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Author Guidelines

Abolitionist Perspectives in Social Work provides a dedicated space for abolitionist perspectives in social work research, education, and practice, which are underrepresented in most social work journals. The journal also provides a space to explore the contradictions and value conflicts that exist in the social work profession, as well as the possibilities that can emerge from challenging these contradictions and conflicts. Finally, the journal provides space to name and explore the challenges associated with raising abolitionist perspectives in social work, which are often marginalized and demeaned within the profession.

 Abolitionist Perspectives in Social Work publishes a wide range of papers including empirical research, conceptual papers, and book reviews. The journal also publishes invited commentaries or editorials that address new developments or raise critical issues that challenge the status quo in the social work profession. All manuscripts should clearly integrate an abolitionist praxis and address an area of social work research, education, practice, or policy.

Abolitionist Perspectives in Social Work publishes original work. Papers that have been previously published with substantially similar content or submitted simultaneously to another journal will not be considered.



In preparing your manuscript, one file should be created. Since Abolitionist Perspectives in Social Work uses an open peer review process, it is not necessary to deidentify your manuscript or create a separate title page.

Submissions should follow the following guidelines:

Formatting and Length: Manuscripts should be formatted according to the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA Style). The manuscript should be prepared in Microsoft Word using 1-inch margins, double spaced text, and 12-point font. The length of the paper should be approximately 5,000 - 7,500 words excluding references.

Title Page: Following APA guidelines, the title page should include the full title of the manuscript, each contributing author with affiliations, and a brief author’s note indicating the corresponding author and contact information.

Abstract: An abstract of approximately 200 words should describe the article’s main points and clearly integrate an abolitionist praxis and relevance to social work.  Three to five key words that reflect the content of the manuscript should be provided below the abstract.

Manuscript Contents: The manuscript should include an introduction that reviews the background and relevance of the topic, key arguments with supporting literature, methodology and findings (if applicable), and a discussion of key implications and contributions.

Implications for Social Work: Manuscripts should include key implications for the social work profession which may include implications for future research, education, policy, practice, or advocacy. Implications should clearly integrate an abolitionist praxis that moves the profession toward an abolitionist social work.

Tables and Figures: Tables and figures should be embedded in the manuscript at the appropriate points where they should appear rather than at the end.

Citations and References: Citations and references should follow 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA Style).

Content Relevancy: All manuscripts should be clearly relevant to the field of social work research, education, practice, or policy from an abolitionist perspective.

Below are a few resources the editors have used to determine the scope of relevant manuscripts for the journal. Though we acknowledge that abolitionist praxis is dynamic, the citations below have guided our definition of “abolitionist praxis” for the sake of journal submission specificity.



Abolitionist Perspectives in Social Work welcomes conceptual and/or theoretical articles that advance abolitionist ideas relevant to social work research, education, practice, or policy. Conceptual articles may apply an abolitionist lens to existing areas of research, education, practice, or policy, or introduce new concepts or theoretical perspectives relevant to social work.  Conceptual articles may also take the form of position papers that present an argument to advance the incorporation of an abolitionist praxis in social work.  

Conceptual articles should follow the general guidelines for preparing your manuscript described above. Conceptual articles should include: 

  • An introductory section that reviews the background and relevance of the topic, as well as a clear purpose or aim for the manuscript
  • Key arguments with supporting literature
  • Key implications and contributions
  • Specific implications for social work research, education, policy, or practice. Implications should clearly integrate an abolitionist praxis that moves the profession toward an abolitionist social work.  

Note that these components do not need to appear in the form of specific manuscript headings, but should be incorporated in the document in a conceptually clear manner.  



To submit your manuscript, register or login at First time authors should register a new account with APSW. Returning authors can login to their existing account.

After logging in:

  1. Click the Make a New Submission button at the top of this page.
  2. Select Article from the dropdown menu, verify that your manuscript meets the submission requirements, insert any comments to the editor (this can be used in lieu of a cover letter), and agree to the copyright statement. Click Save and Continue.
  3. Under the Upload Submission tab, click Upload File and attach one (1) Word document containing your complete submission including Title Page, Abstract and Key Words, Article Text, and References. All tables, figures, and illustrations should be included in the text where they should appear in the published manuscript. Click Article Text in response to the question “What kind of file is this?”, then Save and Continue.
  4. Under the Enter Metadata tab, enter the manuscript’s Title, Abstract, and Key Words. This is also where you can add additional authors by selecting Add Contributor. When all relevant information is entered, click Save and Continue.
  5. Click Finish Submission. You will receive a confirmation email. After you have submitted the manuscript, you can review your submission and check on the status by logging in and viewing the submission in your queue.



While Book Reviews and Commentaries are typically invited submissions, please contact the editors if you have an idea for a book review or commentary you would like to contribute.



Abolitionist Perspectives in Social Work uses an open peer review process. This means the identity of the author(s) and the reviewer(s) will be known by all participants during the peer review and publication process. We believe an open peer review process is most aligned with an abolitionist praxis as it encourages transparency and accountability. We also believe an open peer review process encourages more constructive reviews that improve the overall quality of submissions and facilitates publication.

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).
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The submission file is in Microsoft Word.
  • The text is double-spaced; uses a 12-point font; and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.

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