An independent forum for academic debate on the challenges faced by contemporary society

PPP Instructions to Authors

This section provides information to assist contributors in preparing submissions for People, Place and Policy (PPP). It contains information relating to the PPP style guide, submission information and details of PPP policies. You can quickly access the submission portal here, but please see further details below (section 4).


Publishing information

1.1 Background, Aims and Scope

Before you submit your article, please read the About section of the journal website.

1.2 Paper types and word limits

We welcome submissions from academics at all stages of their career as well as practitioners and policy makers from local government or third sector organisations. Submissions to PPP can be of five main kinds:

  • Research article: These papers present an original piece of scholarly research that might be empirical or theoretical in nature and with relevance to the aims and scope of the journal. The word limit for these papers is 7000 words (excluding any list of references). Submissions must follow the in-house style of PPP and include a title, abstract of up to 250 words, up to five keywords and references.
  • Review article: These papers focus on a theme of interest to the social policy community. They aim to discuss, critique and appraise the existing literature and current state of knowledge and understanding. They might identify specific gaps in the knowledge base or propose future research agendas. Submissions must follow the in-house style of PPP and include a title, abstract of up to 250 words, up to five keywords and references. These articles should not exceed 5000 words (excluding any list of references).
  • Focus article: These papers are short, topical briefings that spotlight exciting new research and developments. We invite submissions from across the academic and policy communities. Focus articles should be between 2000 and 4000 words in total (excluding any list of references). These articles should either:
    1. Inform our readership about key research findings and address the implications of the research for the policy community.
    2. Provide accounts of work undertaken by policy makers and practitioners that furthers policy knowledge and/or contributes to current debates around policy and practice.
    3. Open up debate about the potential future direction of social policy, offering something new and thought-provoking in relation to a ‘burning issue’. These ‘think pieces’ do not need to be based on original fieldwork or research.

They should have a succinct title, no abstract, up to five keywords, and minimal references. Recent examples of focus articles can be found here and here.

  • Book review: Book reviews are short articles that provide reflection and opinion on recently published scholarly books. They can take two forms: standard book reviews or review articles. Standard book reviews (1000 words in length) cover a single publication. Review articles (2000 – 3000 words – excluding any list of references) examine two or more publications, and are designed to allow authors greater scope to place their comments within wider academic and policy debates.

Reviewers are encouraged to adopt a structure that best suits their style of writing and the material under review. However, as a minimum it is expected that both types of review will include: a summary of the contents of the book(s); some commentary on the social, economic and policy context for the subject matter; and comments, plaudits and criticisms that authors think would be of interest to the readership. More information relating to the structure and layout of book reviews can be found in section 3.4.

  • Featured graphic article: This consists of a main graphic and brief accompanying article. The graphic could range from a chart to a map or any other type of graphic, providing it communicates key themes to the reader in an accessible and informative way. We would invite submissions from not only the academic profession but also the wider data visualisation community, proving the subject matter is relevant to our readership. Accompanying the graphic should be a short article of no more than 750 words (not including notes and citations). This article should include:
    • What the graphic is showing the reader and why it matters and some of the key visual points of interest.
    • A quick summary of the process the author went through in producing the graphic including some of their design choices.
    • A brief description of how the graphic was made, including technical information and what software was included. Authors may wish to include some of this information in their article notes.

The graphic should be able to be viewed as a standalone item, meaning that it can be easily viewed and understood without the accompanying article. This includes providing the necessary title, sub heading, legend, labels, annotations etc.

Authors are encouraged to submit graphics in colour, unless the use of greyscale is a key part of their design. Graphics should also be submitted in as high a resolution as possible. They should have a succinct title, no abstract, up to five keywords, and minimal references. Please see section 3.2 for further information about the image file types accepted. See recent examples of featured graphic articles.

1.3 Writing your paper

  • Submission format: Contributions must be written in English and submitted by email as a Word document. Please do not save files as ‘text only’ or ‘read only’. Files should be checked to remove any computer viruses.
  • Acknowledgements: Can be given at the end of the article, before the References section.
  • Contact author details: These should be provided on the cover page. When the article is published, they will appear at the end of the article before the references section and written in the following format: *Correspondence address: [First and last name], [Institution], [Address]. Email: [insert email address].

1.4 Publication charges and archiving

There are no submission fees or publication fees for this journal. All articles are available free of charge on the journal website.

All issues of the journal are archived on the Sheffield Hallam University servers.

2 Journal Policies

For information relating to the journals Aims and Scope, the Open Access Statement and Editorial Board members please see the About section.

2.1 Licensing terms

Read and download the PPP License agreement.

As an open access journal, authors retain the copyright in their articles and articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. License/copyright information is clearly indicated in published PDFs.

2.3 Competing Interests Policy

All authors must read and understand the Competing Interests Policy prior to submission.

2.4 Preservation Policy

We will try to ensure continued readability and accessibility and as part of that the site is regularly backed up. Articles will not be removed unless there is an acceptable reason as outlined in the Retraction Policy.

Authors are permitted, without embargo, to deposit their articles (including pre-prints and post-prints) online, e.g. in institutional repositories, in pre-print servers or on their webpages, as long as they link to the published version via DOI when the DOI becomes available.

2.5 Retraction Policy

The Editor or author may in exceptional circumstances choose to retract an article following publication in PPP. More information can be found in the journals Retraction Policy.

2.6 Misconduct and Ethics

Papers submitted to PPP may report on research findings and should have received appropriate ethical approval from their institution. If you have any queries in relation to your paper, please contact the PPP Team prior to submission. For information relating to individual areas of misconduct, see below:

  • Plagiarism: Any reports of plagiarism in PPP articles are taken very seriously. Not only do we want to protect the rights of the authors but also the reputation of the journal, so if anything of this nature is brought to our attention it will be investigated. If an article is found to have plagiarised other work, then we will take action, whether that is in the form of publishing a correction, retracting the article or reporting it to the authors’ institution.
  • Research misconduct: If the research has not been conducted within an appropriate ethical framework/process, the article may be rejected. But if the article has been published then the article could be retracted in accord with the PPP Retraction Policy.
  • Authorship: Authors are required to provide a full list of authors and it should only contain names of those who have made a significant contribution to the work (author criteria includes: contribution to the conception, design, analysis, interpretation of data, writing and/or revision of the manuscript) as they are accountable for the content once it is in the public domain. Corresponding authors are expected to confirm with any co-authors to ensure that they approve the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication. Anyone who does not fit the criteria of an author, can be listed in the Acknowledgements section of the paper.

If an author discovers a significant error in their published article, they are under obligation to notify the PPP Team and assist them in retracting or correcting the paper. Similar cooperation is expected of the author if PPP contacts them regarding any issue reported to us by third parties.

Complaints: Any complaints or queries in relation to these items or anything else should be sent through to and the Editorial Team will deal with and respond.

3 Preparing your paper

PPP does not impose a rigid house style but we would prefer articles to conform to some basic conventions as outlined below. We would also encourage the use of the template provided on our website. We stress the importance of three guidelines: common usage, consistency and, above all, clarity.

3.1 Formatting and file type

Papers must be submitted in Word format. We have supplied a Word template to help you in preparing your paper, along with the PPP Style Guide below for details on the basic style requirement.

House style

  • Font: Franklin Gothic Book in size 10
  • Margins: 3 cm
  • Headings: First level headings should be bold, size 12. Second level headings should be bold italics, size 11. Third level headings should be bold italics, size 10. No numbering should be used on headings.
  • -ise spellings should be used wherever ‘s’ and ‘z’ are alternatives.
  • Single quotation marks should be used, with double for quotes within quotes; revert to single for quotes within quotes within quotes. Use no quotation marks around indented extracts.
  • Quotations of more than three or four lines should be indented in the text. When this is done no quotation marks are needed, except where they appear in the original. Any words interpolated by the author in a quotation should be enclosed in square brackets [ ] to show that they are not part of the quoted matter.
  • Dates should be written 21 December 1971 and decades should be the 1970s without an apostrophe.
  • Abbreviations consisting of capital, initial letters are usually expressed without full stops – GNP, EU etc. Contractions ending with the same letter as the original word do not take a terminal full stop (edn, Mr, Dr) but if they do not take the same letter then a full stop is included (ed., ch.). Thus ed. and eds are the correct forms. The abbreviations etc., i.e. and e.g. are usually best replaced by ‘and so on’, ‘that is’ and ‘for example’.
  • Numbers from one to nine should be written out in full unless using decimal places; figures should be used for numbers above ten.
  • Bullet points and bulleted lists can be used in articles but should be used sparingly.
  • Per cent is spelt out in the text and the number preceding it appears in figures. The symbol (%) can be used in tables.
  • Full stops are not needed after headings, sub-headings, and table and figure captions.
  • All contributions to the journal should use gender-neutral
  • Endnotes and footnotes are not permitted and should be avoided wherever possible. All relevant information, other than references, should be incorporated within the text. If you add any footnotes or endnotes these will be moved by the Copy-Editor to a ‘Notes’ section which will appear before the References section.

3.2 Tables figures and other artwork

Tables, figures and maps can be inserted into the main text. But in order to maintain the highest possible quality on the website we request that the original figures are also supplied separately. The files should be high quality and in one of the following formats: JPEG, EPS, TIFF.

Special requirements for reproducing tables, figures and maps should be indicated in correspondence with the editors. It is the responsibility of the authors to obtain permission to reproduce previously published tables, figures and maps, and this permission should be clearly stated in notes under the table.

3.3 References

A full list of references must be included at the end of the article: please do not use footnotes or endnotes for these. References should include all authors’ names and initials; year of publication; title of article or book; the full title of the journal, volume and page numbers; and, for books and other outputs, the publisher’s name and place of publication. For example:

Report / Book:

  • Style – Author surname, initial. (Year) Article Title. Publisher location: Publisher name.
  • Example – Charlesworth, S. (2000) A phenomenology of working class experience. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Online report:

Book chapter:

  • Style – Author surname, initial., Author surname, initial. and Author, Initials. (Year) Article Title. In: Editor Surname, Initials (ed) Book title. Publisher location: Publisher name, page numbers.
  • Example – Beatty, C., Fothergill, S., Houston, D. and Powell, R. (2010) Women on incapacity benefits: New survey evidence from the UK. In: Kemp, P A (ed) Social Protection for a Post Industrial World. Mortsel: Intersentia, 115-138.

Academic publication:

  • Style – Author surname, initial., Author surname, initial. and Author, Initials. (Year) Article Title. Journal name, volume number, issue number, page numbers.
  • Example – Bailey, N. and Pill, M. (2011) The continuing popularity of the neighbourhood and neighbourhood governance in the transition from the ‘big state’ to the ‘big society’ paradigm. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 29, 5, 927-942.


  • Style – Author surname, initial. (Year) Article Title. Newspaper name, [online] Available at: URL [Accessed: DD/MM/YYYY].
  • Example – Townsend, M. (2013) Special report: The real story of Britain’s Roma: excluded, ignored and neglected. The Observer, [online] Available at:  [Accessed: 17/02/14].


  • Style – Author surname, initial. (Year) Presentation Title. Conference name, location, date.
  • Example – Gore, T. (2017) Collaborative governance under siege: The disparate prospects of inter-municipal associations (‘mancomunidades’) in Spain. Presentation to the International Geographical Union Geography of Governance Commission Annual Conference, Local Governance in the New Urban Agenda, University of Salento, Lecce, Italy, 19th-21st October.



Social Media Post:

  • Style – Author surname, initial. [username] (Year) Title or text. [website name] day month. Available at: URL [Accessed: DD/MM/YYYY].


  • Style – Hansard (Year) Name of House abbreviated (ie HC or HL) Debate, vol number, col. number(s), full date.
  • Example – Hansard (2018) HC Debate, vol 643, col 190, 21 June 2018.
  • In-text citation – Hansard Name of House abbreviated (i.e. HC or HL) Deb., date. Example – (Hansard HC Deb., 21 June 2018)

References should be cited in the text by giving the last name of the author(s) followed by the year of publication in parentheses, for example, Lyde and Dunston (1995); (Dunston, 1997a, 1997b). For three or more authors use the first author followed by et al.

3.4 Further Notes for Book Reviewers

Information about the book under review and the reviewer should be laid out along the same lines as the following example shown in the box:

Climate Change and Society
John Urry
Cambridge: Polity Press, 2011, pp. 217, £15.99 (pb)
ISBN 978 0 7456 5037 1

Will Eadson*
Sheffield Hallam University

References: These should only be included where absolutely necessary. They should follow the conventions outlined in section 3.3.

Queries: All queries about book reviews can be directed to the Reviews Editor, Tony Gore, by emailing the PPP mailbox PPP is open to suggestions about books to review.

4 Submission

4.1 Cover sheet

Once your article is ready for submission you will need to prepare a cover sheet, which should include:  Article title, author names and institutions, contact details for corresponding author. Please ensure that you upload an anonymised version of your article for peer-review purposes.

4.2 Submitting your article

Articles to be considered for publication in PPP should be submitted via the online portal, OJS, which we use to manage submissions and the peer-review process.

Any emails you receive are sent via the automated system, if you do not receive any emails, please contact us via the PPP inbox and we can investigate.

If you have not submitted a paper to this journal before, you will need to create an account. If you need any help with this system please contact the PPP Editorial Team.

4.3 Submission checklist

  1. Author details: All authors should include their full name and affiliation on the title page. Please identify the corresponding author and include their postal and email address for adding to the paper. If you require more than one author to be listed in the correspondence details please ensure that their postal and email addresses are also included.
  2. Abstract: If applicable to your submission type, have you included your abstract.
  3. Keywords: If applicable to your submission type, have you provided up to 5 keywords under the abstract.
  4. Figures: Do you have the original files ready for upload? And have you included relevant captions/titles in the main document?
  5. Video: If you are submitting an Editorial or Focus article, you can opt to include a short video along with your article. Further information is available in section 6.2 below.
  6. Journal policies: Have you reviewed the policies on the site prior to submission?

5 Peer Review Process

Only some of the papers submitted to PPP are subject to blind peer-review.

Research articles and Reviews are always peer reviewed.  For peer review, at least two external referees from the appropriate field are consulted.  Reviewers are contacted before being sent a paper and are asked to return comments within three weeks for most papers.  We only ask the original reviewers of a manuscript to re-review the revised version if we believe the paper has been significantly improved but still requires expert opinion. The final responsibility for decisions of acceptance or rejection of submitted manuscripts lies with the editors.

Focus articles and Featured Graphic articles may also be evaluated by outside experts although this is at the discretion of the editors.  Book reviews are not usually peer reviewed.  All submissions will be reviewed by a member of the editorial team for quality, interest and clarity of presentation.

Referees are asked to respond to the following questions:

  • Does the paper make a contribution to the field?
  • Is it well argued and logically structured?
  • Is the article well expressed and the narrative easy to follow?
  • What aspects of the article, if any, require further reflection, development or clarification?
  • Does it appear that English is not the author(s)’s first language? Does the author(s)’s use of English require particular attention?

6 Final proofs and copyediting

Once your article has been through the review process it will be sent to for copyediting and then returned to the corresponding author for checking. It is the corresponding author’s responsibility to circulate the proofs to any co-authors if required. When you have checked the final proof, you need to return the paper to us and this will be prepared for publication.

6.1 Blog

When papers are accepted for publication, authors are encouraged to submit a lay or non-technical summary of their piece for publication in our sister site [SIPS] blog. SIPS have their own house style that authors need to adhere to, which can be provided if you express interest in writing a blog. When you submit your article, please leave a comment expressing your interest and the Editors will explain the process and put you in contact with the SIPS blog team.

6.2 Videos

If you would like to introduce your article using a short video, this can be arranged. You can see a recent example of how a video can be used here. These videos are uploaded to the CRESR YouTube Channel and then featured on your article page. Further details can be provided if you express interest in this facility. Please leave a comment expressing your interest when you submit your article and further details can be forwarded on to you.

7 Queries about your paper

All queries about articles or the journal can be directed to the editors by email at or by phone on 0114 225 3073. The editors welcome informal discussion about the scope and relevance of potential articles or to clarify any of the points in this document.