Editorial Policies

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 as part of our commitment to engaged excellence. All parties concerned with production of the IDS Bulletin should ensure ethical best practice, adhering to IDS’ existing research ethics policy.

The objective of this policy 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.

Essential principles are that our research:

  • avoids doing harm,
  • seeks informed and voluntary consent from those taking part,
  • respects confidentiality and anonymity, and
  • where there is risk, takes adequate steps to minimise it.

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; this fast turnaround assists the journal’s aim of producing issues on cutting-edge topics.

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

Six issues of the IDS Bulletin are published each calendar year, in January, March, May, July, September and November, comprising one volume.

Also, additional Special Issues may be produced at unspecified, policy-relevant times during the calendar year. These extra issues may be comprised of new material or a mixture of archive and new material.

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

Open Access material is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.

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 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.



 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.


 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.


 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