Focus and Scope

The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) is an independent think-and-do tank based in The Hague that focuses on prevention and the rule of law, two vital pillars of effective counterterrorism policy and practice. ICCT provides multidisciplinary policy advice and practical, solution-oriented implementation support on these core themes and the broad range of topics they cover. As part of that mission, the Centre publishes Research Papers and Policy Briefs that are authored on an invitation-only basis by leading scholars and practitioners in the field. To ensure maximum impact and a timely publication process, all authors are requested to follow the guidelines described below.Manuscripts published with ICCT should embody and help further the Centre’s core aim of contributing to effective counterterrorism policy and practice through a focus on prevention and the rule of law. Secondly, while policy-relevance is a key priority at ICCT, the Centre is dedicated to impartiality and does not support or advocate any one particular approach to dealing with terrorism and extremism. Objectivity, accuracy, policy relevance and empirically-supported research are guiding principles for all ICCT output, and contributors are expected to adhere to these accordingly.

ICCT’s Research Papers and Policy Briefs are published on a rolling basis. Both outlets seek to provide a unique platform for both established and upcoming scholars, academics and professionals working to develop insights, policies and best practices relevant for understanding, preventing and responding to terrorism and violent extremism. Contributors are especially encouraged to:

  • Write with both academics and policy makers/practitioners in mind as potential end-users of the insights or data presented;
  • Combine theoretical and conceptual work with empirical insights, particularly those derived from primary sources;
  • Use the journal as a forum for debate and commentary on contemporary terrorism and violent extremism as seen from a variety of perspectives and analytical approaches.

ICCT’s Research Papers and Policy Briefs differ from one another in several respects. Authors are asked to consider these carefully when deciding how to structure and format their manuscripts. Research Papers are 10,000 – 12,000 words in length and must be based on original and rigorous academic research. Their primary purpose is to contribute to the state of the art on key themes related to understanding, countering or preventing (involvement in) terrorism. At 4,000 to 5,000 words, Policy Briefs are considerably shorter and serve a different principal audience; namely, counter-terrorism policy makers and practitioners. To do so effectively, the Briefs should aim to make a limited number of clearly argued points and they must stress the relevance of the findings being discussed to the professional reader.

Submission Guidelines

Authors submitting materials for publication are asked to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Submission of manuscripts is by invitation only;
  • Cover letter: (a separate Microsoft Word document or e-mail) to ICCT stating that the manuscript has not been published elsewhere nor is it currently under review elsewhere, please disclose any potential conflicts of interest here;
  • A separately emailed title page with:
    • Author name(s);
    • A short description for use on the ICCT website (60 words maximum);
    • Acknowledgements;
    • Funding, if applicable;
    • The type of manuscript being submitted:
      • ICCT Research Paper: 10,000 – 12,000 words, including footnotes and bibliography;
      • ICCT Policy Brief: 4,000 – 5,000 words, including footnotes and bibliography;
  • A completely anonymised main document – make sure to remove your name(s) and any potentially identifying information such as references to own work;
  • The first page of the main document must include:
    • An abstract (150 words maximum);
    • 4 – 8 keywords;
  • A separate biography (100-150 words maximum);
  • A copyright-free photo for use on the ICCT website, if possible;
  • Submit all files as Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) files;
  • Formatting for all documents:
    • Times New Roman, Size 12;
    • 1.5 Line Spacing;
    • Consistent heading hierarchy;
  • Referencing:
    • The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) using footnotes;
    • A bibliography at the end of your manuscript;
  • Authors are not required to pay an article processing charge (APC) 

Please note that authors run the risk of their manuscript being sent back to them if one or more of these criteria are not met.

Creative Commons

Both ICCT Research Papers and ICCT Policy Briefs are published in open access format and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

By submitting their manuscripts to ICCT, authors agree and accept that their work will be subject to the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License.

Peer-Review Procedure

All of our journal’s manuscripts are peer-reviewed, defined as obtaining advice on individual manuscripts from experts in the field.

  • ICCT Research Papers are reviewed in double-blind fashion by two external experts, usually selected from the ICCT Editorial Board;
  • ICCT Policy Briefs are reviewed in double-blind fashion by two internal (i.e. core staff or fellows working for the ICCT’s founding institutes).

Reviewers are requested to provide their reviews within three weeks, and authors are requested to submit their final draft within a further two weeks from receipt of the reviews.

Instructions for Reviewers

Reviewers are asked to comment on the argument, methodology and structure of the manuscripts provided to them. Comments should usually be limited to one page and please keep in mind that these will be passed on the author(s). If relevant, reviewers are asked to write comments to the editor in a clearly-labelled separate section. Please advise the editor whether the paper should be a) accepted as is, b) accepted with minor revisions (please specify), c) revised and resubmitted to the journal (please specific required changes) or d) rejected.

Publication Ethics

The ICCT asks all authors to observe high standards with respect to publication ethics, taking into account the following points in particular. For more information, see the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) website.

  • It is unacceptable to falsify or fabricate data or to plagiarise material from other sources. Any use of data, methods, findings or conclusions from other author(s) must be clearly attributed using references. Please note that this includes self-plagiarism; authors are requested to clearly mark and cite duplication or extensive re-use of (parts of) their own work.
  • To be included as an author on a manuscript, said individual must have made a significant contribution to at least two of the following three aspects of the work: the acquisition of research funding, the collection and analysis of data, and the writing and revising of the paper. Please note that anyone who contributed in this manner to the paper must be listed as an author. Those who made more minor contributions should be included in the ‘acknowledgements’ section.
  • All manuscripts submitted to ICCT must be original pieces of work that have not been published elsewhere and are not simultaneously under review at another outlet. Authors wishing to publish work with ICCT that has already been published elsewhere must seek permission from ICCT’s research coordinator beforehand.
  • Any potential conflict of interest must be made clear to ICCT’s research coordinator at the point of submission. This includes any financial interests or connections related to the work, potential bias in the manuscript’s findings that reflect an author’s commercial, academic or governmental affiliations. If the manuscript is published, relevant conflict of interest information will be included in a statement in the paper.