Focus and Scope

Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement is an open access, refereed journal that responds to an emerging global movement of collaborative, critical and change-oriented community-university research initiatives. Gateways provides an inclusive forum for faculty, staff, students, professional practitioners and community representatives to explore issues and reflect on methodological practices relating to the full range of engaged activity. Articles include empirical case studies; analyses of partnership models, practices and processes; and theoretical reflections that contribute to the scholarship of engagement. 

A central aspect of community-based research and practice is that it seeks to drive change - social, intellectual, institutional. As such, Gateways encourages innovative, mutually beneficial and culturally competent research approaches to conceptualising, designing, undertaking and communicating engaged research. Articles will not only bridge disciplinary boundaries but will seek to challenge traditional binaries of academic and non-academic knowledge systems by rigorously combining different ways of knowing and being. Gateways welcomes articles that articulate and interrogate the complex tensions that exist between theory and practice, and between the various participants in the research enterprise, as well as advance the value of research that is driven by need as much as curiosity. Further, Gateways is avowedly international in scope, actively seeking to make the journal a space for diverse voices and perspectives, in multiple forms and modes and from across different geographies.

As an open access journal, Gateways’ mission is to increase the timely, accessible and inclusive sharing of new knowledge and valuable insights from current practice to scholars, community leaders, practitioners and activists around the world. In this way, Gateways strives to contribute to, and help build this active, evolving and critical global dialogue for change.

Both refereed and non-refereed articles are published.


Note on the Journal Sections: In establishing the format for Gateways, the Editorial Committee sought to fulfil two goals: one, to create space for more chairs at the research table; and two, to expand the research table itself. That is, not just more, but different. For this reason, three article sections have been established: research; practice-based; and snapshots. In every instance, the focus is on including only high-quality articles on community-university engagement that meet the journal’s focus and scope.

The Research articles (Refereed) section provides peer and institutional recognition of community-based research and scholarship. An important aspect of these peer-reviewed articles is that they critically consider the contribution made by the research to the literature – does it challenge, expand, renew? The Practice-based articles (Non-refereed) section of the journal focuses on excellence in the reporting and reflection on engagement in practice. By championing the intellectual rigor and craft of experiential-focused contributions, practice-based articles fundamentally complement the research articles. Finally, the Snapshots section (Non-refereed) is designed to showcase the rich variety of knowledge, experience and impressions by all stakeholders in community-university collaborations. This section is particularly geared to those new to research and/or sharing their knowledge and practice in an English-language journal setting. In addition, creative use of visuals, video and audio are welcome, in all sections. All sections are published together as one volume of the journal.

We welcome reviewers! If you would like to review works for Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement please email the Executive Editor to state your interest.


Section Policies

Research articles (Refereed)

This section contains articles that have been double blind (anonymously) peer reviewed. To be included in this section, articles must be based on substantiated scholarship; may be theoretical or empirical; and provide critical reflection and analysis. They must contribute new knowledge to the field of community-engaged research. Articles should be between 6000 and 8000 words in length, including a comprehensive reference list.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Practice-based articles (Non-refereed)

This section includes articles that have been reviewed by the Editorial Committee before being accepted for publication. Where appropriate, articles will also be (anonymously) externally read. Articles will demonstrate thorough and thoughtful analysis of professional practice-based experience in the field of community engagement, with reference to the broader context as appropriate. Here, the complexity and craft of collaboration shine. Case studies, overviews, research at an early stage may all be included. Articles should be between 4000 and 6000 words in length, including a reference list.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Snapshots (Non-refereed)

This section includes contributions that have been reviewed by the Editorial Committee before being accepted for publication. It showcases work from the full range of participants in community-engaged research and practice: from community members and students to industry and government representatives. The focus of this section will be on reflections of day-to-day practice and experience, and may include impressions and analyses, collaborative essays, edited interviews, oral histories and profiles. Contributions should be between 2000 and 3000 words in length. A maximum of two submissions are included in each volume of Gateways.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed



Note: Gateways is no longer accepting submissions for book reviews.

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Peer Review Process

All research articles submitted to Gateways are reviewed by two independent peer referees who are qualified experts in the subject field. Practice-based articles and other non-refereed articles will be reviewed by the Editorial Committee and, as necessary, will also be peer read. Authors and reviewers remain anonymous. The journal works with an expanded definition of peer reviewers, including suitably qualified community leaders, social service agency staff and foundation program officers. Reviewers’ recommendations are taken into consideration by the editors in determining publication and revisions. Average annual acceptance rates for Gateways since its inception in 2008 represent 33% of peer-review submissions.

For further information on best practice peer review processes, please see the COPE Code of Conduct for Journal Editors and Publishers and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Responsibilities in the Submission and Peer Review Process.


Conflicts of Interest

Our editors are required to declare any potential competing interests in undertaking their editorial duties. In cases where a manuscript is submitted by a colleague at their own institution or from their research networks, editors will remove themselves from the decision-making process. A co-editor, or an external trusted expert, with no such connections, is then asked to act as the editor for that particular article. Additionally, an editor will have no input or influence on the peer review process or publication decision for an article they have authored and submitted to the journal. Should a member of the journal’s editorial team submit a manuscript to the journal, a co-editor, or external trusted expert, will be assigned to manage the entire review process and act as editor for that particular article. If the article proceeds to publication, it will be explicitly stated on the article that the editor who submitted the paper had no involvement with the journal’s handling of this particular article, along with the reasons for this, and the name of the assigned editor.


Publication Frequency

Gateways publishes two volumes per year: a general volume of unsolicited articles; and a themed volume.

The general volume ‘opens’ each March/April and follows a publish-as-you-go model. Articles are added to the open volume as and when they are ready, until the volume ‘closes’ in November. This flexible approach ensures timely publication and reduces pressure on authors and editors to meet fixed deadlines. Gateways accepts unsolicited submissions on a rolling basis for these general volumes.

Themed volumes are published in one batch, at the end of each year. The Call for Papers for themed volumes are published on the journal website mid-year. Themed volumes may be compiled by guest editors. For more information or to discuss an idea for a themed issue, please contact the Executive Editor,

Open Access Policy

This journal provides open access to all of its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. Such access is associated with increased readership and increased citation of an author's work. For more information on this approach, see the Public Knowledge Project, which has designed this system to improve the scholarly and public quality of research, and which freely distributes the journal system as well as other software to support the open access publishing of scholarly resources. In addition, this journal supports the application of F.A.I.R principles to research outputs: that is, that research outputs should be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. Further information on the F.A.I.R principles can be found here.

This journal has no submission or article processing charges.

Authors of published articles remain the copyright holders and grant others the right to use, reproduce, adapt and share their articles according to the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License.

Authors are permitted to self-archive works on their personal or institutional webpages and repositories.



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The views expressed in this journal are those of the authors and do not, and should not, be considered representative of Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement or UTS ePRESS or the University of Technology Sydney or the University of North Carolina Charlotte.


Author Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the author/s to ensure:

- Any conflicting or competing interest is disclosed on submission of their work and all sources of funding are declared.

- They contact the Executive Editor to identify and correct any material errors upon discovery, whether prior or subsequent to publication of their work.

- The work is original, and all sources are accurately cited, according to the Journal's style guide.

- The authorship of the work is accurately reflected. This means that all individuals credited as authors legitimately participated in the authorship of the work, and all those who participated are credited and have given consent for publication. Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution or interpretation of the work. Other contributors should be mentioned in the acknowledgement section of the article and their contribution described. Please refer to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship guidelines for more information on authorship.


Complaints Handling

Complaints related to Gateways should be directed in the first instance to the Executive Editor Complaints will be investigated according to recommendations by the Committee on Publication Ethics (see COPE Flowcharts). If complainants are unsatisfied with the response they may contact the Publisher, Authors with complaints related to the peer review or editorial process should refer to the Author Guidelines.


Handling Misconduct

Issues of suspected misconduct will be handled in accordance with the guidelines set out by the COPE Code of Conduct for Journal Editors.



Corrections and retractions will be treated in accordance with the guidelines set out by the COPE Code of Conduct for Journal Editors.