Guide for authors

How to make a submission to Degrowth

Degrowth is an academic, open-access, international, transdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal that focuses on contributions in and around the topic of degrowth. We are looking for academic contributions that contribute to degrowth scholarship, including but not limited to:

•  Debates in and around degrowth

•  Critical reflections

•  Marginalised and subaltern perspectives

•  The application of degrowth in different areas

•  Interactions between degrowth and other concepts and fields

•  Empirical work relating to degrowth

•  Conceptual and theoretical work

•  Systematic reviews, bibliometric analyses, and reflections about the existing literature on degrowth and related studies 

We are looking for contributions in the following formats:

Peer-reviewed Research Articles - up to 10.000 words in length (excl. references). Research articles are expected to be novel research of high quality. Articles are expected to make new contributions to degrowth research, build on the corpus of degrowth literature and/or connect to other bodies of literature in novel ways, be evidently strong and develop clear themes and arguments. These articles can draw on several methods and approaches. Peer reviewed, either non-blind or double-blind (see Peer review below).

Perspectives - 1.500-2.500 words in length (excl. references). Perspectives provide short provocations, expositions or perspectives. Reviewed by editor(s).

Essays - 2.500-4.000 words in length (excl. references). Essays are expected to provide new viewpoints and visions, expressed through strong and intelligent prose. Reviewed by editor(s).

Book Reviews - 1.000-2.000 words in length (excl. references). Book reviews provide a critical evaluation of emerging literature from the broad research field of degrowth. These might also include (but are not limited to) related topics such as post-growth and ecological economics. Additional guidelines can be found below. Reviewed by editor(s).

Thesis Summaries - 1.500-3.000 words in length (excl. references). Thesis presentations provide Masters and PhD students with the possibility to summarise and present their recently published degrowth related research thesis. Additional guidelines can be found below. Reviewed by editor(s). 

We encourage submissions offering a response to previous publications. Please submit these using the perspective or essay formats. We recommend using a subtitle to identify the publication you are responding to, for example “A response to [title]”.

General guidelines for submissions

Submissions should be made through our submissions portal here. 

All submissions should contain original work that has not been published previously and is not currently under consideration at any other journal, unless an adequate explanation is provided in the Comments to the Editor section.

All authors are expected to have made substantial contributions to the submitted work and to have approved the submitted version and any future revisions. A statement of author contribution may be included, for example using the CRediT taxonomy of contributor roles, but this is not required. Multiple authors may be identified as having contributed equally, including by the use of joint co-authors.

All submissions should, if not specified otherwise, consist of a single document and should fulfil the following criteria:

File format: editable document e.g. Word, OpenOffice, RTF.

    Language: English.

    •  Clear, concise and accessible language is encouraged. Please avoid jargon as much as possible.

    Font: Times New Roman (12pt), single line spaced.

    •  Italics may be used, underlining may not be used (except for URLs).

    Referencing style: APA (American Psychological Association) 7th edition.

    •  Non-research article submissions should follow a general academic style including references to previous work in the above style.

    Cover page (separately if double-blind peer review is preferred), including:

    •  Title,

    •  Subtitle (optional),

    •  Author name(s), affiliation(s), and email(s), with corresponding author indicated,

    •  Abstract (maximum 250 words),

    •  Up to 5 key words,

    •  Conflicts of interest (if none, please state “No conflicts of interest to disclose”),

    •  Funding (if none, please state “No funding to disclose”),

    •  Acknowledgements,

    •  Author contribution statement (optional),

    •  Ethics statement (if appropriate),

    •  Short bio for each author, maximum 150 words each.

    Tables and figures included in the article, with captions placed above tables and beneath figures.

    Supplementary material and data may be provided as separate files during submission.

      The Comments to the Editor section at submission may, if desired, be used to communicate:

      •  Request for double-blind peer review (research articles only).

      •  Information about previous publication of submitted material (such as pre-prints).

      •  Where material (such as figures) is included that has been published elsewhere, evidence of permission from the authors and/or publishers for this re-use (this may instead be attached as a file).

      •  Up to two suggested reviewers.

      •  Any other matters you feel the editors should be aware of.

      A separate cover letter is not required.

      Peer review

      As indicated above, only research articles are subject to peer review; other formats are reviewed by editors only.

      The peer review process operated by Degrowth is summarised as follows, using the ANSI/NISO Standard Terminology for Peer Review:

      •  Identity transparency: all identities visible, double-anonymised (author choice)

      •  Reviewer interacts with: editor

      •  Review information published: none

      Double-blinded peer review can be requested in Comments to the Editor and/or by submitting anonymised work as indicated in the general guidelines. Submissions will otherwise be reviewed non-blinded. If non-blinded, peer reviewers will be encouraged to also sign their reviews with their name.

      If submitting double-blinded, please remember the following:

      •  Submit a separate cover page, featuring all author information, statements, and acknowledgements.

      •  Do not include author names or affiliations in the manuscript or any supplementary files.

      •  Ensure file names and document properties are anonymised.

      •  If referring to your previous work in the text or reference list, avoid revealing your identity where possible.

      •  During revision ensure all documents (responses to reviewers, revised manuscripts) are similarly anonymised.

      Upon receipt of a new research article submission, the editorial collective will conduct an initial review to ensure the article is original, complete, written in clear English, correctly formatted, and relevant to degrowth. Submissions which pass this stage will be sent to at least two independent referees who will provide a review based on the quality, novelty, rigour, presentation and significance of the paper. Authors are welcome, but not required, to suggest reviewers at the submission stage. Otherwise, reviewers are selected from our database of reviewers based on their experience of the research topic. (Interested in being a reviewer? Get in touch.)

      Degrowth is committed to widening access to academia and to the principles of slow science, as outlined in our manifesto. Rejection is viewed as a last resort - used only where submissions are out of scope, do not provide an original contribution to the discourse, or are of irredeemably poor quality - and the option of resubmission is always provided. Our editorial collective seeks to work with authors to improve, rather than gatekeep, submissions. The editorial collective reserves the right, however, to reject submissions after multiple rounds of peer review if insufficient progress toward publication is being made.

      Degrowth works with a Creative Commons Licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) as standard, which allows others to copy, distribute and transmit the work so long as the work is attributed to the author(s). It allows non-commercial use of the work, but it does not allow others to alter, transform or build upon the work. See:

      Publications may use a different licence if requested by authors, for example to fulfil funding requirements.

      As copyright remains with authors, Degrowth does not provide authors with a contract. Authors are also free to use their work as they please after publication, for example reprinting it elsewhere, following the terms of the licence.

      CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

      Guidelines for book reviews

      Book reviews are expected to be 1.000-2.000 words in length (excl. references). They provide a critical evaluation of emerging literature from the broad research field of degrowth. Reviews should critically interpret or build upon the reviewed work, not simply summarise it.

      In addition to the requirements set out in the general guidelines for submissions, please include in the cover page a full reference to the text being reviewed.

      We also recommend using a subtitle to identify the text you are reviewing, for example “A review of [title]”.

      Suggested structure

      If you are unsure how to go about your review you may wish to use the following example structure, but it is not required. Different styles will suit different reviewers and different books. The review will be considered for publication as long as it provides a considered, informed and novel perspective on a degrowth-related book.

      Brief introduction

      •  Introduce the book title, authors name(s)/background, and the general topic of the book. You may wish to hint at your perspective on the book here, but do not elaborate on it.

      Summarise the book

      •  Summarise the contents of the book, picking out the main ideas and key direct quotes. You may choose to do this chapter-by-chapter. This should generally not take up more than one or two paragraphs.

        Strengths and weaknesses 

        •  Critically reflect upon the book’s ideas. Does it achieve what it sets out to? Are the arguments well evidenced? What are the limitations of the work? Which questions still need answering?

        •  We encourage you to expand on ideas raised in the book or provide alternative perspectives. However do not include original research (this would be better suited to a research paper format), and provide references to other work following the usual academic style.


        •  Summarise your review and situate the book in the wider context of degrowth literature. To whom you would recommend the book? What do you hope to see from future literature?

        Guidelines for thesis summaries

        Thesis summaries are expected to be 1.500-3.000 words in length (excl. references). 

        In addition to the requirements set out in the general guidelines for submissions, please include in the cover page a full reference to the thesis, including a link to the full text if available.

        Some general tips 

        •  The structure is fairly open, find the structure that suits your work and its message best. If you don’t feel inspired, perhaps write it as an interview, as if a journalist were to enquire about your thesis: “What is your research about?” “What did you discover?” “What methods did you use?” “How is that relevant for degrowth?”, etc. (You may use your chosen questions to section your paper). 

        •  Like other academic writing, be clear and concrete. There is no need to sugarcoat your work in fancy language, simply explain what you did, what you found out, and what you think about your results. Do not be overly defensive of your work - this is not a thesis defence nor a funding proposal - but demonstrate the contribution of your thesis.

        •  If you aimed to address specific research question(s), feel free to set these out (making sure they are accessible to lay readers). You may then be able to discuss how/whether you feel you addressed these questions.

        •  Avoid spending too much time on literature reviews and research gaps. You do not need to include a broad literature review in the style of a thesis, instead simply set out in general terms the topic you sought to address and the state of the field (with references as appropriate).

        •  Don’t fill too much space talking about methods (unless the main contribution of your thesis is of a methodological nature).

        •  You do not need to discuss the entire content of your thesis in detail if you do not wish to, especially if your thesis is not all relevant to degrowth. Decide the key message you wish to convey from your thesis, and fit the summary to that theme.

        •  Keep in mind that this document will be read by others with different disciplinary backgrounds, so try to avoid jargon where it is not necessary to understand your work and its implications. 

        •  Be critical. These summaries are mostly used by other researchers, so it’s crucial that you are straightforward about the originality and limitations of your work. 

        •  Demonstrate your research gap and significance. Connect your own work to previous works in the degrowth field, and show readers how yours contributes to that field of knowledge. 

        •  Highlight opportunities for future research. This is not only an opportunity to talk about the work you have done, but also to inspire others to take it further.

        •  Be mindful that many aspiring Master and PhD students will read your summary, so be an example of precise, stylish prose by being clear and rigorous in your writing (if you want to see what this looks like, this short book is a good place to start).