Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning Submission

Before submitting a manuscript or book review, please read over the guidelines proposal and have that proposal approved by the editors. Please note that this journal does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Before submitting a manuscript, you must submit a proposal and have that proposal approved by the editors.

Submitting via Janeways:

  • Under "section" select if you are submitting a manuscript or a book review.
  • All files, including figures and tables, must be submitted in editable formats. 
  • All files must be deidentified to ensure the integrity of the double blind review process. Author names, institutions, and place names must be redacted. Names of community-based organizations must be redacted if they are location specific, even if the manuscript is not authored by a representative from the organization. In cases where the location or region is necessary to provide for clarity, please generalize as much as possible (e.g., "a large public university in the midwest United States"). When authors are citing their previous work, they should replace their name with "Author" only when directly referencing their involvement with previous publication (e.g., "In a previous study (Author, year), I examined...").
  • PLEASE NOTE: Microsoft Word often saves author information, and this information may be visible to reviewers when they download the file from Janeway. To ensure a blind review process, use Microsoft Word's "inspect" feature to remove any author names from the file data. For more information on how to use this feature, visit Microsoft Word's help page
  • Email mjcsl@umich.edu for questions or clarification about our submission guidelines.

About Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning

The Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning or MJCSL is an open-access journal focusing on research, theory, pedagogy, and other matters related to academic service-learning, campus-community partnerships, and engaged/public scholarship in higher education.

  • Widen the community of civic engagement educators, engaged scholars, and their community partners in order to expand the number of groups and individuals who experience the benefits that accrue through engaged scholarship.
  • Encourage research, theory, pedagogy in civic engagement, campus-community partnerships, curriculum-based and co-curricular service-learning, and engaged/public scholarship.
  • Honor and develop the intellectual vigor of students, staff, faculty, and community partners.
  • Contribute to the growth of civic engagement and engaged/public scholarship in order to develop a civic temper that inspires collective action to expand access and opportunity to political, economic and social power.
  • Encourage interdisciplinary approaches to complex social issues.
  • Promote scholarly innovation that reflects and advances diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Focus and Scope for Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning

Ongoing Call for Submissions

We seek lively and original articles on research, theory, pedagogy, and other issues pertinent to (a) civic engagement, (b) campus-community partnerships, (c) curriculum-based and co-curricular service-learning, and (d) engaged/public scholarship in higher education. As an interdisciplinary journal invested in diversity, equity, and inclusion, we believe that the perspectives of multiple disciplines adds complexity and depth to the work of community engagement. We seek writing that imagines an audience of informed individuals outside of individual authors’ fields. We aim to allow diverse university and community stakeholders to engage fully in the discovery, dissemination and application of ideas. We especially encourage new and emerging scholars to submit their work. 

Submissions should ask questions that advance the overall field and reflect systematic inquiries that produce new knowledge or understanding and offer a clear intervention in the interdisciplinary field of community engagement. Methodologies may vary widely, but studies should be supported by data, textual evidence, and/or analysis and should support conclusions that have implications for scholars, teachers, and/or practitioners across various geographic locales. While the scope and sample size of submissions may be narrow, studies should offer opportunities for replication, application, or adaptation. We generally do not publish descriptions of individual programs or reflection pieces that do not move beyond lessons learned through the implementation of established community engagement principles. 

We seek writing that probes hard questions and that balances theoretical or conceptual ideas with a sharp focus on the messy, complicated details of shared experience, of real places, of people and politics. We invite submissions that are both rigorous and accessible and that embrace an expansive community perspective. Our aspiration is to appeal to both scholars and educated “lay” readers such as university students, policy professionals, activists, and anyone who may be interested in the complex and interconnected ways we engage one another.

Submission Checklist

Manuscripts should conform to the following author guidelines:

  •  Manuscripts should be no more than 7,500 words, excluding tables, references, and appendices. While we encourage authors to be as concise as possible, we acknowledge longer manuscripts may be more applicable for certain projects.
  • Manuscripts should be submitted in Times New Roman 12 pt font, double spaced, with page numbers included. 
  • References should conform to the American Psychological Association (7th edition).
  • Please render all spellings in American English. To change British or Commonwealth spellings to their American equivalents, please see the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.
  •  If audiovisual materials, tables, or charts are included, please attach individual files AND place the material within the text at the appropriate point with labels (e.g., Table 1, Fig. 2, etc.).
  •  Authors must acquire authorization for any media materials used and/or ensure they fall under the definition of fair use. 
  • Authors must carefully proofread their work before submission.

Copyright Notice

To be published in the Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, authors must agree that this is their original work and does not infringe the copyright or other intellectual property rights of another. Authors must obtain permission, where necessary, to use all material within the work in which they do not hold the copyright and will share that permission with the Publisher upon request.

Authors retain copyright in the work they publish in MJCSL. They maintain the right to use their work in any way that they lawfully wish. In the case of multiple authors, copyright remains with the authors as a group. Only one author needs to give permission for subsequent use.


Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning allows the following licences for submission:

  • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 - More Information  
    Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes. NoDerivatives — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material. No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

Publication Fees

Because MJCSL is dedicated to promoting quality scholarship that positively impacts both higher education and communities, we do not collect article processing charges (APCs). MJCSL is financially supported and managed by the Edward Ginsberg Center at the University of Michigan and, therefore, is able to be open access and free of APCs.

Peer Review

The Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning uses a double-blind peer review for Feature Articles in order to guarantee the highest level of professional and academic rigor. Peer reviewers are asked to judge manuscripts according to the following criteria:

  • Clear goals
  • Appropriateness of methods
  • Effectiveness of the presentation of ideas
  • Compellingness and uniqueness of results
  • Reflectiveness of analysis

Our unique peer review process is designed to increase collaboration and transparency between editors, authors, and reviewers and to offer substantive feedback beyond what might be accomplished by reviewers individually.

In the spirit of reflecting the meaningful collaboration we ask of campus-community partnerships, the review process has two parts: Individual Review and Synthesized Review. After answering the Individual Review questions, reviewers are expected to discuss together the Synthesized Review questions. By pooling their thoughts rather than completing the review in isolation, authors receive more in-depth, thoughtful feedback from a unified perspective. Furthermore, holding conversations presents a unique learning opportunity for reviewers, who are able to collaborate and share their knowledge of the field.


Reviewers individually fill out questions 1-3 PRIOR to talking with their fellow reviewer. Reviewers use their initial responses to these questions as the basis for their conversation with the other peer reviewer. Reviewers may revise answers to these questions after the conversation.


Next, reviewers discuss questions 4-6. Each reviewer fills out questions 4-6 during or after the conversation. Please note that we require answers to questions 4-6 from both reviewers in order to represent the conversation from each individual’s perspective. We also acknowledge that reviewers may disagree and that this approach allows reviewers to express disagreement.

Publication Cycle

MJCSL publishes a Winter and Summer issue for each volume.

If you are asked to submit a manuscript, the deadlines are:

  • For Winter Issues: June 1st
  • For Summer Issues: December 1st

Our aim is to complete the external review process and issue a decision within three months of the original date of full manuscript submission. Accepted manuscripts will be edited and published within one year, depending on the number and type of manuscripts in progress.



Public Submissions

Peer Reviewed



Book Reviews