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Australian Journal of Defence and Strategic Studies

Editorial Guidelines and Policies


AJDSS promotes clear thinking, accessibility, continuous learning and critical understanding. As such, the preferred style is for plain English prose that is direct, dynamic, coherent, well organised and engaging.

Short simple sentences and common words are better than verbose prose that does not aid understanding or improve the academic quality of the work. Keep it simple. Avoid jargon and corporate-speak. Spell out all acronyms in full on first use. Ensure highly technical concepts and terminology are well defined and used in a context that is clear to a non-specialist reader.

Manuscripts should be of a professional publishable standard. On matters of spelling, grammar and editing please refer to the Style Guide for authors, editors and printers Sixth Edition Revised by Snooks & Co. John Wiley & Sons Australia Ltd 2002 as a general guide.

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AJDSS seeks to engage and inform Australian military and Defence personnel, our allies and partners as well as international and regional academics, researchers, policy-makers and defence sector stakeholders of current issues, debates, perspectives and multi-disciplinary research on Australian defence and strategic security matters.

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AJDSS is published twice annually in print and electronic format online. Online-only content may also be published from time to time when required due to publishing or timeliness constraints.

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Double Blind Peer Review Process

The Australian Journal of Defence and Strategic Studies requires double blind peer review of submitted academic papers, that is, the reviewer's name will not be disclosed to the author/s and author/s name will not be revealed to reviewer/s.

When submitting manuscripts for consideration authors should remove any identifying information and provide a separate cover sheet. All effort will be made in to ensure that correspondence and document properties/metadata maintain the confidential information of writers and reviews.

Submissions will initially be assessed by the editorial office to ensure they are suitable for the journal and meet submission guidelines.

The editorial staff will consider:

  • Does the manuscript conform to the submission guidelines?
  • Is the content appropriate for the journal?
  • Is the written standard of the submission of sufficient quality?
  • Will the submission educate, interest and engage readers

The editorial office will also check that the author has provided sufficient information to ensure clarity of copyright approval for any third party materials included in the submission or other supplementary materials. They will assess any declarations regarding potential conflicts of interest, funding conditions, timelines and cross check the details provided for authorship.

Poor quality or inappropriate submissions may be rejected at this stage or returned to authors to redraft to conform with the guidelines. Requests that the author redraft the manuscript should not be construed as an offer to publish or accept the submission once redrafted.

Submissions once accepted for peer review will be allocated to editorial board members of suitable expertise in the subject area or to independent specialists where necessary and available.

The choice of reviewer and all editorial decisions are at the discretion of the Editor and Managing Editor in consultation with the editorial board.

Reviewers will consider the following criteria:

  • Is the submission original, relevant and of sufficient quality for publication in the AJDSS?
  • Is the submission likely to have significance or impact or advance scholarship in the subject area? Is the argument clear and the conclusion logical and well-reasoned? If not how could it be improved?
  • Does the referencing in the submission appear to be accurate, and where applicable, is the research methodology sound and ethical?
  • Are any figures, tables or illustrations provided with the article appropriate, clear and meaningful?
  • Is the writing style appropriate and clear to an interested reader who may not be expert in the area? For instance, are highly technical elements clearly explained in plain language?

The reviewer will write a reasoned one-page report recommending the submission be accepted, redrafted (with minor or major changes) or rejected.

The report will also provide feedback on how the submission meets the criteria, its strengths/weaknesses and advise on possible areas for improvement to feedback to the author and editor. The report will be sent to the editorial office.

Where appropriate, particularly where the content is highly specialised, controversial or where the review is ambiguous in its recommendations, the editor may undertake a second blind review.

Should a reviewer be aware of highly similar research or have concerns regarding potential plagiarism issues with a submission they should contact the editorial department for further investigation.

Reviewers will notify the Editor immediate to raise concerns they may have regarding real or perceived conflicts of interest with a submission.

Where the reviewer has recommended the submission should be rejected or redrafted, with minor or major amendments, the peer review report will be forwarded to the author, who may then redraft and resubmit. When a manuscript is resubmitted the editorial office will consider how effectively the author has responded to the feedback and addressed the peer review report recommendations. Resubmission does not guarantee the paper will be accepted for publication or for a second review.

Submissions recommended for publication through the peer review process will be collated for consideration by the Editorial Board, who will then recommend a short list of submissions for publication to the Editor. The editorial office will decide on the final content and composition of each issue.

Successful authors will be contacted and asked to sign publication agreements awarding mutually agreed copyright terms.

Once accepted for publication, submissions will undergo copy-editing, and design layout and production proofing processes. The editorial office may correspond with authors to clarify and confirm editorial changes if necessary. Authors will generally not be provided with proofs of the final manuscript due to time and budgetary constraints.

As far as possible the peer review process will be timely and transparent. Responses to authors to notify them of receipt of their submissions should be sent within a month.

Reviewers will return submissions with their recommendations within six weeks unless otherwise arranged or discussed with the editorial office. Where delays arise, reviewers will contact the editorial office so alternative reviewers can be canvassed if necessary. Editorial board meetings to short list submissions for publication will take place at least two months prior to publication deadlines to allow for copyediting and production checks.

Authors should expected that the editorial office and peer reviewers:

- treat them with honesty, courtesy and transparency
- treat submissions with proper dignity, and fairness
- conduct a peer review process that is rigorous and timely.

The published article will constitute the final definitive and citable version of the scholarly record.

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The Australian Journal of Defence and Strategic Studies is published by the Commonwealth of Australian under a Creative Commons- Attribution 4.0 International licence. This allows users to copy and redistribute the material and to adapt, remix, transform and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.

When an article is accepted for publication, authors must agree to publish under the terms of the Creative Commons licence and to sign a consent deed poll.

The author/s must have the authority to give permission, i.e. they must be the copyright owner/s of the work

Authors must also verify the copyright status of any supporting third party materials used within their submission and where required gain permission for the reuse and publication of these materials. Proof they have attained permission from the copyright owner should be provided with the submission. Third party supporting materials may include line art, diagrams, data, photographs, artwork, charts, tables and figures, maps, infographics, digital images or screen captures from video or films.

Should authors have any concerns regarding publishing their work under a Creative Commons Attribution, they should contact the Centre for Defence Research to discuss their particular circumstances.

For more information see
An example of the deed can be downloaded here.

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Concurrent Submissions and withdrawals

Authors should not submit previously published manuscripts or articles that are under considered elsewhere.

Authors should notify the editorial office in writing of any change in circumstances that may affect the publication of the manuscript or to request the withdrawal of a manuscript from consideration.

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AJDSS does not pay for articles or provide royalty payments but may on occasion pay modest honoraria.

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Authorship and Contributors

The authorship of research or a scholarly article should be clear. Confirmation should be provided on the title page of each submission that all listed contributing authors have agreed to the version of the article submitted and the arrangement of names. The contact details of all authors should be provided as consent will be verified at the part of the submission assessment process.

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Personnel on active duty, academics working for other institutions, and other public service and civilian personnel may need to seek official clearances prior to submission and should contact their relevant public affairs or communications departments for advice. Please indicate when submitting manuscripts that clearances have been granted.

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Time Frames for decisions

The editorial office will endeavour to respond to all submissions within a month of receipt to advise whether a manuscript has been forwarded for peer review or rejected. The peer review process can take up to six months.

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The editorial board and office of AJDSS takes any allegation of plagiarism extremely seriously. If plagiarism in a submitted manuscript be detected via spot checks or through the peer review process the manuscript will be rejected and returned to the author.

Any complaints or concerns regarding plagiarism should be raised with the editor via for investigation by the editor and/or consideration by the editorial board. Plagiarism includes copying text, data, supplementary materials or ideas without suitable attribution or only minor modification.

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Citation manipulation

Citation rates are not to be inappropriately increased. Authors should not disproportionately cite from their own work. The editorial office of AJDSS will not ask authors to cite from the journal to artificially boost citation rates. Peer reviewers will not suggest a submission be redrafted to include citations from their own work for the purpose of increase citation rates.

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Allegations of misconduct

Concerns regarding the legal or ethical integrity of research or alleging misconduct such as plagiarism, falsification or fabrication should be addressed to the editor. All such allegations are taken very seriously and will be investigated.

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If an author feels they have a strong case for their work to be reconsidered for publication they can appeal the decision. Appeals should be made in writing and sent via email to for consideration by the editor and/or the editorial board.

Concerns may also be directed to the Correspondence section for publication within the journal. These should be submitted via email with the subject line - Correspondence submission. When an error occurs within the publication or a correction is required the editorial office will make all reasonable effort to correct the record within the printed and online versions of the journal.

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Complaints and comments relating to material published, or on editorial management and decisions, may also be submitted for consideration to with the subject line: Complaints.

Concerns may also be directed to the Correspondence section for publication within the journal. These should be submitted via email with the subject line - Correspondence submission. When an error occurs within the publication or a correction is required the editorial office will make all reasonable effort to correct the record within the printed and online versions of the journal.

Author's are responsible for the factual accuracy of their articles and ADC Publications and its editorial advisory board accepts no responsibility for errors of fact.

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Post publication discussion

AJDSS encourages discussion and invites contributions to its Correspondence section. The Editorial office will endeavor to provide an accurate and fair representation of correspondence received where a greater number of submissions are received than can be published.

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The AJDSS is an open source publication. A limited number of each issue of AJDSS are printed for distribution to universities, libraries, academics, stakeholders and subscribers. In addition, each issue is available online via

Those wishing to subscribe or unsubscribe from the hardcopy distribution list for AJDSS should refer to Contact Us page of the website. The website is also the access point for interested online-only readers to register to receive an email notification when a new issue is available to access online or download in pdf format.

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In the future event that AJDSS is discontinued and no longer published, either in print or online, the archive is to be preserved via an appropriate electronic backup or archive service.

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