Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

Disability Studies Quarterly (DSQ) is the journal of the Society for Disability Studies (SDS). It is a multidisciplinary and international journal of interest to social scientists, scholars in the humanities and arts, disability rights advocates, and others concerned with the issues of people with disabilities. It represents the full range of methods, epistemologies, perspectives, and content that the field of disability studies embraces. DSQ is committed to developing theoretical and practical knowledge about disability and to promoting the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in society. (ISSN: 1041-5718; eISSN: 2159-8371)


Section Policies


Full-length manuscripts on research, theory, or reviews of the literature. Keep tables, figures and other images to a minimum; all such material must be accompanied by a brief narrative description. These articles will be sent to appropriate experts for review according to suggested criteria, without identifying the author(s). Length: No more than 6000 words, excluding references.

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Creative Works

The work submitted should be conscious of disability themes and issues and should adhere to the philosophy of DSQ as expressed in paragraph three of the Statement of Principles. Although DSQ has no restrictions as to school or form, work submitted in this area should exhibit an understanding of conventions of fiction and poetics. Work in this area will be peer reviewed by scholars and writers working with disability in the fields of cultural studies, humanities, and/or creative writing. For a poetry example, see "The Things I Forget". For a short story example, see "Window Offices." Regarding poetry and fiction accepted for publication: By agreeing to publish in DSQ, authors grant DSQ first rights to publication of the work(s) and subsequent archival on the DSQ web site. Rights revert to author upon publication. Length: Varies

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Book and Media Reviews

We do not accept unsolicited book and media reviews. Those interested in reviewing should contact the editors. Complete guidelines can be found in the Fall 2010 issue at http://www.dsq-sds.org/article/view/1290/1319.

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Peer Review Process

All articles and creative works are reviewed by peers who have the appropriate knowledge and expertise. Final publication decisions are made by the Editor based on information gathered from the peer reviews.


Publication Frequency

DSQ is published by The Ohio State University Libraries four times a year: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.


Open Access Policy

This journal provides open access on the principle that making research freely available supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.


Statement of Principles

By Rosemarie Garland-Thomson and Paul K. Longmore
Approved Fall 2003 by the Society for Disability Studies Board

The values and ideologies that shape social arrangements, public policies, professional practices, and, most important, the experience of "disability" are in the midst of a classic paradigm shift. Disability issues are demanding attention in every sphere and institution of society. Everything related to disability and people with disabilities is in the process of being rethought and needs to be rethought.

The academic study of disability has primarily been shaped by ideologies that define it as limitation in the performance of expected social roles due to underlying physiological pathology. That definition inevitably prescribes medical treatments and habilitation or rehabilitation as the appropriate solutions to the problems of people with disabilities. Yet those approaches have had only limited impact in ameliorating disabled people's socioeconomic marginalization.

In contrast to these traditional modes of addressing and studying disability, Disability Studies takes as its domain the relationship of social values to societal organization and public policies, professional training and delivery of services, individual behavior and interpersonal encounters, cultural representation and technological and architectural design. Disability Studies utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to analyze the intricate interactions among social, cultural, political, economic, and physiological variables. It seeks neither to jettison, nor to embrace medical paradigms of disability, but to transcend them. It explains personal experiences of disability, not simply in terms of the functioning of bodies that operate in nonstandard ways, but by locating those differences within the larger context of the cultural milieus that shape disability experiences. Disability Studies also seeks to supply the rigorous research and critical analysis essential to any effort at social reconstruction.


In pursuit of this vision and in support of an agenda that builds the academic field of Disability Studies in both the United States and globally, the Disability Studies Quarterly (DSQ) will provide a peer-reviewed forum for scholarship. It will represent the full range of methods, epistemologies, perspectives, and content that compose multidisciplinary Disability Studies.

DSQ aims to play a leading role in developing the field of Disability Studies by providing scholars with a vehicle to publish academic research that is credible within their particular fields of specialization. Discipline-specific articles must therefore match the highest and most rigorous standards in those fields. At the same time, all articles must be accessible to readers outside of those particular disciplines.

DSQ will seek articles that cut across disciplines and have implications for the full range of the field of Disability Studies. The ideal DSQ reader will be the general academic reader in Disability Studies. In addition, the journal will publish nonacademic essays that reflect the perspectives of the disability community. Finally, DSQ intends to fashion itself as a model of accessibility for academic journals.


DSQ will have a rotating editorship. The editor will serve for a term of three to five years. The DSQ editorial offices will be located at the home academic institution of the editor. The editor may hire a managing editor(s). The editor will recruit an editorial board that represents the various disciplinary perspectives of Disability Studies. In collaboration with the editorial board, the editor will develop a roster of referees to evaluate articles submitted for publication.

The journal will be produced permanently at the journals division of an academic press. The formats for DSQ will be special issues dedicated to topical themes, refereed articles, both short book reviews and essay length book reviews, and announcements regarding professional opportunities. In terms of accessibility, DSQ will not only offer alternative formats, but will also utilize the best access practices in terms of print readability, language style, and color contrast.

If you encounter problems with the site or have comments to offer, including any access difficulty due to incompatibility with adaptive technology, please contact the web manager, Ingrid Schneider. Disability Studies Quarterly is published by The Ohio State University Libraries in partnership with the Society for Disability Studies.