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Instructions for authors

Download the British Journal of Music Education instructions for contributors here: Download Instruction for Contributors in PDF. (284 KB)

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British Journal of Music Education

BJME is a fully refereed international journal, which aims to provide clear, stimulating and readable accounts of contemporary research in music education worldwide, together with a section containing extended book reviews which further current debates. In particular, the journal strives to strengthen connections between research and practice, so enhancing professional development and improving practice within the field of music education. The range of subjects covers music teaching and learning in formal and informal contexts including classroom, individual, group and whole class instrumental and vocal teaching, music in higher education, international comparative music education, music in community settings, and teacher education. Contributors include researchers and practitioners from schools, colleges and universities. Where appropriate, we encourage authors to include supplementary sound files and other multimedia material. These accompany articles in electronic format on Cambridge Journals Online.

Peer review policy: Each manuscript is reviewed by at least two referees, and an editorial decision is generally reached within 8 to 12 weeks of submission.

BJME has been accepted for inclusion in the Thomson Reuters Arts & Humanities Citation Index and the Social Science Citation Index.

1. Submissions

Contributions and subsequent correspondence should be sent to:

Questions regarding potential submissions or special issues should be addressed to the Editors:

Books for review should be sent to the Book Reviews Editor:

Submission of an article is taken to imply that it has not previously been published, and has not been submitted for publication elsewhere.

Open Access Policies Please visit Open Access Publishing at Cambridge Core for information on our open access policies, compliance with major finding bodies, and guidelines on depositing your manuscript in an institutional repository.

English Language Editing Services Authors, particularly those whose first language is not English, may wish to have their English-language manuscripts checked by a native speaker before submission. This is optional, but may help to ensure that the academic content of the paper is fully understood by the editor and any reviewers. We list a number of third-party services specialising in language editing and / or translation, and suggest that authors contact as appropriate. Please see the Language Services page for more information.

Please note that the use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author's own expense. Use of these services does not guarantee that the manuscript will be accepted for publication, nor does it restrict the author to submitting to a Cambridge published journal.

2. Manuscript preparation


Submission of articles by email is preferred. If submission is made by post, four copies of articles and one of reviews should be sent and one retained for proof-reading.


Articles should usually be around 5,000 words long, but shorter research notes or more substantial pieces will be considered where the subject matter warrants it. Authors should provide a word count at the end of each article. The author’s name should be given on a separate sheet (see Biographical note below) to facilitate the anonymous refereeing process.

Abstract and Keywords

An abstract of about 100 words summarising the content of the article, and three to five keywords, should be given immediately below the title and before the main text. A note giving details of any acknowledgements may also be included.

Biographical note

A biography of around 75 words giving the author’s name, affiliation, musical education and major research interests, etc. should be submitted on a separate cover sheet. The author’s name should be given on a separate sheet to facilitate the anonymous refereeing process. Full contact details should also be included on this sheet.


Articles must be written in English, using British conventions of spelling and punctuation when these differ from American usage. Contributors whose native language is not English are strongly urged to have their articles reviewed by a native speaker prior to submission. It is the Author's responsibility to comply with this request.

Writing should be clear, and jargon free; subheadings are helpful in long articles. All forms of racial and gender stereotyping should be avoided, and language should be inclusive and mindful of an international audience.

Abbreviations and acronyms

All acronyms should be given in full at their first mention, bearing in mind that the readership of the journal is an international one, thus: postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE).


When an article has been accepted for publication, authors must send a word file (.doc), accompanied by an Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) file readable with Acrobat Reader. Do not send an article in .pdf format only. Do not attempt to format the file for journal style or introduce macros. Tables must be included in the word file but placed after the references at the end of the document along with any figure captions. All figures must be supplied as separate TIFF or EPS files.

3. Submitted audio and video examples

It is hoped that contributors will take the opportunity to present audio and/ or video examples to illustrate their articles, where appropriate. These examples will appear as supplementary material alongside the electronic version of the article on Cambridge Journals Online.

Type and quality

Audio and video examples should be submitted in a standard file format and should not normally exceed 10MB. AAC files are preferred for audio examples, and MP4 files for video examples. All files should be clearly labelled.


Contributors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce any material for which they do not hold copyright and for ensuring that the appropriate acknowledgements are included in their typescript. The costs of permission will be the responsibility of the author.

Music and video files are normally made available for download but may be streamed where the permission agreement stipulates this.

Ethical guidelines

Please see BERA’s Revised Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research (2004).

Specifically: researchers must recognise a participant’s entitlement to privacy and must accord them their rights to confidentiality and anonymity, unless they or their guardians or responsible others, specifically and willingly waive that right. Contributors are advised that, where a person, particularly a child, is visible in a video example or illustration, such a waiver in writing is necessary.

4. Quotations and references

All references must be cited by date in parentheses, e.g. (Green, 2001) or Green (2001). Text citation groups should be in chronological order, e.g. (Green, 2001; Adams, 2004), and all references listed alphabetically by surname at the end of the paper (please follow the punctuation given here):

For books: Surname, initials, publication date (in parentheses), title in italics. Place of publication: publisher.

For articles: Surname, initials, publication date (in parentheses), full title. Journal title (in italics), volume number (in bold), issue number, page numbers.

For book chapters: Surname, initials, publication date (in parentheses), title. ‘In’ editor’s name, book title (in italics), page extent of chapter in parentheses. Place of publication: publisher.

Footnotes should be used only if essential, and should be numbered consecutively in superscript and listed on a separate sheet at the end.

Please note: ‘Eds’ without point; ‘&’ for joint authors and in publishers’ names.


EMERSON, R. M., FRETZ, R. I. & SHAW, L. L. (1995) Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

GREEN, L. (2001) How Popular Musicians Learn: A Way Ahead for Music Education. Aldershot: Ashgate.

HO, W-C. (2001) Musical learning: Differences between boys and girls in Hong Kong Chinese co-educational secondary schools. British Journal of Music Education, 18, 41–54.

KNUSSEN, S. (2003) Educational programmes. In C. Lawson (Ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Orchestra (pp. 239–250). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

5. Illustrations and figures

All figures should be supplied as separate TIFF or EPS files. It is essential that JPEG files are greater than 320 dpi. All figures must be cited in the manuscript and each file clearly named. Figures must not be ‘pasted’ into the word file. Line artwork should be supplied in black and white mode at a resolution of 1200 dpi; combination artwork (line/tone) at a resolution of 800dpi; black and white halftone artwork should be saved in ‘greyscale’ mode at a resolution of 300dpi; colour halftone artwork should be saved in ‘CMYK’ mode for printing purposes and ‘RGB’ mode for web only files at a resolution of 400 dpi. Musical examples should be computer-processed wherever possible, but will be reset by the publishers if necessary.

If you request colour figures in the printed version, you will be contacted by CCC-Rightslink who are acting on our behalf to collect Author Charges. Please follow their instructions in order to avoid any delay in the publication of your article.

6. Proofs

Typographical or factual errors only may be changed at proof stage, within a given deadline. The publisher reserves the right to charge authors for correction of non-typographical errors

7. Offprints

Each author will receive a pdf offprint of their article.

8. Copyright

The policy of BJME is that authors (or in some cases their employers) retain copyright and grant Cambridge University Press a licence to publish their work. In the case of gold open access articles this is a non-exclusive licence. Authors must complete and return an author publishing agreement form as soon as their article has been accepted for publication; the journal is unable to publish the article without this. Please download the appropriate publishing agreement here .

For open access articles, the form also sets out the Creative Commons licence under which the article is made available to end users: a fundamental principle of open access is that content should not simply be accessible but should also be freely re-usable. Articles will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY) by default. This means that the article is freely available to read, copy and redistribute, and can also be adapted (users can “remix, transform, and build upon” the work) for any commercial or non-commercial purpose, as long as proper attribution is given. Authors can, in the publishing agreement form, choose a different kind of Creative Commons license (including those prohibiting non-commercial and derivative use) if they prefer.

Last updated September 2020