About the Journal

Focus and Scope

The IDS Bulletin is an open access, peer-reviewed journal focusing on international development. In continual publication since 1968, it has a well-established reputation for intellectually rigorous articles developed through learning partnerships on emerging and evolving development challenges presented in an accessible manner in themed issues that bridge academic, practice and policy discourse.

It has become one of the leading journals in its field through engaged scholarship between academics, donors, non-governmental organisations and policy actors worldwide, bringing together cutting-edge thinking, research and debate from the Institute of Development Studies community and its partner organisations. The IDS Bulletin aims to contribute to critical thinking on how transformations that reduce inequalities, accelerate sustainability and build more inclusive and secure societies can be realised. 

Commissioned Articles (non-submission process)
Articles for the IDS Bulletin are commissioned by the Issue Editors for each themed issue, drawing on their contributors’ expertise and experience. While development studies is the focus, articles also bring in wider perspectives from across the social sciences as they address global challenges.

The IDS Bulletin applies the highest editorial and production standards for each issue, placing an emphasis on research integrity, high ethical standards, and constructive peer review.

Unsolicited articles are not accepted but initial enquiries on potential issue publication should be emailed to Alison Norwood at: a.norwood@ids.ac.uk

Enquiries will then be considered and may be passed on to the Editor-in-Chief.

Impact Factor: 0.640

Ethical Best Practice

IDS is committed to promoting and upholding the highest ethical standards in our research and publishing as part of our commitment to engaged excellence. All parties concerned with production of the IDS Bulletin ensure ethical best practice, adhering to IDS’ existing Research Ethics Policy and Publishing Ethics Guidelines as summarised in our Terms of Reference.

The objective of these guidelines is to expand our good relationships by acting with integrity, taking others’ needs and wishes into account, and using moral deliberation imaginatively and with good effect. The IDS Research Ethics Policy aims to provide a framework for supporting this objective and the Publishing Ethics Guidelines provide an industry-standard framework for upholding ethical standards and applying remedial action.

Peer Review Process

The peer review process is designed to ensure that research published in the IDS Bulletin adheres to IDS’ criteria of engaged excellence: the co-construction of rigorous evidence in ways that involve those at the heart of the change we wish to see.

All articles submitted to the IDS Bulletin undergo a peer review process managed by Issue Editors. Each article receives a minimum of two rigorous reviews from reviewers of the Issue Editors’ choosing, at least one of which is a blind review from a reviewer outside IDS. Contributors see anonymised referees’ reports together with an editorial view summarising the decision of the reviewers (accept as stands, minor revisions, revise and resubmit, reject). Two review cycles are allowed taking up to a maximum of 16 weeks.

The IDS Bulletin is intended for a wide audience of researchers, students, practitioners and policymakers and articles may vary in tone from technically academic to more concise and accessible styles within any given issue and across volumes as a whole.

Publication Frequency

Four to six issues of the IDS Bulletin are published each calendar year, comprising one volume.

The journal will also periodically release Archive Collections drawing together archive articles on particular themes or by specific authors to coincide with an event, and have a new introductory piece by Issue Editors explaining the relevance of the articles to current development discourse and debate.

Open Access Policy

As an organisation that pursues and enables engaged excellence in constructing and sharing knowledge for development, IDS is committed to making research knowledge freely available, accessible, re-usable and relevant to those who can use it to drive transformative social, political and economic development.

All articles published by the IDS Bulletin are made freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication, without subscription charges or registration barriers.

Contributors to the IDS Bulletin are not required to pay individual Article Processing Charges.


IDS supports the use of Creative Commons licences. Degrees of re-use of IDS Bulletin articles are clarified through the stated Creative Commons licences applied.

IDS Bulletin articles are available through either CC BY; CC BY-NC or CC BY-NC-ND.

CC BY (Attribution)
This is the most liberal licence, allowing others to distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon the work (even commercially) – provided they credit the author for the original creation and clearly indicate that changes were made to the work.

CC BY-NC (Attribution, Non Commercial)
Similar to CC BY, this licence ensures that others must not remix, tweak or build upon the original work for commercial purposes. New works must acknowledge the author and be non-commercial although they do not have to licence their derivative works on the same terms.

CC BY-NC-ND (Attribution, Non Commercial, No Derivatives)
This is the most restrictive of the six licences, only allowing others to download works and share them with others as long as they credit the author – and they cannot change the original work in any way or use it commercially.

Where articles are licenced under CC BY-NC or BY-NC-ND and content from the article is to be re-used for commercial publication, permissions must first be sought from Gary Edwards, idsbulletin@ids.ac.uk

About the publisher

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is a leading global institution for research, teaching and learning, and impact and communications, based at the University of Sussex.
We believe passionately that cutting-edge research, knowledge and mutual learning are crucial in shaping the transformations needed to reduce inequalities, accelerate sustainability and build more inclusive and secure societies.

Our commitment to engaged excellence means that the high quality of our work is dependent upon it linking to and involving those who are at the heart of the change we wish to see. This approach is applied across all of our work and encapsulates IDS’ unique mix of university organisation and thinktank.

At IDS we work to contribute towards transformations that reduce inequalities, accelerate sustainability, and build more inclusive and secure societies. We do this with our global partners through delivering and sharing high quality research and knowledge, and offering first class teaching and learning programmes aimed at producing a new generation of development thought, policy and practice leaders.

Journal History

The IDS Bulletin is the flagship journal from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), bringing together the latest thinking and research form IDS and its partners and presenting this in an accessible way for development practitioners, policymakers and researchers. 

Since 1968 it has covered the major themes and influenced debates within international development. The journal is published six times a year, and each thematic issue is edited by IDS Research Fellow(s), drawing on contributions from within IDS and its global network of partners and collaborators within the sphere of development research, policy and practice.