AEHE: Guidelines for Submitting a Proposal

A proposal should be submitted to the series editors, Kelly Ward at kaward@wsu.edu or Lisa Wolf-Wendel at lwolf@ku.edu, and should include the following:

1. A detailed manuscript proposal of not more than seven pages that includes a chapter-by-chapter outline. The following questions should be addressed:

  • Why is the suggested topic or approach important to higher education?
  • Who is the intended audience for this topic and what questions will this manuscript answer that are of interest to this audience?
  • What is the general conceptual framework or approach of the proposed report?
  • What is the major literature to be reviewed?
  • What are the important qualifications of the authors that should be considered in reviewing this proposal?

2. A 75-word summary of this proposal to be used by several review committees for the initial screening and rating of each proposal.

3. A vita and a writing sample.

Proposal Deadline: Proposals may be submitted at any time. The proposal review process normally takes approximately two months.

Manuscript Deadline: While individual deadlines will be negotiated, all manuscripts must be received within 12 months of proposal acceptance.

The Review Process
The review process can be divided into two phases, proposal review and manuscript review. The series editor oversees and guides this process, and is responsible for

  • Reviewing proposals and manuscripts submitted to see if they are compatible with the goals and mission of the publication
  • Identifying appropriate reviewers
  • Assuring quality of reviews from outside reviewers
  • Synthesizing and interpreting reviews for authors
  • Making decisions about publication

Proposal Review
Once you have completed your proposal based on the criteria above, you will submit it to the editors, Lisa Wolf-Wendel and Kelly Ward. The editors will review the proposal, and if it is satisfactory three members of the review panel and a member of the ASHE Higher Education Report Advisory Board will review it. The review panel is made up of both scholars and practitioners of higher education. The process takes approximately six weeks. The Advisory Board can approve/reject the proposal or ask for a revision. The review panelists will conceptually review the proposal, indicate specific concerns as appropriate, and rate the proposal (either superior, very good, average, or unacceptable) on the following categories:

  • Importance of topic
  • Breadth of audience interest
  • Timeliness of topic
  • Writing style/readability
  • Logical development
  • Comprehensiveness of resources
  • Quality of synthesis (organization)
  • Competence of author(s)

Reviewers will provide detailed commentary, typically one to two pages long, and will recommend that the proposal be accepted, accepted revised, revised and resubmitted for review, or rejected. Most reviewers recommend a rewrite; few proposals are accepted the first time.

Manuscript Review
If the proposal is accepted, authors have one year to complete the manuscript. A panel of consulting editors who are expert scholars and practitioners in the field reviews final ASHE Higher Education Report manuscripts. Since authors of a report are in a position to know who these experts are, the authors typically recommend the editors. The panel consists of two scholars and two practitioners with experience in the manuscript topic. The reviewers can suggest the manuscript be rejected or accepted with a series of changes. The review of the final manuscript takes approximately three months. The consulting editors will conceptually review the manuscript, indicate specific concerns as appropriate, and rate the manuscript (superior, very good, average, or unacceptable) on the following categories:

  • Breadth of audience interest
  • Writing style/readability
  • Logical development

Reviewers will provide detailed commentary—from two to fifteen pages depending on the reviewer's interest—and will answer the following questions:

  • Is the manuscript worth publishing?
  • What points are naive or overgeneralized?
  • Is the writing clear?
  • Are there major publications or institutional practices that need to be covered to make this a definitive analysis?
  • Are there specific passages that could be or should be changed to improve the manuscript's impact?

The author is given two months to make final changes to the manuscript before it goes to production; however, the author must make all changes specified by reviewers.