Aims & Scope


The mission of Democracy & Education is to provoke rigorous, open, and inclusive engagement with the challenges of educating youth in the pre-K-12 age span for active participation in a democratic society. This online, open access journal seeks to support and sustain conversations that take as their focus the conceptual foundations, social policies, institutional structures, and teaching/learning practices associated with democratic education.

Format and editorial processes of the journal

The editors see the opportunity to engage multiple audiences in conversation about key educational issues as not only crucial to an open and thriving democracy, but also a central design principle for a journal that seeks to explore democratic education. Therefore, the editors are committed to making every volume of the journal a space for substantive dialogue. This commitment shapes the journal’s use of online publishing capabilities in the following ways:

  • Format. The journal follows an “articles building to an issue” format. Two formal issues a year will be published; however, articles will typically be posted upon acceptance to facilitate timely reactions and responses. We anticipate 6-8 conversations (each an original article plus responses) per issue.
  • Feature Article Submissions. The editors invite two general types of submissions: feature article submissions and responses. A manuscript is considered a feature article submission if it initiates a new conversation, i.e., is not a response to a previous article. Such submissions include traditional scholarly texts as well as other genres of writing and media formats. The editors encourage submissions utilizing diverse methodologies and forms of expression. While we welcome articles that include discussions of teaching strategies, such examinations should be grounded within and primarily focused on analyses of how such work advances our understanding of the intersection of democracy and education. Text submissions are limited to 5,000-8,000 words (references not included). Video submissions are limited to 20 minutes and should be edited prior to submission. All submissions will be peer reviewed. The editors will solicit formal responses to feature articles, and unsolicited responses will be considered as well. (Authors of feature articles are invited to issue rebuttals to formal responses.)
  • Responses. A submission is considered a response if it contributes to a conversation underway in the journal. Authors of main article submissions may collaborate with respondents at the time of submission, they may recommend respondents for the editors to contact, or they may submit a manuscript and await open responses from readers if the piece is published. Editors may also invite responses from specific individuals. Readers are encouraged to submit open responses to any conversation building toward the current issue. Responses will be published at the discretion of the editors and will be considered peer reviewed in this respect. If a response departs substantively from an existing conversation, editors may recommend that it be elaborated and resubmitted as an initial submission. Authors of regular (feature article) submissions will be given the opportunity to write a formal rebuttal to published responses.
  • Review process. In accord with the journal’s vision of democratic conversation, the journal will use a double blind peer review system in which reviewers are encouraged to provide substantive, constructive feedback for each submission. Reviewers may continue to engage an author published in the journal by submitting a public/published response. We believe this encourages more substantive engagement with original ideas while preserving the integrity of the publishing process and enhancing the quality of the journal.
  • Theme issues and guest editors. Occasionally, the editors may announce a theme issue, which may also involve a guest editor who specializes in the specific area being considered. Theme issues will generally consist of solicited articles as well as an invitation for open submissions.
  • Book reviews. Each issue will include two or more book reviews. Book reviews are generally solicited; however, potential reviewers may contact the editors to discuss the possibility of reviewing a particular text. Unsolicited reviews will not be accepted.

Open Access

What is open access and why is Democracy and Education an open access journal? Open access is the "free, immediate, availability on the public Internet of those works which scholars give to the world without expectation of payment – permitting any user to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link to the full text of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software or use them for any other lawful purpose" (from the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). Furthermore, while many publishers ask that authors or institutions shoulder the financial burden making free articles that were once paid for through subscriptions, the editors of Democracy and Education believe this model is ill suited to the field of education and doesn't serve education scholars well. The publisher of Democracy and Education, the Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling, therefore supports the cost of open access publishing in full. As an open-access journal, Democracy & Education is centered on the idea that scholarship should be freely accessible and widely available to the greatest possible audience. Our papers are available at no cost via our website, Google and Google Scholar, ERIC, EBSCO Education Source, and on many other research platforms. In the first three years as a free, open-access journal, D&E has published 75 features articles, responses, and book reviews, which have been downloaded more than 105,000 times. (That's an average download rate of 1050 downloads per article; currently, the median download rate for each published manuscript is 419 downloads.) Authors receive regular monthly reports about the number of times their paper has been downloaded.