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The Journal of Play in Adulthood (ISSN: 2632-1254) aims to provide a multidisciplinary open access forum dedicated to the discussion of play and playfulness in adults. The focus of this journal is on play in adulthood to explicitly distinguish it from children’s play, and to highlight that the motivations, contexts, and forms of play are, in many cases, different. It aims to increase understanding of the need for, and benefits of, play and playfulness after childhood, and to create a robust evidence base for the value of play throughout the life course for learning, working, and living well. It also seeks to explore the barriers to the use of play with adults, and potential solutions to increasing the role of play in lifelong education, the workplace, and wider society.

The target readership of this journal is both practitioners and researchers involved in the use of, and study of, play and playfulness with adults. Readers may be from a range of sectors and academic traditions, as befits the multidisciplinary nature of play and playfulness research.

Focus and Scope

Key topics include the role of play in learning, work, our social and cultural lives, the benefits to individuals and society, and the interrelationship between play and other areas of adult life. In summary, it covers playful living, playful working, and playful learning. The journal accepts manuscripts based on original research from a wide range of disciplines, as well as extended essays, thought pieces, articles from practice, and reviews.


All substantial contributors to an article should be named in the author list, in whatever order is agreed by the authors involved, though we would normally expect the first named author to be the person who has made the most substantial contribution to the article (rather than the most senior member of a group). Substantial contribution is anyone who has made a substantial intellectual or practical contribution to an article and has agreed to be named in the list of authors. If other people were involved in a more minor way in the research or the writing of an article, we would encourage mentioning them in an acknowledgements section of the article.

Submission Checklist
  • If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, please note that authors and institutions should be replaced by anonymising text, eg XXX
  • When available, the URLs to access references online are provided, including those for open access versions of the reference. The URLs are ready to click (e.g.,
  • References are given in APA 7th format. 
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration.
  • Ensure your submission uses our article template.
Copyright Notice The journal makes content available on an open access basis, with the default of a CC-BY 4.0 licence. Authors retain their own copyright of submitted material.
Peer Review

The journal follows a double-blind review to further provide the fairness of the review process; this means that neither the identity of authors will be disclosed to the reviewers nor the authors know the identity of reviewers and should operate in line with the COPE ethical guidelines for peer-review. Reviewers should clearly reference the section of the manuscript (line numbers) to which they are referring in their response. While critiquing the manuscript, reviewers should acknowledge the authors’ time and commitment for the piece of work and therefore should be constructive. While identifying the deficiencies, clear suggestions to improve the quality of the manuscript should be provided.


The Journal of Play in Adulthood allows the following licences for submission:

  • CC BY 4.0 - More Information  
    Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
Publication Fees

The Journal of Play in Adulthood is a Diamond Open Access journal. No fees are charged to read or publish in the journal.

Publication Cycle

Continual publication with the option for edited collections, special issues and annual volumes.


Section or article type

Public Submissions

Peer Reviewed



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Practice based article

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Book review

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Conference report

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Ethics and processes

The journal aims to work in line with COPE's Core Practice guidance, with some specifics also outlined below.

In the case of complaints and appeals against journal decisions and practices, please contact the managing editor who will respond within one month of contact. To escalate, if you feel the response is unsatisfactory, please contact the University Press Manager who will raise the issue at the University Press Board. 

Any allegations of research misconduct will be considered by the managing editor in line with COPE guidelines, and reports of such misconduct will be treated as confidential when contacting relevant parties.

We will work on a clear policy (during 2023) defining what we mean by conflicts of interest, what needs to be declared, and how they will be managed - at present we simply ask for conflicts of interest to be declared without such detailed definition.

Any issues that may require post-publication corrections or retractions will be dealt with in line with COPE guidelines for retraction, or comments from the editor added to the record for issues that need correction but do not justify a retraction.

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