Publish With Us


The International Mad Studies Journal provides a dedicated space for thinking, critiquing, exchanging ideas and debating a broad range of topics relevant to Mad Studies.  The International Journal of Mad Studies values creativity and vision, and we strive to do things differently to more traditional journals.  Our aim is to create a community of people with lived experience and those without who have a common interest in advancing our knowledge, understanding and respect for Mad Studies.

IMSJ is made possible thanks to an active and dedicated team of volunteers. Our first issue (IMSJ Vol. 1, No. 1, January 2023) was made available in December 2022.  We plan to publish twice yearly.



Reflecting our vision and values, we welcome a wide variety of contributions relevant to Mad Studies, including and not limited to: poetry, soap box, discussion papers, current issues, debates, interviews with leaders, cartoons, art, videos, and articles for peer review. 

We invite contributions from people whose voices have been marginalised by, and are not generally embraced by traditional academic and professional journals.  Innovation and creativity are particularly welcomed.


But before you do, please make sure you read the following information.

Email enquiries to:

Categories of contributions

Peer reviewed articles:

These might include research articles, literature reviews, or position papers. Articles to be sent for peer review will more closely resemble the structure of a published academic manuscript and would generally include:

  • Abstract or summary
  • Introduction/background
  • Methods (for research articles)
  • Discussion
  • Conclusions

Non-peer reviewed contributions:

A wide range of articles will be considered for publication in the journal and thus there is no strict guidelines for these contributions – although the Editorial team may provide some guidance on specific submissions to ensure they are consistent with the aims and scope of the journal. 

Presentation of submissions

For submission, you will need:

  • Your submission file (including text, figures and tables). This file should be
    • Blinded if submitted for peer review  
    • Include legends for all figures and tables
    • Contain a reference list (this may be presented in any style of format, as long as it is consistent throughout the manuscript)  
  • A title page with
    • Author details (name, email address, affiliation(s)
    • Ethics approval details (if relevant)
    • Keywords
    • Acknowledgements (if relevant)
    • Disclosure of funding (if relevant)
    • Conflict Of Interest statement

Submitting your contribution

Please email your submissions or submission enquiries to with the subject title ‘Submission’.

Editorial policy

Our editorial guidelines were developed by those who were involved in the founding of the journal. They are subject to change and are intended guidelines not rules. When you email your submission to madstudiesjournal@gmail it will go to our editorial board to determine if it is suitable for review.

If it is not, we will be in touch with feedback  and suggestions for how your submission could be developed for publication in IMSJ or elsewhere. If your submission is determined to be suitable for review, we will send it to at least two reviewers.

This is a predominately open process, you will know who the reviewers are unless the reviewer chooses to remain anonymous. You can choose to remain anonymous or have your name shared with the reviewers. You can also list people as preferred reviewers or people who you would prefer to not review your work.  They will make comments and suggested revisions to your contribution. You will be able to respond to these comments and have open communication with the reviewers. Our goal is to support the development of the field of Mad Studies through open discussion between authors and reviewers.

We aim to support people who contribute to our journal to have their work published. Ultimately, the editorial boards decision will be final but this will be made in discussion with those who submit.

Writing submitted to the journal should be written in a style as accessible to readers as possible. The audience of this journal is intended to be everyone, from people with lived experience, service users, to clinicians and other practitioners, to academics. We recognise that these identities often overlap. Writings can be more complex if this is required to broaden understandings or discuss complex concepts and ideas. We understand people have unique ways of writing and welcome these suggestions.

We are open to publishing material that has been rejected by another journal. You could tell us about why it was rejected if you wish! We are also open to creative approaches or non-conventional approach to structuring articles. We will accept articles written in any of the standard referencing styles, Harvard, Chicago, or APA, so long as it is followed correctly and consistently.  We recommend the use of endnote or similar referencing system where possible. Our maximum number of words is 5000 and we have no minimum. Longer papers may be accepted under some circumstances. Authors will retain copyright of their material but the journal has unrestricted usage of it (for example, we would be allowed to print a physical copy of your work), or move to a new internet platform in future. Our expected turn around time is 3 months, although this may be shorter. When you submit your article please let us know if it has been published elsewhere and if it can be published in multiple places.

This journal values academic freedom of expression. This includes the right to publish things that people may disagree with. We will publish content that appears to have conflicting perspectives. We will seek to publish commentaries and counter-perspectives especially in relation to a contentious issue. This is in the hopes of furthering the field of Mad Studies. However, we will not publish any material that is defamatory or discriminatory to any group. This means we will not publish writing that demeans people based solely on diagnosis, class, physical attributes, or any forms of identity

We have an editorial  team with diverse perspectives  who are all committed to the values and principles of the journal. This editorial group is open, so if you would like to be involved, we would love to talk to you. The current Editorial Team was selected through an expression of interest from the group who have pioneered the development of the Journal.  They are appointed for two years initially as we get our processes in place.  We will constantly review the process.  More information about the Editorial Team of the future will be posted on our webpage. We are all volunteers and this journal is not connected to any of our affiliations.

Founding Editor

Hamilton Kennedy: Ex-patient, working on the lands of the Kulin nation, sometimes working at University of Melbourne


Hel Spandler: Asylum: the radical mental health magazine; MadZines research and the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK

Brenda Happell: University of Newcastle, Australia

Jersey Cosantino: (they/them) Syracuse University, New York, US. Jersey’s scholarship resides at the intersections of Mad studies and trans studies and, utilizing disability and transformative justice frameworks, their research centers the experiences and subjectivities of Mad, neurodivergent, trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming individuals.

Editorial Group

Aimee Sinclair: Marya & Patel (2021:22) write about ‘deep medicine’ as healing that resists colonial medical and state power, and ‘repairs those relationships that have been damaged through systems of domination’.  For me, Mad Studies is a potential tool of deep medicine. Its provides me the space and community to learn and develop ways of thinking and being that challenge the oppressive ways I have been taught to think about myself, my experiences and my peers.

Helena Roennfeldt: Quandamooka Country. Through my own experience, madness defies easy explanations. Mad Studies invite me to participate in ongoing scholarly conversations within a community of open-minded folk who seek to reconfigure and challenge entrenched perspectives while allowing space for wonder and uncertainty

Holly Kemp: Eora Nation. I’ve spent a lot of my life trying to figure out how to live and how to connect, as a person with big feelings/a highly sensitive person in an often-insensitive world. I’ve spent a lot of my working life getting hired/fired by universities and mental health services, because I thought that’s where I would find the answers to what is going on for me. These days I’m part of this journal, and other efforts at healing dialogues, mutual aid and epistemic justice, because I’ve come to the conclusion that we are the ones we have been waiting for.

Rosiel Elwyn: (they/themme) living and working on the unceded Gubbi Gubbi Land of the Gubbi Gubbi and Jinibara people. As a child, adolescent, and adult, I found healing and refuge in the community wisdom of other Lived Experience folk. Engaging with and learning from mad folk, survivor/consumer/ex-patient, activists, scholars, LGBTIQ+, disabled and neurodivergent communities was a way to connect with social justice, understand interrelated systems, and find alternative paths. The IMSJ is part of building on and with this community knowledge and expertise to transform prevailing cultures and systems of epistemic injustice that pathologise diverse human experiences – to disturb those discourses and nurture growth for radical change.   

Brett Scholz: Ngunnawal Country, Studying psychology – even in a relatively critical faculty – made me want to seek out ways to be more just and inclusive (in theory, activism, and  practice). Mad Studies excites me because of how it creates space to critique and re-construct.

Chris Maylea: information to come!

Jo River: (they/them), living and working on the unceded lands of the Cadigal and Bediagal people of the Eora Nation, at the University of Technology Sydney and my home in the Inner West. I have travelled here through the grace of lived experience folks – friends, colleagues, activists, scholars, consumer/survivor/ex-patient, Mad and trans communities – who have shared their knowledge and expertise and clarified my commitment to epistemic justice doing. For me, IMSJ represents an epistemic shelter for community theory building that centres lived experience knowledges, disrupts reductive and pathologising metanarratives, and opens up possibilities for transformative practice.

Kath Thorburn: (she/her), living and working on unceded Dharug Land. My personal (and later professional) experiences have long had me questioning dominant conceptualisations of distress and what these mean for responding to human experiences. I am energised by the counter-discourses of Mad Studies – their potential to radically transform knowledge, practice and systems, to confront injustice, explore meaning and create alternatives. 

Information for authors: 

The following questions will be considered when reviewing your submission.  This may help you in formulating your work:

  • Does this submission advance the field of mad studies?
  • Is this submission relevant to survivors/ex-patients/consumers/service users or people who have been labelled ‘mad’ or ‘mentally ill’
  • Does the submission’s present a clear argument?
  • Is it written in an accessible way or in a way that people will understand?
  • Does this submission offer a genuinely different perspective to that otherwise offered by mainstream journals or publications?