Instructions for Authors

The International Review of Education – Journal of Lifelong Learning (IRE) publishes original articles in the fields of international and comparative education and lifelong learning. IRE can only accept contributions which have not been published elsewhere, although in exceptional cases articles which have previously been published in journals with a purely national circulation may be accepted. On occasion, the Executive Editor solicits contributions on key topics.

Contributions are published in English or French. The Editorial Office is prepared to consider submissions in other languages on condition that a short summary in one of the above two languages is attached. If such a work is accepted, the author must arrange for its competent translation into either English or French.

Three types of contributions are accepted: articles, research notes and book reviews.

  • Articles consist of a well-rounded conceptual or empirical discussion of themes, topics and studies with international or comparative significance for lifelong learning and education. Articles should not exceed 6,000 words in length (excluding the abstract and bibliography).
  • Research notes are short, descriptive accounts of educational innovations, interim research results or evaluations of policy initiatives or measures. Such contributions may refer solely to a national or regional context, but the theme they address should possess relevance for an international readership. Notes should not exceed 3,000 words in length.
  • Book reviews can be in English or French. In length, book reviews should not exceed 1,000 words. The same rules of style and presentation apply to book reviews. Each review should be headed by the details of the book, as shown in the following example:

Lifelong learning in Europe: Equity and efficiency in the balance
By Sheila Riddell, Jörg Markowitsch and Elisabet Weedon. The Policy Press, Bristol, 2012. 224 pp. ISBN 978-1-44730-013-7 (hbk)

IRE follows a double-blind reviewing procedure: authors do not know the identity of the peer reviewers of their article, and reviewers do not know the identity of the author(s). Authors are therefore requested to submit:

  1. an anonymised manuscript without any of the authors’ names and affiliations in the text or on the title page. Self-identifying citations and references in the article text should be avoided and
  2. a separate title page, containing the article title, all author names, affiliations, and the contact information (e-mail addresses) of all the authors, one of whom must be designated the corresponding author. Any acknowledgements, disclosures or funding information should also be included on this page.

Legal requirements

Submission of a manuscript implies: that the work described has not been published before; that it is not under consideration for publication anywhere else; that its publication has been approved by all co-authors, if any, as well as by the responsible authorities – tacitly or explicitly – at the institute where the work has been carried out. The publisher will not be held legally responsible should there be any claims for compensation.


Authors wishing to include figures, tables or text passages which have already been published elsewhere are required to obtain permission from the copyright owner(s) for both the print and online format and to include evidence that such permission has been granted when submitting their papers. Any material received without such evidence will be assumed to originate from the authors. Some publishers do not grant electronic rights for free, and the publisher of the International Review of Education will not be able to refund any costs which may have been incurred to receive these permissions.

Manuscript preparation


IRE considers articles in English and French. British spelling rules are used for English.

Title page

This should include:

  • A concise and informative title
  • The name(s) of the author(s)
  • The affiliation(s), address(es) and e-mail addresses of the author(s)


This should be between 150 and 250 words in length. It should contain no undefined abbreviations/acronyms and no references.


These are extremely important in enabling online searches to find your article quickly. Please provide not more than 4 to 6 keywords which can be used for indexing purposes.

Text formatting

  • Manuscripts should be submitted as Word (.doc or .docx) files.
  • Use a normal, plain font (12-point Times New Roman) for text.
  • Use italics for emphasis, for book titles and for foreign words.
  • Use the automatic page numbering function to number the pages.
  • Do not use field functions.
  • Use tab stops or other commands for indents, not the space bar.
  • Use the table function, not spreadsheets, to make tables.
  • Use the equation editor or MathType for equations.
  • Save your file in .doc format (older Word versions) or .docx format (Word 2007 or later)
  • Manuscripts with mathematical content may also be submitted in Rich Text Format (.rtf)


Please use no more than three levels of displayed headings.


Abbreviations/ acronyms should be defined at first mention and used consistently thereafter. [Example:The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a study …]


Footnotes can be used to provide additional information, which may include the citation of a reference included in the reference list. They should not consist solely of a reference citation, and they should never include the bibliographic details of a reference. They should also not contain any figures or tables. Footnotes to the text are numbered consecutively (using the footnote function in Word). Footnotes belonging to tables should be indicated by superscript lower-case letters (or asterisks for significance values and other statistical data) and placed directly underneath the table (not at the bottom of the page). Always use footnotes instead of endnotes.


Acknowledgments of people, grants, funds, etc. should be placed in a separate section before the reference list. The names of funding organisations should be spelled out in full.


Please cite your references in the text by name and year in parentheses. Some examples:

  • Negotiation research spans many disciplines (Thompson 1990).
  • This result was later contradicted (Becker and Seligman 1996).
  • This effect has been widely studied (Abbott 1991; Barakat et al. 1995; Kelso and Smith 1998; Medvec et al. 1993).

Reference list

The list of references should only include works which are cited in the text and which have been published or accepted for publication. Personal communications and unpublished works should only be mentioned in the text. Do not use footnotes as a substitute for a reference list. Reference list entries should be alphabetised by the last names of the first author of each work. Journal titles and book titles should be italicised.

  • Journal article

Bhola, H. S. (1998). World trends and issues in adult education on the eve of the twenty-first century. International Review of Education, 44(5–6), 485–506.

  • Book

Coombs, P. H. (1968). The world educational crisis: A systems analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Book chapter

Rubenson, K. (2006). Constructing the lifelong learning paradigm: Competing visions from the OECD and UNESCO. In S. Ellers (ed.), Milestones in adult education (pp. 63–78). Copenhagen: Danish University Press.

  • Online document

World Bank (2013). World DataBank: Education statistics – all indicators. Accessed 13 November 2013 from http://databank.worldbank.org/data/views/variableSelection/selectvariables.aspx?source=education-statistics-~-all-indicators.


  • All tables should be numbered using Arabic numerals.
  • Tables should always be cited in the text in consecutive numerical order.
  • For each table, please supply a table title (placed above the table) and a key (placed beneath the table) clearly and concisely explaining the components of the table.
  • Identify any previously published material by giving the original source in the form of a reference at the end of the table key.

Footnotes to tables should be indicated by superscript lowercase letters (or asterisks for significance values and other statistical data) and should be placed immediately below the table body.


  • Please supply all figures electronically, indicating the graphics programme used to create the artwork.
  • For vector graphics, the preferred format is EPS; for halftones, please use TIFF format.
  • Vector graphics containing fonts must have the fonts embedded in the files.
  • Name your figure files with "Fig" and the figure number, e.g., Fig1.eps.

For more detailed instructions concerning Figures, Illustrations and supplementary materials, please go to the journal website at http://www.springer.com/11159 and click on “Instructions for Authors”.

After acceptance

Upon final acceptance of your copy-edited article, you will receive a link to the special Author Query Application at Springer’s web page where you are asked to sign the Copyright Transfer Statement online and choose between one free e-offprint or 50 free paper offprints. Alternatively, if you indicate that you wish to order Open Choice and/or for your figures to be printed in colour, fees apply. Once the Author Query Application has been completed, your article will be processed and you will receive the proofs.

Open Choice

In addition to the normal publication process (whereby an article is submitted to the journal and access to that article is granted to customers who have purchased a subscription), Springer provides an alternative publishing option: Springer Open Choice. A Springer Open Choice article receives all the benefits of a regular subscription-based article, but in addition is made available publicly through Springer’s online platform SpringerLink. Open Choice articles do not require transfer of copyright, as the copyright remains with the author. In opting for open access, authors agree to the Springer Open Choice Licence. We regret that Springer Open Choice cannot be ordered for articles already published.

Copyright transfer

Authors who do not wish to pay for Open Choice are asked to transfer copyright of the article to the Publisher (or grant the Publisher exclusive publication and dissemination rights). This will ensure the widest possible protection and dissemination of information under copyright laws


Additional offprints can be ordered by the corresponding author.

Colour illustrations

Online publication of colour illustrations is free of charge. For colour in the print version, authors will be expected to make a contribution towards the extra costs.


The purpose of the proof is to check for typesetting or conversion errors and the completeness and accuracy of the text, tables and figures. Substantial changes in content (e.g., new results, corrected values, title and authorship) are not allowed without the approval of the Editor. After online publication, further changes can only be made in the form of an Erratum, a separate document which will be hyperlinked to the article.

Online First

The article will be published online after receipt of the corrected proofs. This is the official first publication citable with the Digital Object Identifier (DOI). After release of the printed version, the paper can also be cited by issue and page numbers.