Aims and scope of journal

Educational Research for Social Change is an international peer-reviewed journal established in 2012 in the Faculty of Education, Nelson Mandela University. The idea of educational research having the potential of being transformative - through working with communities and through various participatory research approaches - is something that is still very new in many educational research circles. This journal therefore aims to play a critical role in confirming the importance of educational research as social change, contributing to the theorising thereof, and the dissemination of current research to a broad, cross-disciplinary audience of scholars and practitioners in the field of education.

ERSC publishes scientific articles which draw on participatory methodologies such as Arts-Based Research (ABR), Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR), Participatory Action Research (PAR), Participatory Action Learning and Action Research (PALAR), Participatory Visual Research (PVR/PVM), Self-Study Research (SSR) and other such empirical research, located in critical and transformative paradigms, seen as key in contributing to the transformation of education research and education itself.  ERSC also publishes original conceptual papers, book reviews and conference and project reports which are relevant to the scope of the journal.  Each publication should clearly demonstrate its relevance to social change. We do not accept articles that merely report on issues, where researchers harvest data from participants and interpret it to develop recommendations for change - the research itself must lead to some form of change in at least one of the following areas;  change in the researcher, change in the participants, change in the situation.

Editorial Policy

This journal (ISSN 2221-4070) is published bi-annually (April and September), providing a forum for the dissemination of knowledge to invoke critical discussion of research for social change. Proposals for themed issues are also considered. The journal invites research articles and conceptual papers which are informed by qualitative designs. All articles are subject to a double-blind peer review process. The reviewers who review the articles comprise of internationally and/or nationally renowned scholars in the field the article addresses and/or the field of research for social change. When reviews are received, an editorial decision is made to either accept the article, reject the article, request revision (and in some instances sent for a second or third round of peer review), or request arbitration. As a rule only one article per author or co-author will be accepted per year for refereeing and possible publication.

A brief description of ethical issues/aspects should be included in an article which reports on empirical findings. Furthermore, the relevant university ethics certificate should accompany the article being submitted.

Language editing

Authors are responsible for having their article professionally language edited, and supplying a letter to that effect, before publication. This may be done on submission of the article or after acceptance but authors then run the risk of poorly edited articles not being sent for review.

Copyright of articles

ERSC adheres to the BOAI definition of open access, and thus users have the right to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles.

The Creative Commons license allows users to read, download, distribute, use, remix, build on the texts, with the proviso that the author/s and the journal is acknowledged.  Authors retain unrestricted publishing rights.

Malpractice Statement

The following information is adapted from the Editorial Policy of South African Journal of Education: (Available at Accessed 12 May 2017).

Authors bear full responsibility for the accuracy of the factual content of their manuscript. A signed declaration in respect of originality as well as that the manuscript has not been published or is not being submitted for publication elsewhere must accompany each manuscript. 

Manuscripts received will be submitted to Turnitin and a similarity index of 15% will apply, although the similarity report will be interpreted qualitatively.

Plagiarism entails the use and publication of ideas that have been published previously, without appropriate acknowledgement, and as such is an unacceptable research and writing practice.  Citing the work of others word-for-word should be indicated by means of double quotation marks and inclusion of the page number.  Therefore, for an in-text citation, the author’s surname, year of publication and the page number should be provided (For example (Moletsane 2017, pp. 3-4).

Self-plagiarism(redundancy) as in the examples below, is also an unacceptable research and writing practice.  

  1. Authors reproducing sections of their previously published manuscripts without appropriate quotation.
  2. Authors creating several manuscripts slightly different from each other, submitting it to different journals without acknowledging their doing so.

Identification of misconduct

  1. Misconduct and unethical behaviour may be identified and brought to the attention of the editors at any time, by anyone.
  2. Misconduct and unethical behaviour may include, but need not be limited to examples as outlined above.
  3. Whoever informs the editors of such misconduct should provide sufficient information and evidence in order for an investigation to be initiated. All allegations should be taken seriously and treated in the same way, until a successful decision or conclusion is reached.

Dealing with misconduct such as plagiarism, redundancy/self-plagiarism, and other unethical behaviour

  1. The Editors will make an initial decision and investigate the matter further, by examining the available evidence themselves or by further consultation with experts on the Editorial Board.
  2. In cases of minor misconduct the author will be given the opportunity to respond to any allegations.
  3. In cases of serious misconduct the author will be given the opportunity to respond to any allegations.  The Editors will make a decision whether or not to involve the employers.

Outcomes depending on the nature of the misconduct

  1. In cases of minor misconduct the Editors will inform and educate the author who will be asked to rephrase the duplicated sentences.
  2. In cases of minor misconduct the Editors will send a strongly worded letter to the author explaining the misconduct and giving a stern warning about future misconduct.
  3. In cases of manuscript submission where there are serious redundancy concerns the Editors will not allow the publishing of the particular manuscript and aformal notice detailing the misconduct will be published in the journal.
  4. In some instances an article which has been published online (as part of ERSC) has to be retracted. To maintain the integrity of the record, a statement explaining the situation will replace the original retracted article. ERSC will retain the original retracted article.
  5. In the case of a manuscript already published, a formal notice of redundant publication will be issued to readers as part of the next issue. The Editors have the right to refuse accepting submissions from such an author for a certain period of time (Information adapted from Redundant Publication: The Editorial Policy Committee of the Council of Science Editors (n.d.). Available at Accessed 12 May 2017).  A formal letter will be sent to the head of the author's department /institution, the abstracting & Indexing services, and the readership of the publication.
  6. The Editors will report the case and outcome to the relevant higher authorities for further investigation and action.

Authors should therefore cite overlapping sections of two of their own manuscripts. Upon request of the Editors the information of the second manuscript should be made available (Information adapted from Code of Ethics for the Journal of International Business Studies (n.d.). Available at Accessed 12 May 2013).

Retraction or withdrawal of published article

In some instances an article which has been published online (as part of ERSC) has to be retracted. To maintain the integrity of the record, a statement explaining the situation will replace the original retracted article. ERSC will retain the original retracted article.


The publication of the journal is made possible through processing fees of R5000 from 2021 per article. There is NO submission fee.

Terms of use

Any person using ERSC Online may view, reproduce or store copies of articles from the journal provided that the articles are used only for  personal, non-commercial use.

Disclaimer of warranties

No responsibility is accepted by the Editors, by ERSC or by the Nelson Mandela University (NMU) for the opinions expressed by contributors or for the content. No responsibility is assumed by ERSC and the NMU and editors of ERSC, for any injury and/or damage to persons or property as a matter of products liability, negligence or otherwise, or for any use or operation of any methods, products, instructions, or ideas contained in the material published.

Digital Archiving and Preservation Policy

The Educational Research for Social Change journal uses the Portico system ( to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration. In order to view ERSC in the Portico Keeper's Registry - visit this link :

Self-archiving policy

Authors are allowed to archive the final published version of their articles in personal/institutional repositories after publication.



Length: The extended abstract should be 2-4 pages long, including references.

The above is based on:


ONE PAPER PER YEAR PER AUTHOR: Please take note that only one paper will be published by an author per year.


Full papers must be between 6000 and 8000 words, including notes and references. An abstract of not more than 200 words and a list of six keywords for indexing purposes should be provided.

Please use the template on our website for the layout and fonts.

Footnotes are allowed, but please do not use Endnotes.

The referencing is APA 7th [ ]


The submission file has to be saved as either Microsoft Word. Please do not submit in pdf format.

Use “save as” to save your document as yourname_ERSC.doc, so that you retain an unaltered copy of this template.

Authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items:

Note: it is forbidden to publish the same research in more than one journal or book chapter (an article may be published in a book only if full acknowledgement is given to the journal and if prior permission is attained from the editors.)




Template for a project report

Template for a conference report

NB: Submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.


Reviewers should not have a conflict of interest, so if you recognise the article as the work of a particular person, you should decline from reviewing it.

All reviews should be objective and constructive and suggestions for change should be clearly indicated.

Please use the template provided for review purposes.

Reviewers should point out relevant published work which is not cited

Reviewers should treat all articles they are reviewing confidentially prior to their publication.