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Author Guidelines

Note that full Journal editorial policies are available at

Suitable topics for submissions to the Journal

The Journal publishes articles on the broad theme of career development in any context:  

  • Career development in the workplace: private and public sector, small, medium, and large organisations, private practitioners.
  • Career development in education: schools, colleges, universities, adult education, public career services.
  • Career development in the community: third age, voluntary, charity, social organisations, independent contexts, public career services.

Career development is understood here to encompass both discussions of how individuals and groups make their way through life, learning and work and interventions that take place within education, employment, and welfare systems to support human flourishing.

It is designed to be read by individuals who are involved in career development related work in a wide range of settings including information, advice, counselling, guidance, advocacy, coaching, mentoring, psychotherapy, education, teaching, training, scholarship, research, consultancy, human resources, management, or policy. The journal has a national and international readership.

The Journal does not publish articles that address the following areas without including material of explicit relevance to career development:

  • Human resources, such as recruitment and selection
  • Education
  • The psychology or sociology of work

Authors should make the relevance of their topic to the field of career development explicit. 

Use of literature

All submissions are expected to make appropriate use of the published literature on careers, career counselling, and career education.  Authors should consult the Journal archive to familiarise themselves with the Journal style, and the nature of articles previously published on their topic. 

Authors should not assume that readers are familiar with the contexts that they are writing about. This means that all articles should include sufficient background material to make them intelligible to readers who are learning about this area for the first time. The readership is predominantly in the UK and Europe, but becoming increasingly global.  Authors should consider the literature that will connect with the readers’ understandings and help to contextualise the article.


Article length

There are two options available to authors – full length articles, and short articles. The word counts indicated do not include the listing of references at the end of the article.

Full length articles:  The target length is 5000 words and submissions will be accepted in the range 4000-6000 words. These articles will be expected to include strong academic content. They may be empirical or discursive. 

Short articles: The target length is 2000 words, and submissions will be accepted in the range 1,200-2,500 words.  The guidance on article structures will be interpreted more flexibly for short articles. These are intended to attract diverse submissions such as:

  • A rapid update on policy developments
  • Reporting an evaluation of a new service
  • Reporting on research conducted for a Masters’ dissertation
  • Reflections on practice
  • A ‘point of view’ article

In addition to articles, the Journal also publishes book reviews. Their target length is 600-800 words. All book reviews should be discussed with the editor prior to submission. 

Obituaries may be published in the ‘news’ section of the Journal and the format should be discussed with the editor prior to submission. 

Front page details for all articles

Article title:  For layout purposes, titles need to be brief.  Authors are advised to avoid poetic phrasing and to keep the title simple, functional and closely related to the content – this makes it easier for potential readers using search engines to find the article.

Author details:   The Journal has a policy of open reviewing.  Submissions are not anonymous, so include author names on the submission. The front page of the submission should not be separated.

  • Author names should not include titles (Dr; Professor etc)
  • Where possible include an organisational affiliation. Keep this brief.  The name of an employer is adequate; avoid giving lengthy details of departmental location, or multiple affiliations.  
  • Identify one author as the corresponding author and supply their email address.

Abstract:  Each article should be prefaced by an abstract of no more than 100 words.

Key words:  Identify a minimum of three and maximum of six key words or phrases.  Where the word ‘career’ is used it should be singular (e.g. ‘career guidance’; NOT ‘careers guidance’).  If the article relates to services in a specific nation, then include that name of the nation as a key word.  Note this requirement specifically includes England. 

Article structure for empirical articles

This relates to articles reporting research data.  They should normally adopt a conventional structure:   

  • Front page including abstract
  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion (which may include recommendations)
  • References

This approach can be adapted to best communicate the research process and outcomes.  For example, authors reporting qualitative research may choose to merge the results and discussion section. Authors using uncommon research methods may need a bespoke structure.

Where empirical data has been generated from human participants, or concerns living people, the methods section must include a paragraph that addresses research ethics. 

Article structure for non-empirical/discursive articles

This relates to articles discussing a topic, but not presenting empirical data.

  • Front page including abstract
  • Introduction
  • Section headings (typically 2-4)
  • Conclusion (which may include recommendations)
  • References

Articles with the prime purpose of presenting a literature review should also include a methods section describing the process that was undertaking to source and select material. 

A clear argument should be presented. 

Structure for book reviews

Book reviews will normally be in the region of 600-800 words. They should begin by supplying the following information:

Title of book, names of authors/editors, place of publication, publisher, year of publication, number of pages, cost (if known), and the ISBN number, name of reviewer and their organisation/affiliation

The review should:

  • Describe the kind of book it is e.g. textbook, monograph, edited collection, general, advanced research, popular.
  • Briefly describe the author(s)
  • Summarise the key ideas, structure and layout of the book
  • Indicate the extent to which it is part of an established genre, or innovating/ground-breaking
  • Assess the suitability of the book for its potential users e.g. practitioners, lecturers, researchers, students, general users / readers.
  • Outline strengths and weaknesses of the book and provide a brief rationale.
  • Allow a reader to be able to decide whether the book is worth buying and/or using.

The review can include reference to other literature. In which case, cite and list references using the guidelines for articles.   

Presentation and English

Use UK English spelling and grammar consistently for all articles. Authors familiar with other English styles should note the required UK spelling of common words in this field:  counsellor; counselling; labour; centre; CV (curriculum vitae instead of ‘resume’).  Avoid the use of spoken English contractions, for example instead of ‘don’t’ use ‘do not’, except when giving a verbatim quotation. 

Formatting, page layout and typeface:

  • Please keep formatting simple i.e. do not use style sheets or heading formatting.
  • Left justify headings and text (i.e. align left).
  • Use Arial typeface in 12 point size.
  • Use 1.5 line-spacing throughout unless text is within tables or figures.
  • Use a single space after a full stop, comma and semi-colon.
  • Always insert a line space at the end of a paragraph. Do not indent a new paragraph.

Use of headings

A clear hierarchy of headings is required.

  • First level subheadings should appear in bold (not underlined) and with one line space above the subheading. Only the first letter in the first word within the subheading should be capitalised unless a proper noun.
  • Second level subheadings should not appear in bold. Sub-headings should only be used if there is more than one sub-heading/section. Use sub-headings sparingly and avoid using more than two levels of sub-heading to aid clarity.


Quotations from published sources: 

Use single quotation marks for quoting within a paragraph, and double marks for quotations within quotations. Quotations of over 40 words in length should be indented from the left margin using the indent function. Do not use word spaces or tabs to indent text. There should be a line space above and below the extract. The source of quotation should be in brackets on right, on the line below – this citation should include a page number where possible. The exact spelling and punctuation of the original must be copied faithfully. When indented, quotation marks should not be applied unless the quotation includes a conversation, in which case, single quotation marks should apply. Your own interpolations into quoted matter should be enclosed in square brackets.  Avoid using quotations from secondary sources. 

Quotations from artistic sources

Direct quotation from poetry, song, film, fictional literature etc. should be avoided as this may require special copyright permissions.

Quotations from research participants:

Use italics for all verbatim quotations. Indent all participants’ comments of more than 6 words. Short phrases may be included in main body text in single quote marks and italicised. 


  • Do not put a space in front of a question mark or in front of any other closing punctuation mark. To punctuate et cetera use ‘etc.’ and to punctuate for example use ‘e.g.’.
  • Use the 'Oxford comma' in a list to clearly separate the final two elements e.g. 'bananas, figs, apples, and pears'.
  • Do not place a comma after ‘e.g.’ or ‘i.e.’.
  • Unless it is part of a citation in brackets, do not use an ampersand (&) in the main text.
  • Do not use more than six bullet points in a single run. Try to keep use of bullet points to a minimum.


Spell out numerals under 10 (e.g. seven). Exceptions to this rule include measurements, percentages and ages (e.g. 9cm; 5%; 7 years old). Use numerals for numbers greater than 10. 

Capital letters  

Keep the use of capitals to a minimum. Use lower case for government, church, state, party, etc. unless a specific one is named (e.g. the Labour Party; the Scottish Government).  Consider if a word is a proper noun (name), and if not favour lower case.

 Footnotes and end notes

Avoid these where possible.  Please keep these to an absolute minimum. Restrict their use to explanatory statements that would be a distraction in the main body text.

Track changes and comments

It is the author’s responsibility to strip out all track changes and comments prior to submission/resubmission.  

Citations and referencing  

Citations and referencing should follow the style guide of the American Psychological Association (APA 7th Edition). Note that this Journal only follows the citation and referencing elements of APA style, NOT the presentational and writing style elements. 

A brief summary of the style is given below.  Prior to contacting the Journal editor with queries, for further referencing details please refer to: American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th edition). American Psychological Association. Use this web resource for quick queries:

In-text citations

Citations in the main text should be given as follows: Smith and Brown (1998) or (Smith & Brown, 1998). Where there are three or more authors, give the name of the first author and insert et al., including at first use, unless doing so would create ambiguity (italics not needed): Smith et al. (1997) or (Smith et al. 1997).

For a direct quotation, wherever possible the page number should be given in the citation:  Smith and Brown (1998, p.175) or (Smith & Brown, 1998, p.175).

List of references

The following examples illustrate how typical sources should be presented in the reference list:

Arulmani, G., Bakshi, A. J., Leong, F. T. L., & Watts, A. G. (Eds.). (2014). Handbook of career development: International perspectives. Springer.
Inkson, K. (2004). Images of career: Nine key metaphors, Journal of Vocational Behavior, 65(1), 96-111.
McCash, P. (2008). Career studies handbook: Career development learning in practice 

Savickas, M. L. (2013). Career construction theory and practice. In S. D. Brown & R. W. Lent (Eds.), Career development and counseling: Putting theory and research to work (2nd ed., pp. 147-183). Wiley.

Arranging the list:  The list should be subtitled ‘References’ in bold with all references arranged alphabetically in a single run i.e. no separation of books and web references.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI) reference:  All journal articles should include a DOI reference where this is available.  Do not insert a full stop following the DOI reference. See Inkson (2004) above. Use the prefix:

Italics:  Use italics for journal and book titles.

Please note that the town/city, country/state of publication is no longer required in APA 7th edition.  Also note that date of retrieval of web sources is not required except where one might expect rapid changes, for example an online news media source. 

Diagrams, images, and illustrations

Any diagrams or illustrations must be sent in a separate file (in high quality .jpeg or gif format) with an indication in the text of where they should be placed.  Photographs will not normally be used – consult the editor if this is necessary for your submission.

Colour can be used in diagrams but with restraint, bearing in mind that some readers may print out articles in black and white. Monochrome is perfectly acceptable.  If a single colour is used then consider green (in MS Word the custom colours for the NICEC livery are Hex: 4BA82D or RGB 75, 168, 45).  Colours in diagrams supplied may be edited to fit in with the visual layout of the Journal.

Simple tables in MS Word do not need to be sent as a separate file.  


Articles should be submitted online at  using the ‘make a submission’ button. 

First draft articles should submitted as MS Word documents.  Files should be named with the first author surname + date of submission (DD.MM.YYYY), for example:  Smith21.03.2023.docx

Additional files should adopt the same convention e.g. Smith21.03.2023.diagram.jpeg

In the event of the named author submitting more than one paper, then distinguish them clearly e.g. by adding the name of an additional author or keyword. 

Subsequent drafts should be distinguished by version numbering.  For example, a second draft would be Smith21.03.2023.v2.docx



Submission Preparation Checklist

All submissions must meet the following requirements.

  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The text adheres to the stylistic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
  • Citations and references conform to the APA 7th edition guidelines.  
  • The text uses 1.5 line-spacing; uses a 12-point font
  • all illustrations, figures, and tables are provided as separate files.
  • The main submission file is in Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • The author has read the Journal copyright, licencing and privacy statements and understands that making a submission will be taken as acceptance of these arrangements.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided. Journal DOI numbers must use the prefix


Section default policy

Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party. As a United Kingdom based publisher, UK data protection legislation will apply.