Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees is a non-profit, interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed, bilingual journal. It publishes analytical, reflective, and probing articles from a wide range of disciplinary and regional perspectives, presenting writing of academics, policy-makers, and practitioners in the field of forced migration. The journal provides space for discussion of emerging themes and debates, as well as ongoing topics. The journal also features a book review section and occasionally publishes special issues on specific themes related to forced migration. Refuge publishes articles in both English and French.

Refuge : revue canadienne sur les réfugiés est une revue sans but lucratif, bilingue, interdisciplinaire, avec évaluation par les pairs. Refuge publie des articles analytiques, de réflexion et d’examen relevant d’une diversité d’approches disciplinaires et régionales. Les auteurs sont actifs dans les milieux universitaires, le développement de politiques ou agissent directement sur le terrain. Refuge offre un espace de discussion et de réflexion critique sur les enjeux se rapportant aux réfugiés et à la migration forcée. La revue inclut également une section de comptes rendus, et publie occasionnellement des numéros thématiques en lien avec la migration forcée. Refuge publie des articles en français et en anglais.



Section Policies

Test Articles

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Peer Review Process

Refuge publishes high-quality, original research. All submissions are first subject to an initial review for quality and thematic fit, undertaken by the journal’s editorial team, in consultation with individual editorial board members, where necessary. If found suitable for further consideration, the editorial team then identifies at least two experts in the field to undertake a double-blind peer review of each submission that successfully passes the initial editorial review.

The average length of time for the initial review by the editorial team is one month from the date of submission. The average length of time for peer review is six weeks per reviewer.

Refuge publie des recherches originales de haut niveau. Tous les articles doivent réussir une évaluation initiale au niveau de la qualité et de la thématique, effectuée par la direction en consultation avec des membres du comité éditorial lorsque cela est nécessaire. L’article qui a réussi cette étape est ensuite envoyé en évaluation à au moins deux experts des domaines pertinents, processus se faisant de façon anonyme.

L’évaluation initiale prend en moyenne quatre semaines à partir de la date de soumission pour être complétée. Le processus d’évaluation par les pairs prend en moyenne six semaines pour chacune des évaluations.


Publication Frequency

Refuge is published on a semi-annual basis.


Refuge est publié deux fois par année.


Open Access Policy

Refuge is an open access electronic publication, available free of charge through our website. This ensures that the journal is accessible to readers who may not have access to academic libraries, including practitioners, people in situations of forced migration, and readers from the global south.


Refuge est une publication en accès électronique libre et gratuit sur notre site web. Notre publication est donc accessible aux lecteurs qui n’ont pas accès aux bibliothèques universitaires, ce qui inclut les acteurs sur le terrain, les personnes elles-mêmes en migration forcée, et les lecteurs de l’hémisphère sud.


Guidelines for Special Issues

Of the issues Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees publishes annually at least one must be a general issue.  In addition, Refuge typically publishes ones special issue each year.  In exceptional circumstances, we may make room for an additional special issue.  This document is intended to serve as a point of reference for the guest editor(s), authors, Refuge editorial team and professionals working on contract to produce the issue.

We will be guided by the following overall principles:

  • Informed communication: The guest editor(s) and Refuge editorial team will copy each other on all communications to authors about papers in the special issue.
  • Collegial decision-making: The guest editor(s) and Refuge editorial team will consult each other on all decisions related to the special issue. We will strive for consensus. In case of irreconcilable differences, the editor-in-chief will take the final decision, as s/he is ultimately accountable for financial oversight, human resources and publication of the journal.
  • Integrity of double blind peer review process: As a scholarly journal, Refuge is committed to basing publication decisions on recommendations from reviewers in a double blind peer review process. In all communications with authors, the guest editors and Refuge editorial team will ensure that authors clearly understand that there is no presumption of publication.
  • Cost-sharing: Refuge is a non-profit, open access journal. Where possible, costs associated with publishing should be budgeted for in guest editor(s)’ research grants.
  • Respect for deadlines: Refuge prides itself on timely publication. In order to uphold time standards, authors, guest editors, professionals on contract and the Refuge editorial team must respect deadlines and established production schedules.

Roles and responsibilities

The editor-in-chief is responsible for:

  • General editorial oversight of the issue.
  • Financial, copyright and final publishing decisions.
  • Consultation with the editorial board, as necessary.
  • Editorial decisions on articles at submission, after peer review and after revisions.
  • Management of the Refuge editorial team.
  • Approval of the final proofs.

The guest editor(s) are responsible for:

  • Providing editorial input given their expertise on the topic of the special issue.
  • Identifying a cluster of books to be reviewed and an author of a book review essay, as Refuge deems this contribution to be a significant part of the overall contribution of the special issue.
  • Identifying potential additional books to be reviewed, as well as potential authors of book reviews.
  • Reviewing submissions and providing comments to the editor-in-chief.
  • Identifying potential peer reviewers.
  • Evaluating peer review comments and providing comments to the editor-in-chief.
  • Evaluating final submissions and providing comments to the editor-in-chief.
  • Reviewing final proofs.

The book review editor is responsible for:

  • Making a final decision on the books to be reviewed.
  • Soliciting reviews from book review authors.
  • Liaising with the managing editor on getting authors the books to be reviewed.
  • Liaising with book review authors on editorial feedback..
  • Making a final decision on which book reviews to be published.
  • Approving the final proofs of the book review section.

The managing editor is responsible for:

  • Managing the Refuge website.
  • Managing the Refuge email.
  • Managing the online journal submission system.
  • Securing publication agreements.
  • Liaising with the book review editor on book reviews and following up with publishers, as needed.
  • Liaising with the translator, copy-editor, typesetter and other professionals on contract to Refuge.
  • Reviewing the final proofs.


1. The guest editor(s) submit by email to refuge@yorku.ca a proposal for a special issue to the Refuge editor-in-chief. The proposal must contain:

  • A proposed title
  • Names, titles and email addresses of all guest editors
  • A 1-paragraph summary of the topic; its relevance to forced migration studies; and the proposed contribution to knowledge
  • A list of authors, titles and abstracts for papers being proposed for publication OR          A draft call for papers (A minimum of 6 papers is required for a special issue and 4 papers for a special focus of a general issue.)
  • A proposed list of 2-4 books to be included in a book review essay and a name of a potential book review essay author.
  • A proposed list of other recent books related to the topic, as well as potential book review authors, for consideration by the book review editor.
2. The Refuge editorial team will review the proposal and will, within 2 weeks, respond to the guest editor(s) with their decision and/or with requests for further information.

3. For special issues where a call for papers is required, the guest editors and Refuge editorial team will work together to produce a bilingual call for papers on which all parties agree. This call for papers will be posted on the Refuge website, sent to Refuge subscribers, and sent to CARFMS and CRS listservs. The guest editor(s) may wish to distribute the call for papers through other listservs. In these cases, refuge@yorku.ca should be copied on these communications.

4. For all special issues, all papers must be submitted through the regular on-line submission process on the Refuge website. Authors should indicate in the comment field that the submission is intended to be considered for the special issue on ____ [insert special issue topic]. Under no circumstances will Refuge accept submissions by email.

5. The guest editor(s) will decide if they are writing a substantive introduction, which will be subject to peer review, or a shorter introduction which simply introduces the topic and papers. In the case of the former, the editor(s) must follow all established deadlines and peer review processes, like any other authors. In the case of the shorter, more technical introduction, this can be submitted later in the process, as it does not need to be peer reviewed. It will still be subject to an editorial review and copy editing.

6. The Refuge editorial team will provide editor access on our website for guest editor(s) to all papers designated for the special issue, except in cases where this could jeopardize the double blind peer review process (ex. where the guest editor is an author of a paper).

7.Once the book list has been approved by the book review editor, the guest editor(s) will propose potential authors of the book reviews.

8. The book review editor will approach potential reviewers. The managing editor will arrange for publishers to send the books to reviewers.

9. The guest editor(s) and Refuge editorial team will review submissions and take an editorial decision on whether or not the papers will be sent out for peer review, based on:

  • Quality of the submission
  • Originality of the contribution to the field of forced migration studies
  • Fit with the mandate of Refuge

As per Refuge’s normal editorial standards, this decision should be taken within 2 weeks of receipt of the manuscript.

10. The Refuge editorial team will communicate the editorial decision to the author through the website, with copy to the guest editor(s).

11. If the editorial decision is to send out the paper for peer review, then the guest editor(s) will propose at least 3 potential peer reviewers per paper. These reviewers must have expertise in the areas related to the paper and must not be in conflict of interest with the paper or the issue, including:

  • Author of another paper in the special issue;
  • Close collaborator of the author; and,
  • Co-author with the author on another related publication.

12. The Refuge editorial team will send a peer review request to each proposed peer reviewer and, for those who agree to review, will provide access to the manuscript and peer review guidelines.

13. In cases where the initial peer review requests fail to secure two peer reviews, the guest editor(s) will propose other potential reviewers.

14. Once all peer reviews have been received, the managing editor will send the results to the editor-in-chief and guest editor(s), who will evaluate the comments and propose an editorial decision (reject; revise and resubmit; or, accept) based on Refuge’s editorial guidelines and the quality of the peer reviews. In some cases, an additional peer review will be sought.

15. The Refuge editorial team will communicate the results of the peer review to the author(s).

16. In the case of revisions, the editorial team and guest editor(s) will review the revised submission to ensure that it responds to the reviewers’ comments.

17. The Refuge editorial team will communicate with the author about any additional revisions required, requesting that the revised manuscript be re-submitted through the online system.

18. Once a paper or book review is accepted for publication, the managing editor will send a publication agreement to the author(s) and liaise with the translator, copy editor and typesetter.

19. The Refuge editorial team and guest editor(s) will review the final proofs of the whole issue.

20. The Refuge editorial team will inform authors that the issue has been published; post the open access issue on our website; and send a message out to subscribers and on various listservs.