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Dissertation Overview Submission Guidelines

The Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement invites both unsolicited as well as solicited submission of condensed overviews of completed dissertation or thesis research of interest to the community engagement field. Dissertation Overview research may represent quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-methods traditions, and may be conducted in any discipline, as long as the study is situated broadly within the field of university-community engagement, service-learning, public scholarship, outreach, and/or the scholarship of engagement. These submissions may receive expedited approval for publication, with or without external peer review, based on editorial discretion.

Criteria for Eligibility

  • The overview is based directly on the author’s dissertation or thesis research;
  • The research is on a topic related to university-community engagement; and
  • The dissertation/thesis being overviewed has been successfully defended to the author’s doctoral or master’s committee, typically no more than three years prior to submission to JHEOE.

Dissertation Overviews should follow the same Submission Preparation Checklist and Technical/Writing Guidelines for Authors as for other JHEOE submissions, with the exception that Dissertation Overviews are limited to no more than 5,000 words (plus references). See below for other pointers.

Typically, these Overviews will:

  • Outline the purpose or problem the research addressed, making clear how this relates to university-community engagement;
  • Overview the theoretical and conceptual framework(s) used and briefly review relevant literature;
  • Briefly describe the research methods, including participants, data sources, and methodology;
  • Summarize key findings, lessons learned, conclusions drawn, etc.; and
  • Outline the significance of the research for the service-learning/community engagement field and/or the discipline, and provide recommendations for practice resulting from the study.

Dissertation Overviews should also provide a link to the full dissertation (e.g., in an electronic database or university archive) if available, especially for readers interested in going beyond the overview/summary article.

Dissertation Overview Submission Procedures and Pointers: Follow the same Submission Preparation Checklist and author guidelines as for other JHEOE submissions, with the exceptions noted on this page (e.g., word limits).

  • In the online submission site, be sure to select “Dissertation Overview” as the Section type.
  • The title of the submitted manuscript should include, in parentheses, “(Dissertation [or Thesis] Overview)” after the primary title; this should also be listed as the “Subtitle” in the “Enter Metadata” section of the online submission page.
  • Upload the Dissertation Overview file, ensuring it complies with the Technical/Writing Guidelines for Authors.
  • Additionally, upload as a supplemental file, a Title Sheet that includes:
    • Author’s name and contact information (mailing and email addresses, phone numbers)
    • The dissertation/thesis title, degree program, department, institutional affiliation, and date of successfully defended dissertation/thesis.
    • Name of the author’s dissertation director (supervising faculty)’s name, title, department, institution, and contact information.
    • An electronic link, if available, to the full dissertation/thesis (e.g., in ProQuest or other database)

Please feel free to contact the section editor, Dr. Paul Matthews (, with any questions.