Research for All is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal focusing on research that involves universities and communities, services or industries working together. It highlights the potential in public engagement for robust academic study, development of involved communities and research that has impact. The journal is co-sponsored by the UCL Institute of Education and the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE). Launched in 2017, it publishes two issues per year, in January and July. There are no article processing charges. The journal is free to write for and free to read.





Volume 4, Number 1, Feb 2020


    • Sandy OLIVER & Sophie DUNCAN – ‘Editorial: Time for sharing knowledge’.
    • Anna WOOLMAN – ‘Reaching non-specialist audiences and engaging them with science at an affordable seaside campsite’.
    • Rob APPLEBY, Chris EDMONDS & Robyn WATSON – ‘Tactile Collider: A new approach to the communication of fundamental science to visually impaired people’.
    • Laura LEA, Sarah BYFORD, Yve CONEY, Rebecca CRANE, Natalia FAGABEMI, Tony GURNEY, Helen LEIGH-PHIPPARD, Claire ROSTEN, Kate SIMMS & Clara STRAUSS – ‘Reflections on my role as a mental health service user co-applicant in a randomized control trial’.
    • Rebecca SHERIDAN, Jennifer PRESTON, Simon STONES, Sammy AINSWORTH, Danielle Horton TAYLOR, Robyn CHALLINOR, Sophie AINSWORTH, Jacqueline MARTIN-KERRY, Louca-Mai BRADY &  Peter KNAPP – ‘Patient and public involvement in a study of multimedia clinical trial information for children, young people and families’.
    • Larissa ALLWORK – ‘”Sedimented histories” and “embodied legacies”: Creating an evaluative framework for understanding public engagement with the First World War’.
    • Elizabeth Chapman HOULT, Helen MORT, Kate PAHL & Zanib RASOOL – ‘Poetry as method – trying to see the world differently’.
    • Charlotte BROOKFIELD & Samuel PARKER – ‘Improving the quantitative research skills of Welsh Baccalaureate teachers through university engagement’.
    • Jessica SPURRELL & Marcus GRACE – ‘A collaborative approach to schools engagement training for university staff’.
    • Helen FEATHERSTONE & David OWEN – ‘Rethinking professional development for public engagement with research: A way to improve uptake and impact of training?’

Aims and scope

Engagement with research goes further than participation in it. Engaged individuals and communities initiate research, advise, challenge or collaborate with researchers. Their involvement is always active and they have a crucial influence on the conduct of the research – on its design or methods, products, dissemination or use.

Research for All focuses on research that involves universities and communities, services or industries working together. Contributors and readers are from both inside and outside of higher education. They include researchers, policymakers, managers, practitioners, community-based organizations, schools, businesses and the intermediaries who bring these people together. The journal highlights the potential in active public engagement for robust academic study, for the development of involved communities, and for the impact of research. It features theoretical and empirical analysis alongside authoritative commentary to explore a range of themes that are key to engaged research including the development of reciprocal relationships, sector-specific communication and participatory action research. It explores engagement with different groups and their cultures, and each issue contains a balance of topics from across academic disciplines, professional sectors and types of engagement.

Research for All is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal sponsored by the UCL Institute of Education and the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement. This joint venture models the principles of public engagement in research through its editorial advisory board and associate editors who are drawn from within and beyond higher education. It is published by UCL IOE Press.

Contributing to the journal

This section describes the types of contribution that feature in the journal and explains our criteria for selecting what to publish. For information about how to format a submission, please visit the ‘Notes for authors’ tab.

We welcome contributions from anyone who works in engaged research, and particularly encourage people to co-create contributions with their collaborators. To be considered for publication in Research for All, please send an outline or abstract of 300-400 words, along with a completed contributor questionnaire, to the journal’s managing editor, Pat Gordon-Smith ( You can also submit draft articles.

We publish the following types of contribution, although we are open to ideas. Please visit the examples cited for an idea of the style, format and length that is suitable for this sort of contribution.


Landscape features

Articles that analyse the thinking around an aspect of engaged research. These pieces draw on the wealth of writing, experience and thought from across different disciplines and practices involved in engaged research. They capture the breadth of the landscape while providing new insights around a specific theme or topic.


Practice case studies

Stories of the practices of engaged research, told by those who have been involved. These are vivid accounts of practice, with reflection that leads to learning about the processes of engagement. They consider whether and how this learning affected those involved, the research, and wider society. They may or may not situate the practice in theory.


Research articles

Papers that explore the relationship between theory and practice. These might be conventional academic research articles that generate, build and test theory. They might be sets of short case studies to explore how theory informs practice and how practice informs theory.



Shorter pieces (1,500-3,000 words) offering views about thinking, practices and debates in engaged research. These contributions offers the opportunity to share personal reflections, raise new perspectives and respond to someone else’s piece.


‘Who inspired my thinking?’

Personal reflections (up to 1,500 words) drawing out key features of a book, paper or person and how they influenced the writer’s thought and practice.


Reviews of publications and resources


Criteria for acceptance

Is the piece in scope?

The journal has a particular focus on the processes of engaged research. Typical themes include:

  • Reflections on the engagement processes undertaken, and what the authors have learnt about public engagement with research as a consequence.
  • Empirical research studies on engagement, or support for engagement with research.
  • How engagement with research is leading to new professional roles and identities.
  • Case studies of public engagement with research, including all aspects of engagement (i.e. inspiring school children with science; collaborative research; community engagement; consulting publics; sharing research outcomes etc.)

Articles that are not in scope of this journal include:

  • Content describing the outcomes rather than the processes of engaged research. For example, if you have used patient involvement in research about arthritis, we would be interested in how the patient involvement affects the research, the patients and the impacts, but not on papers that talk about the findings relating to arthritis.
  • Effective engagement that does not relate to research (broadly defined), e.g. you have supported students to volunteer in community settings. While we recognise the value of these approaches, the journal focuses on research engagement.


Is the piece accessible to a variety of readers of the journal?

Our readers include researchers, practitioners, professionals, patients, community leaders, public, policy makers, collaborators, artists, and members of cultural organisations, community groups and charities. Their expertise and interests span a variety of disciplines, practices and experiences. They are keen to learn from others and keen to share their expertise.


Where specific language has been used has it been explained clearly?

We invite you to use accessible language. When using technical terms please explain what they mean and how you are using them in your article.


Does the piece represent new learning? Are the authors able to reflect on the key learning from the article, and summarise if effectively?

We recognise that it is not always clear whether learning is just new to you, or new to others as well. We are keen to ensure we support contributions that bring new learning to light wherever it has been inspired. A key point to consider before starting to write is whether you have some key learning points you want to share. Share this with us in your original expression of interest and, where needed, we can provide support to explore what your angle is. It may be that what is new is the people who have contributed to the learning, rather than the learning itself e.g. a collaborative piece that draws in the voices of all involved.


Is the practice described ethical?

What ethical considerations have the authors gone through to ensure that their work is appropriate?


Is my paper the right length?

We have chosen not to set word counts for most types of article – but would encourage you to be as succinct as possible. We will not accept papers longer than 10,000 words, and expect most contributions to be between 3,000 and 7,000 words in length.


For essential guidance on how to craft and format a submission, please visit the ‘Notes for authors’ tab.


Sophie Duncan, National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement

Sandy Oliver, UCL Institute of Education

Pat Gordon-Smith, Managing Editor (Journals), UCL IOE Press


Hamish Chalmers, Oxford Brookes University, UK

Cath Chamberlain, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Australia

Mark Charlton, De Montfort University, UK

Ceri Davies, University of Brighton, UK

Helen Featherstone, University of Bath, UK

Jude Fransman, Open University, UK

Jamie Gallagher, University of Glasgow, UK

Tony Gallagher, Queens University Belfast, UK

Sam Gray, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Lou Harvey, University of Leeds, UK

Jo Heaton Marriott, University of Lancaster, UK

Anne Marie Houghton, University of Lancaster, UK

Jenny Irvine, University of Lancaster, UK

Hilary Jackson, University College London (UCL), UK

Janet Jull, Bruyère Research Institute and University of Ottawa, Canada

Natalia Kucirkova, UCL Institute of Education, UK

Sarah Lloyd, University of Hertfordshire, UK

Paul Manners, National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement, UK

Lorraine McIlrath, NUI Galway, Ireland

Emma McKenna, Queens University Belfast, UK

Henk Mulder, Groningen University, The Netherlands

Kate Pahl, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Anne Rathbone, BoingBoing, UK

Gene Rowe, Gene Rowe Associates, UK

Tom Sperlinger, University of Bristol, UK

Suzanne Spicer, University of Manchester

Norbert Steinhaus, Living Knowledge – The International Science Shop Network, Germany

Ruth Stewart, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Gillian Stokes, UCL Institute of Education, UK

Allison Tong, University of Sydney, Australia

Crystal Tremblay, University of Victoria, Canada

Clare Wilkinson, University of the West of England, UK

Claire Wood, University of Leicester, UK


Cissi Askwall, Vetenskap & Allmänhet, Sweden

Jacqueline Broerse, VU University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Mike Cuthill, University of Southern Queensland, Australia

Simon Denegri, Chair of INVOLVE and National Director for Public Participation and Engagement in Research, UK

Keri Facer, University of Bristol, UK

Ian Grosvenor, University of Birmingham, UK

Budd Hall, University of Victoria, Canada

Rick Holliman, Open University, UK

Xerxes Mazda, Head of Collections, National Museum of Scotland, UK

Patrick Middleton, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, UK

Ann-Gel Palermo, Harlem Community and Academic Partnership, USA

Ken Skeldon, University of Aberdeen, UK

Rajesh Tandon, PRIA, India

Dave Wolff, University of Brighton, UK.


Michael Reiss (CHAIR), Professor of Science Education, UCL Institute of Education

Sophie Duncan, Editor Research for All, National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement

Alison Fuller, Pro-Director Research and Development, UCL Institute of Education

Pat Gordon-Smith, Editor Research for All, UCL IOE Press

Paul Manners, Director, National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement

Sandy Oliver, Editor Research for All, UCL Institute of Education.


Guidance for Associate Editors

Notes for authors

Research for All welcomes contributions from anyone engaged with any aspect of research in either a professional or personal capacity. We are looking for articles that describe, explain and analyse engaged research, from contributors based both within and beyond universities. For details about the sort of material we are looking for, please see the ‘Submitting work’ tab. If you would like to talk to someone about a potential contribution to the journal, please contact the managing editor, Pat Gordon-Smith (

Research for All considers all suitable manuscripts on condition that they have not been published already and are not under consideration for publication or in press elsewhere. Contributions to Research for All must report original work and will be reviewed by appropriate referees appointed by the editors. Manuscripts to be considered for publication should be sent to the journal’s managing editor, Pat Gordon-Smith (

To find out if your work is suitable for Research for All, visit the ‘Submitting work’ tab.


If you intend to submit a contribution, please refer to the guidance that follows here.



Each submission should include (in this order):

  • A title, chosen to succinctly reflect the content and using key words that are most likely to draw interested readers to the content through a search engine. There are no hard rules, but titles that accurately communicate article content in a few careful words are more effective than catchy phrases that require a subtitle for explanation. Usually, the explanatory subtitle is the effective title. As a rough guide, if an article title takes up two full lines or more in the manuscript, it is too long.
  • Author(s)’ name(s) and affiliation(s), and contact email for the author (or corresponding author if there is more than one).
  • An abstract of up to 250 words. This should reflect the entire content of the submission, and include:
    • which type of our articles it falls into (you don’t have to use our exact words, but it should be whether the paper is e.g. a case study) or, if you are breaking new ground, what approach readers will find in the work
    • the key steps in your article, probably including the genesis of your project/research, its primary contributors/collaborators, its findings/outcomes, and whether they reflected what you had hoped to achieve.
  • Five or six keywords.
  • Three key messages. These are what you see as the main learning points you gained from the project/research and/or the main learning points readers will take from reading the article. A central purpose of these messages is that are in a less academic form than the abstract, and so can introduce the content to a wider audience. We suggest you browse the journal to see examples of key messages in a range of published articles.
  • The article text, including a note of where any figures and tables should be located.
  • Acknowledgements, if any.
  • Reference list.
  • Figures and tables.
  • Please do not use footnotes. Instead, include possible footnote content in the text, turn it into a reference or delete the material.


  1. Manuscripts must be written in good, standard English, using British spelling (use the Oxford Concise Dictionary as an arbiter of preferred spellings). They should also be double-spaced throughout with ample margins, and bear the title of the contribution and name/s of the authors.
  2. The full postal and email address of the author who will check proofs and receive correspondence should be included as well. All pages should be numbered.
  3. Included with the article should be an abstract or article summary of no more than 100 words in length, three bullet points summarising key learning points from the article, a list of up to six keywords and a very brief (c. 60 words) note about the author/s. Footnotes to the text are strongly discouraged.


  1. For general style points and for references, please follow the Editorial style sheet. Write clearly and concisely, using arguments that are fully substantiated with well-reasoned analysis and, where appropriate, empirical evidence.
  2. All acronyms should be spelled out the first time they are mentioned. The journal has a wide target audience, from both within and outside universities, across different sectors and in different countries, so contributors are asked to explain in full the use of terms that might be meaningful only to a particular audience.
  3. For all manuscripts, non-discriminatory language is mandatory. Citations of other work should be limited to those strictly necessary for the argument. Any quotations should be brief, and always accompanied by precise references.
  4. If you have any questions about references or formatting your article, please contact the managing editor, Pat Gordon-Smith.


  1. Research For All welcomes the inclusion of graphs, artwork, photographs, videos and sound files in support of submitted articles. They must be good quality and with full permission to publish in an open access publication.
  2. Authors are responsible for determining the copyright status of illustrations or other material they wish to reproduce in their article and, if necessary, for obtaining permission to reproduce it. This applies both to direct reproduction and to ‘derivative reproduction’ (where authors create a new figure or table that derives substantially from a copyrighted source). By including such material in their submission, authors warrant that it may be reproduced or adapted under the terms of the CC-BY licence in the same way as their own work, so they must make this requirement clear to those whose permission they are seeking. Please note that short extracts of copyright text (excluding poetry and song lyrics) for the purposes of criticism, discussion, or review may be reproduced without formal permission assuming that the quotation is reproduced accurately and full attribution is given.
  3. Illustrations and figures should be submitted within the text of the document, and not separated from it. Figures will not usually be redrawn by the publisher, so they should be submitted in a form that is suitable for publication (not less than 300 dpi resolution).
  4. The place at which a table, figure or illustration is to be inserted in the text should be indicated clearly on the manuscript. Captions should include keys to symbols.


  1. Research for All is an open-access journal in which new contributions are made available under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence. This means that authors retain copyright in their own work, but make it available for others to distribute, remix, tweak and build upon their work, even commercially, as long as credit is given for the original creation. Authors also warrant that any work by third parties reproduced within their own work may be shared or adapted in the same way.
  2. UCL IOE Press makes no charges of any kind for submission to, publication in, or access to Research For All. Once published, your article will be online on the ingentaconnect journals platform, where it will be available for anyone to read or download without charge.
  3. Authors may self-archive both preprint and accepted versions of their article at any time provided that, on publication, it is replaced by the final published version.
  4. The NCCPE will be hosting a discussion forum on their website to encourage readers to share responses to content in the journal. Authors are invited to participate in these discussions where possible.