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R&D publishes research articles, policy & practice notes, and book reviews.

Until the online submission system is fully operational, submissions should be sent to the Editorial Manager via email:

Research Articles

Research articles should provide high-quality, state-of-the-art contributions to the academic debate advancing the research in the field.
We encourage articles based on empirical research in all its forms, as well as those with conceptual or theoretical focus.
Research articles are fully peer reviewed (double anonymous).
The typical structure of an (empirical) research article would be as follows

  • Introduction (introducing the motivation of the paper, outlining the topic/research question and its relevance, delineating the approach taken in the paper and ideally providing a preview on its results and their implications)
  • Literature Review (reviewing the state of the art of research relating to the topic of the paper – might be included in the introduction instead of a separate section)
  • Theoretical framework (outlining theoretical and conceptual models and core assumptions undergirding the research approach – if applicable, might also form a joint section with the literature review)
  • Methods (outlining the methodological approach and the data/materials used)
  • Analysis and results (presenting the results or analysis)
  • Discussion (discussing the central findings and relating them to the existing literature; discussing limitations of the research; discussing the implications and providing policy implications (if any); highlighting need for further research)
  • Conclusion (summary of the main results and their (policy) implications (optional, in principal this should all be covered in the Discussion section)

In light of the disciplinary and methodological diversity of the research published in R&D, authors are free to structure their manuscripts in accordance with the needs their specific research approach. The structure should serve to increase the quality of the presentation of the research and the clarity of the argument. However, the basic three-tiered structure of Introduction, main body and Discussion should always be followed in order to ensure accessibility of all papers across the diverse readership of the journal.
Research articles should typically have a length of 6,000 to 8,000 words (excluding abstract and bibliography). If longer manuscripts are submitted, a justification should be provided.

Policy & Practice Notes

With the format of policy & practice notes, R&D seeks to foster knowledge exchange between academia, practice and policy. The content should be relevant for the religion and development debate and be of interest to both practitioners and scholars.
The nature of a policy & practice note is relatively flexible. Contributions can, for example, include:

  • reflections on and lessons learned from specific programmes, projects or interventions,
  • scoping studies and thorough mappings of specific themes,
  • summaries of more comprehensive research publications or project results,
  • contributions highlighting specific needs for research or action,
  • essays of argumentative character or
  • perspectives of local actors, religious communities or religious leaders.

It is essential that the article is well-written and well-structured, and the argumentation is both clear and coherent.
The reflective depth is a crucial evaluation criterion in the review process. Articles should not be merely descriptive in nature but provide a critical engagement with the material presented.
Kindly avoid advertising a specific organisation or religious community.
Citation of relevant documents and academic literature can be used but does not need to be extensive.
Policy & practice notes should include an abstract and 3 to 7 keywords. The length of the abstract should be between 100 and 250 words. It should briefly summarize the article and its implications. Kindly note that the abstract should be a standalone text and does not constitute an introduction. Consequently, the introduction needs to contain all the relevant information even without being preceded by the abstract.
Policy and practice articles are fully peer reviewed. Each submission will be reviewed (double anonymous) by a practitioner and a scholar.
Policy & practice notes should have a length of 2,000 to 4,000 words (excluding abstract and bibliography). If longer manuscripts are submitted, a justification should be provided.

Book Reviews

Please submit the review as an e-mail attachment in MS Word for Windows with subject ‘Book Review/Review Article for Religion & Development’ to our book reviews editor: Barbara Bompani, the University of Edinburgh, e-mail:
Please do not use references or footnotes in a review, though they are allowed in a review article.
When quoting from the book under review please always include a page number, in brackets after the quote, e.g. (p.20). It is not necessary to give page numbers if not quoting directly.
The length of book reviews are usually between 800 and 1,000 words and 3,000 words for a review article (that usually discusses four titles).
Please head the review with the title of the book in bold, by (author). Place of publication: publisher, date of publication + page number. If applicable please also provide paper, hardback or e-book price and ISBN. For example:
Africa Works: The Political Instrumentalization of Disorder, by Patrick Chabal and Jean-Pascal Daloz. Bloomington, IN: James Currey and Indiana University Press, 1999. Pp.192. Paperback: $24.95, ISBN 0253212871.
Please end the review with your name, institutional affiliation and your e-mail address. It is our policy to print your e-mail address, unless you specifically ask us not to.
For example:
Center of African Studies,
The University of Edinburgh
If this is your first book review, this is what we are expecting in a good submission:

  • A concise summary of the book’s contents and any overarching argument. In case of edited collection, please try to provide a summary around themes and do not simply list the contents of each chapter.
  • There should be an overall assessment of the book.
  • The book should be placed in the context of other work on the same subject.
  • Criticism, when possible, should be tempered with positive comments.


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Author Guidelines to be uploaded shortly