Author Guidelines and FAQ

Why should I submit?

Students benefit from:

  1. A scholarly, mentored writing experience with a faculty member. Please note: Students may select their own faculty writing mentor who was involved with their community engagement project and/or taught their service-learning course, or the student may be assigned to a Purdue faculty writing mentor.
  2. Experiencing the academic publishing process.
  3. Enhancement of the students’ graduate school application, resume or CV.
  4. Showcasing the students’ contributions to society.
  5. An opportunity to present their work at a poster session.

Am I eligible to submit?

PJSL welcomes submissions from all student authors who completed their service-learning, civic engagement, or experiential learning as a Purdue undergraduate, graduate, or professional student at any of the Purdue campuses. Students must be currently enrolled or within 1 year post-Purdue education to submit an abstract for review. Submissions are accepted from all academic disciplines.

Is my experience a good fit for this journal?

The PJSL is intended to support all engaged students by providing a forum for reflection on all forms of community and academic engagement. To determine if your project aligns with the scope of PJSL, visit Aims and Scope, under “Scope”.

Types of Submissions and Guidelines

Five types of contributions are accepted. These include:

    A student authored composition describing and critically reflecting on a service-learning experience.
    A student authored composition with potential secondary authorship by a writing mentor (e.g., faculty member, instructor, staff, community partner). This submission type includes a literature review and employs quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods research methodology demonstrating community impact. Research involving human subjects must indicate either approval or exemption by the Institutional Review Board (IRB).
    A student authored composition highlighting the mission/vision of a community partner, as well as engagement opportunities for Purdue students with the organizations clients.
    A student-authored composition describing a Purdue teacher’s use of service-learning pedagogy, personal and professional impact from engagement activities, as well as the impact on student learning and the community.
    Community inspired cover art includes photographs, art, or design work that is inspired by or reflects community engagement. The submission includes two parts: the work itself and an artist’s statement.

More detailed information on these submission types, including word length requirements, content requirements, and a checklist for submission, can be found via the links below. Authors should also consult the PJSL Template, available on our website, when formatting their manuscript for submission.

  1. Student Reflective Essay
  2. Community Partner Snapshot
  3. Profile Interview
  4. Research with Reflection
  5. Community Inspired Cover Art

When do I submit?

Abstract submissions are accepted for review on a rolling basis for annual publication. Abstracts submitted after the spring deadline (typically, January 15) will be considered for the following cycle.

How do I submit?

In order to begin the submission process, students should write a brief abstract about their experience by following the Abstract Guidelines described below. Please note that during submission of the abstract, students will also be asked to identify a potential faculty writing mentor. Log on to the PJSL website at http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/pjsl/ to begin the submission process.

Abstract Guideline

An abstract is a concise synopsis of the article and should be approximately 250-500 words in length. After selecting one of the 4 submission types (see Submission Guidelines), include 1-2 sentences from each of its primary content areas in the abstract. If you already have a first draft of an article, you may submit that in lieu of the abstract. Submit to http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/pjsl/

What happens next?

After you have submitted an abstract on the PJSL website, the editor will review your submission and notify you within 2 weeks as to whether your abstract has been accepted. Selected students are then paired with a faculty writing mentor and the writing process begins. The student should load the first full draft to the website, at which point it will be appraised by outside reviewers. Edits will be suggested, and the article will be returned to the student. The student should finalize the article within a two-week period to be considered for the next issue.

Formatting Requirements

Faculty writing mentors should:

  • Ensure authors use the PJSL Template when formatting the article
  • Ensure that student authors have included citations when appropriate (using APA format)
  • Review the content for inclusion of all important components
  • Ensure that the grammar and punctuation are correct
  • Ensure that the article flows well
  • Provide feedback to student


PJSL uses the American Psychological Association (APA) style for citations. Students should include references when appropriate and follow the APA citation guidelines. We encourage students to reference empirical work, statistics or quotes from websites, and peer-reviewed journals referred to in their articles. Resources for APA citation style are below.

Purdue Owl APA: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01
APA Basics Tutorial: http://flash1r.apa.org/apastyle/basics/index.htm


  1. Photos must be at least 300 dpi and a minimum of 4 X 6 inches in size.
  2. Insert photos with captions within the text of your complete article to provide clarity and context.
  3. Upload these same original photos (JPEG or PNG format) on the PJSL website by logging in to your account and selecting the link on the left side of the screen called Manage Additional Files. Click on "choose file" and select your pictures. In the Description Section type the caption for the photograph.
  4. If the photos are not your personal property, you must complete the Photo Permission Form OR obtain e-mail permission from the owner of the photo and upload it under the Supplemental Content link on the website. The e-mail must include the following: "I give permission to __(student author name)__to use this photograph in the Purdue Journal of Service Learning and International Engagement."
  5. Please note that photographs of minors may require additional confirmation that the necessary permissions for consent to publish have been obtained. It is highly recommended that authors seek these permissions prior to or during a service-learning project rather than waiting until the publication process to obtain these.