education featuring the voices of people engaged in various educational activities around the world. Voices pieces may be written by students, teachers, parents, community members, or others involved in education whose perspectives can inform policy, practice, and/or research. The power of a Voices piece rests primarily in the voice of the author(s) and its rich grounding in practice, which may be informed by theory and research. Voices pieces generally contain a detailed narrative that weaves together ideas, situations, and experiences and highlights key learnings. For examples of Voices pieces, please see Alvarez et al. (2021) and Snow (2021).

Additional Submissions

HER welcomes submissions in addition to the above categories. If your manuscript does not correspond to any of the above categories, please select this option. On submission, you will be asked to provide a statement of up to 100 words that describes the nature of your manuscript.

Submission Guidelines

  • HER accepts manuscripts of up to 9,000 words, including abstract, appendices, and references, and reserves the right to return any manuscript that exceeds that length.
  • Manuscripts must be anonymized for review; any references that identify the author in the text must be made anonymous (e.g., instead of citing “Smith, 1972,” cite “Author, 1972”), or referred to in third person in the text.
  • Please do not submit a title page as part of your manuscript.
  • For manuscripts that include material that is protected by copyright, we ask that authors secure the necessary permissions for publication prior to submission.


  • Please combine all components of the manuscript (abstract, keywords, references, appendices, etc.) into one Word document file (no PDFs). Please use the title of the manuscript as the title of the document file (no author names for blinding purposes).
  • All text must be double-spaced. Type size must be at least 12 point with 1-inch margins on all sides.
  • Authors should refer to The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) for general questions of style, grammar, punctuation, usage, and form. The journal defers to author preference in decisions about the naming and capitalization of racial, ethnic, and cultural groups. Manuscripts should be internally consistent in this regard.
  • Authors should use the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association for reference and citation formats. References must be in APA format. Manuscripts with references and/or citations in another form will be returned to the author(s).

Abstract and Keywords

All manuscripts should include both an abstract and keywords. The abstract should summarize the manuscript concisely and well enough to give the reader an accurate sense of the key points, findings, and implications. Abstracts must be a maximum of 250 words.

Immediately below the abstract, provide a maximum of six keywords, based on the ERIC list of index descriptors. Authors may choose to include one or two “free” keywords not included on the ERIC list of descriptors if they wish to do so. These keywords will be used for indexing and to improve searchability.

Submission Procedure

To submit a manuscript, please visit and follow the specific instructions for your intended manuscript type. For additional information about the process, please read our Article Submission FAQ.

Review Process

The Editorial Board of HER is comprised of doctoral students at Harvard University and oversees a unique two-stage manuscript review process. In the first stage, 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 weekly meetings. It usually takes 6 to 10 weeks for a manuscript to complete the first stage of review, and about 12 additional weeks to complete the second stage. All manuscripts that reach the second stage of review will receive written feedback based on the Board's discussion. Due to time constraints and the large volume of manuscripts received, HER does not provide detailed comments on unsolicited manuscripts that are rejected at the first stage of review.

Publication Criteria

Significance and Impact

Manuscripts should focus on questions relevant to the field of education. These questions should be pointed and should also have implications for broader educational problems, nationally and/or globally. Manuscripts should contribute to the work of stakeholders seeking to address educational challenges and should explicitly state their contributions, whether theoretical or practical, in order to identify the populations that would most benefit from its publication, such as teachers, policy makers, or students.

Advancement of the Field

The manuscript should push existing theory in a new direction and/or extend, fill in a gap, or bring a new perspective to current literature.

Clarity and Style

Manuscripts must be well written in clear, concise language and be free of technical jargon. As a generalist journal, HER strives for all articles to be widely accessible to nonexperts. Previously published HER articles can serve as examples of the style of writing appropriate for the audience. The editors understand that the specific organization of a manuscript may differ according to discipline and the author’s aesthetic.

Invitation Proposal Process

If you think your manuscript is a strong fit for HER, we welcome a 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, please complete the Invitation Request Form. Please provide as many details as possible. The decision to invite a manuscript largely depends on the capacity of current Board members and on how closely the proposed manuscript reflects HER publication scope and criteria. Once you submit the form, We hope to update you in about 2–3 weeks, and will let you know whether there are Editors who are available to invite the manuscript.

Contacting the Harvard Educational Review:

Please view the Contact Us page for contact details.

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