Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

JYD is an open-access, peer-reviewed, quarterly online publication dedicated to advancing youth development practice and research. JYD serves applied researchers and evaluators as well as practitioners who work in youth-serving organizations or the intermediaries that support them. Both special issues -- which focus on a shared topic -- and standard issues contain the types of articles outlined below.


Section Policies

Feature Articles

Feature Articles (2000-5000 words) are informational, explanatory, or critical analysis and interpretation of major trends or comprehensive reviews. Articles include clear implications for youth development practice and programming and may be based on original research or new research from the relevant disciplines. Feature articles need to be grounded in youth development theory and contribute to further shaping the field of youth development.

  • Andrea Ettekal
Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Program Articles

Program Articles (1500-4000 words) describe programs and practices that are grounded in research or a theoretical framework and have demonstrated findings with implications for application or information for replication. Sufficient evidence of efficacy should be provided, but the main aim should be to describe the effort, with implications for application or information for replication. These might include, for example, an innovative youth program, a successful professional development effort, or a promising youth engagement strategy. These are not program evaluations; these articles should focus on strengthening programs and practice.

  • Maria Guzman-Rocha
Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Research and Evaluation Strategies

Research and Evaluation Strategies (1500-4000 words) describe innovative research strategies and program evaluation methods, with an emphasis on the application of best practices for conducting youth program evaluations. The focus of these articles should be on how we use evaluation and research results to understand and improve youth development programs and practice, as well as how to engage young people in youth development research and program evaluation.

  • Jill Young
Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Resource Reviews

Resource Reviews (600-1000 words) offer youth development practitioners an avenue to share their perspective and insights on new, useful tools for enhancing youth development work.  Reviewers should provide a critical analyses of books, curricula, videos, simulations, games, websites, apps, new technologies or other tools that may be helpful to youth development professionals at any level—administrators, middle management or frontline staff.  Resources with an international focus on youth development are also appropriate.  The value and limitations of the resources should be noted by the reviewer. Readers should gain a clear idea of how this resource may be used by a youth development practitioner. The materials under review must be thoroughly identified, including author, publisher date of publication, and information on how to obtain a copy of the materials.  Resource review submissions are peer reviewed by the section editor.

  • Theresa Ferrari
Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Thought Leader Commentary

Thought Leader Commentaries (1000-1500 words) feature special commentary by leading figures in the field of youth development. These leaders are invited to reflect on a topic and share their thoughts on where we have been, where we are, and where we need to go related to practice, research and policy. Thought Leader Commentaries are peer reviewed by the section editor.

  • Dale Blyth
Unchecked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Peer Review Process

JYD uses a double-blind peer-review process, in which reviewers do not know the identity of the authors, and the identity of the reviewers is not revealed to the authors. JYD aims to complete the review process and provide feedback to authors within twelve weeks of submission.

Manuscripts judged to be of potential interest to our readership are sent for formal review, typically to two or three reviewers. Reviewers rate submissions on criteria including:

  • Significance: Articles should address topics that are relevant for and important to JYD readers. They should address key issues of youth development practice and/or research.
  • Originality: Articles should introduce new and innovative work and ideas. They should add to existing knowledge of best practice, research or theory.
  • Quality: Articles should meet high standards of intellectual and methodological rigor. They should be credible, valid and reliable.
  • Coherence: Articles should be clear, organized and well-developed. They should make sense, be well written, and easy for JYD readers to understand.
  • Application to Practice: Articles should have clear implications for practice that are useful, realistic, and relevant for practitioners’ consideration.

The editors then make a decision based on the reviewers' advice, from among several possibilities:

  • Decline: This manuscript should not be accepted for publication.
  • Resubmit for Review: This manuscript needs majoy revision and further review.
  • Revisions Required: This manuscript shoudl be accepted with minor revisions.
  • Accept: This manuscript should be published as submitted.

We want the publishing process to be a positive one. We provide our authors constructive reviewer feedback and helpful editorial assistance. We are piloting a Publishing Mentorship effort to connect authors with a member of our Publications Committee to support their revision. 


Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content. Our publisher, the University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh, abides by the Budapest Open Access Initiative definition of Open Access:

“By “open access” to [peer-reviewed research literature], we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.”

Researchers engage in discovery for the public good, yet because of cost barriers or use restrictions imposed by other publishers, research results are not available to the full community of potential users. It is our mission to support a greater global exchange of knowledge by making the research published in this journal open to the public and reusable under the terms of a Creative Commons CC-BY license.

Furthermore, we encourage authors to post their pre-publication manuscript in institutional repositories or on their Web sites prior to and during the submission process, and to post the Publisher’s final formatted PDF version after publication. These practices benefit authors with productive exchanges as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.

There are no article processing charges, submissions fees, or any other costs required of authors to submit articles to this journal.



This journal utilizes the LOCKSS system to create a distributed archiving system among participating libraries and permits those libraries to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration. More...


Statement on Publishing Ethics

Adherence to ethical standards for the dissemination of research results is critical to the research process. JYD adheres to the Code of conduct and best practice guidelines of the Committee On Publication Ethics (COPE), the Code of Conduct of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing of the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).