About UAR

Urban Affairs Review is a peer-reviewed, bi-monthly journal focused on questions of politics, governance, and public policy specifically as they relate to cities and/or their regions. Submissions of empirical and comparative research from different scholarly disciplines and methodological perspectives are encouraged. Potential topics include: civic and political engagement; racial and ethnic politics; local and regional institutions; municipal fiscal health; and analyses of urban public policies directed at community development; economic, civic, and environmental sustainability; public education, affordable housing, public transportation, public safety, and physical infrastructure.

Research Publication Formats


Articles provide significant theoretical contributions to important questions of politics, governance, and public policy specifically as they relate to cities and/or their regions. Diverse disciplinary perspectives are encouraged, but submissions should contribute to important literatures in urban politics, institutions, and policies relevant to the research questions. Comparative empirical research is especially welcome, as are submissions from diverse methodological perspectives. Manuscripts submitted as articles should not exceed 12,000 words.

UAR does not publish special issues, but does publish sets of articles as symposia or colloquies. Symposia are sets of 3-5 articles providing greater depth on an important topic of broad interest among urban scholars. UAR symposia generally do not include an introductory article, and each article in the proposed set is assessed independently of the others and as such must provide a sufficient contribution on its own to merit publication. Colloquies are sets of articles featuring an exchange of perspectives about an important topic. Colloquies are typically comprised of an initial essay, followed by 3-5 shorter essays engaging the initial essay, and ending with a short response from the author(s) of the initial essay. Colloquies can be developed around a highly influential book or differing perspectives on an important issue. Proposals for symposia and colloquies should be sent to Richardson Dilworth at urban.affairs.review@gmail.com.

Research Note

Research notes serve one of two functions. First, it provides a validation of, an addendum to, an extension of, or a refutation of a single point or concept that is established in previous research or significant policy debates. The conclusion and/or discussion section(s) must be sufficiently developed to highlight the importance of the findings and make clear how they should affect future research. Second, it provides a targeted call to other researchers, such as to introduce a new idea or to suggest a new methodology. Both types of research note require only minimal and narrowly targeted reference to the body of research, and no exploration of a broader literature – just enough to point readers to the established research that the note addresses or takes as its point of departure. Manuscripts submitted as research notes should not exceed 6,000 words.

Research Synthesis

Research syntheses critically assess a body of theory or empirical research, articulating what is known about a phenomenon and ways to advance research about it, including identifying influential variables and effect sizes associated with an existing body of empirical research and major gaps in our knowledge that need to be addressed. The research synthesis should include a systematic and reproducible search strategy and articulate clear criteria for inclusion of studies in the analysis. Meta-analyses that statistically combine studies to determine an overall effect or effect size of one variable on another are welcome, as are research syntheses that do not use formal meta-analytic methods. These objectives are fundamental to this specific form of article and we ask that you be sure to explicitly frame your research as a synthesis, outline the criteria used for establishing the boundaries for research included in this synthesis, and articulate what we know and how to advance our knowledge further. Manuscripts submitted as research syntheses should not exceed 12,000 words.

Book Review Essay

Book review essays are short scholarly pieces that compare and contrast the contributions of the multiple books (or selected portions of the books) under review. These essays identify key themes or critical issues across the set of books, position key contributions within larger bodies of literature, and assess the impact of each book to understanding the overarching topic or topic areas. Book review essays are not a compilation of multiple book reviews. Their purpose is not to provide a thorough content description and book review essays need not consider each of the subject books completely or equally. Manuscripts submitted as book review essays should not exceed 6,000 words. Proposals for book review essays should be sent to Richardson Dilworth at urban.affairs.review@gmail.com.

UAR publishes reviews of individual books on the Urban Affairs Forum.

The journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Urban Affairs Review is published by SAGE.  The full text of all our articles can be found at our SAGE website.

Submission Guidelines

Manuscript Submission Guidelines (from SAGE):

Urban Affairs Review (UAR) now has moved to an online submission system (SAGE Track). By doing so Urban Affairs Review will further streamline the process from initial submission by author(s) through publication. In addition, authors will be able to track the status of their manuscript through the review process.

In order to effectively manage this transition, the journal requests that you use the following guidelines when making your submission.

  • Submit manuscripts electronically at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/uar
  • In order to submit a manuscript, the corresponding author must create an account on the online system.
  • Additional information about creating an account and submitting manuscripts are also provided on the website.

In addition, be aware that submission of a manuscript implies commitment to publish in the journal. Authors submitting manuscripts to the journal should not simultaneously submit them to another journal, nor should manuscripts have been published elsewhere in substantially similar form or with substantially similar content.

General Guidelines for Submitting Manuscripts

Manuscripts must be prepared in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition) guidelines. Articles and Research Synthesis manuscripts should not exceed 12,000 words (approximately 30 pages) and Research Notes should not exceed 5,600 words (approximately 14 pages). These limits are provided as a guide to authors and longer versions (particularly for Research Notes) may be considered. Word count totals include all text, endnotes, references, tables and figures.

All text, endnotes, and references should be typed and double-spaced, with one-inch margins. An abstract of approximately 150 words should accompany the manuscript. Manuscripts must be submitted in 12pt, Times New Roman font.

UAR utilizes a double-blind review process to evaluate manuscripts for publication. The author(s) identity must not be indicated on the title page or any other place in the document submitted and all obvious references that reveal the author(s) identity, including previous work, should be omitted in the version submitted for review. Please do not upload a second title page listing the author information. Sagetrack captures author information as part of the submission process, making this additional title page unnecessary.

For any other queries regarding the submission process please consult the UAR Blog http://urbanaffairsreview.com or contact the managing editor at urban.affairs.review@gmail.com. Here are the contact details of the editorial office:

Urban Affairs Review Editorial Office
Richardson Dilworth, Managing Editor
Elizabeth Motyka, Assistant Managing Editor

Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation at Drexel University

Email: urban.affairs.review@gmail.com

If you or your funder wish your article to be freely available online to nonsubscribers immediately upon publication (gold open access), you can opt for it to be included in SAGE Choice, subject to the payment of a publication fee. The manuscript submission and peer review procedure is unchanged. On acceptance of your article, you will be asked to let SAGE know directly if you are choosing SAGE Choice. To check journal eligibility and the publication fee, please visit SAGE Choice. For more information on open access options and compliance at SAGE, including self/author archiving deposits (green open access) visit SAGE Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.

At SAGE, we are committed to facilitating openness, transparency and reproducibility of research. Where relevant, The Journal encourages authors to share their research data in a suitable public repository subject to ethical considerations and where data is included, to add a data accessibility statement in their manuscript file. Authors should also follow data citation principles. For more information please visit the SAGE Author Gateway, which includes information about SAGE’s partnership with the data repository Figshare.

Style Guide

Keywords from 2019 submissions to UAR