Contribute to the Journal

Planning for Higher Education invites well-written articles about important trends and issues that could influence academic planning and management, about novel or effective planning techniques, and about applied research of relevance to educational decision-making. Reviews of books of interest to higher education planners are also welcome.

We welcome timely submissions of practical, actionable content on a variety of topics related to integrated planning throughout the year.

Author Guidelines and How to Submit

Manuscript Types

Five manuscript types are welcomed for publishing in Planning for Higher Education:

  • Research articles—Present the results of original research of broad interest to the higher education planning community.
  • Feature articles—Discuss important concepts, issues, and/or trends of broad interest to the higher education planning community.
  • Planning stories—Present an institutional case study highlighting an integrated planning process.
  • Viewpoints—Opinion pieces
  • Book reviews

Editorial Support

We want to publish your expertise so that SCUPers can put it to use. Editorial support is offered to authors as needed. Authors should first submit a no-more-than-100-word abstract to the managing editor for consideration. They are also welcome to send an outline and/or early draft at the same time. All papers will undergo professional copyediting at SCUP’s expense.

What Readers Are Looking For

A recent membership/readership survey has shown that readers are requesting shorter and less ponderous Planning journal articles. Content should be reader-friendly and in a conversational-style (that means academic content, but in a less academic tone).

  • Headlines and subheads should clearly define the article content and be more action-oriented and “approachable.” For a recent article about a university having too many classrooms in existing buildings but not enough classrooms that were of the size and outfitted for student needs, the headline and subhead became:
    HEADLINE: Too Much and Not Enough
    SUBHEAD: Keep student needs at the forefront when planning for right-sized spaces.
  • Every article (with the exception of book excerpts and book reviews) now includes a short text box (no more than 75 words in total) on the first page of the article. It should list no more than four “takeaways”—actionable ideas that readers could implement immediately at their own institutions, or important concepts for them to consider. Here are examples of takeaways (not specific to your content).
    • Gather input from stakeholders, typically via interviews.
    • Create a content brief and outline.
    • Get approval on the brief from the key stakeholder (typically, the budget owner).
  • Only “Planning Story” articles now also include a handful (no more than three in each category) of what worked/what didn’t comments on the last page of the article. These lessons learned are to help readers model successful actions. Here are examples of what worked/what didn’t comments (not specific to your content).
    What Worked
    • Efforts to keep all stakeholders informed moved the implementation smoothly
    • What Didn’t
    • Budget discussions should have been held concurrently with other planning steps.

Submission Requirements

  • The standard article word count is 2,000- 3,000 words (excluding references and author biography).
  • Each article should include, at the beginning of the article, a no-more-than 100-word abstract, which summarizes the key points of your proposed article. (While the abstract does not publish with your article, it is used by readers in digital content searches.)
  • Please draft your article in Microsoft Word, in Times New Roman, and at 12 pt. type.
  • Do not embed any design elements (including page headers or footers) or other visuals in your Word document.
  • Also, which might currently be your practice, please “chunk” the text under subheads, where a new thought begins, to make the content more easily consumed by readers.
  • To cite references and sources, use the author-date style, e.g., (Rose 2001), in the text and a list of all citations, alphabetically by author, at the end of the article. For style in listing references, consult The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition. When possible, include citations to pertinent online resources.
  • Be judicious in the number of references you list. (Because of space constraints, we can seldom publish more than a full page of reference listings.)
  • At the end of the article Word document, following the list of references, include an author biography, approximately 75 words, for each author.
  • We encourage you to submit photographs and/or figures that are aligned with your article content. If your article will include aligned figures or photos (and their captions), please insert them in a separate (from your content document) Word document.
  • Images should be submitted as high-resolution (300 dpi) files (TIFF or JPG). Color images are preferred.
  • Be sure to proofread the article and to check the accuracy of assertions and documentation.
  • Submit your content and figures as separate Word documents attached to an email that you send to:

Author Photograph and Contact Info

  • We are including optional head shot photos with the author bios, as well as optional author contact info. With your article draft submission, email photographs of all authors—informal or studio shots (but from the chest up only). The photos should be at a minimum of 300 dpi.
  • We also include text aligned with your author bio to include the best way (social media handle or email address) for readers to contact you if they’d like to comment on your article. Please include that optional contact info for yourself and all coauthors.
  • Also, because we list authors in SCUP’s author directory, which is used for internal recordkeeping, please complete the following for yourself/each author and include it with your article submission. Name, Job Title, Name of Organization, Mailing Address, Telephone Number, and Email Address.

Copyright and License

An author whose contribution has been accepted for publication in Planning for Higher Education will sign an agreement allowing both SCUP and the contributor to reproduce, prepare derivative works from, and distribute, in all current and subsequent forms, the contributor’s work. The contributor is free to publish the work or an adaptation of the work in a journal or magazine other than Planning for Higher Education, but only after a period of 60 days after the article has been published in the SCUP journal.

Copy of Final Work

Authors of all articles accepted for publication will receive a digital copy of the full journal issue in which their article appeared.

Where to Submit

For each manuscript submission, please send an email to:

Mimi Bell
SCUP Managing Editor