Journal of the International Ombudsman Association (JIOA)

Current and past issues of the JIOA are available to everyone. 

Current Journal Articles
Past Issues

About the JIOA

The Journal of the International Ombudsman Association (JIOA) is a peer-reviewed online journal for scholarly articles and information relevant to the ombudsman* profession. As members of a relatively new profession, we continually strive to understand, define, and clarify the role and function of the professional organizational ombudsman.

The JIOA will help foster recognition that what we do for our agencies, corporations, colleges and universities is worthy of study. While we must vigorously protect the confidentiality of our interactions, we can still study and be studied to understand what we do and how we do it; what works well and what doesn't work; what our options are; how social, technical, and legal changes may impact us; what the profile and career development of ombudsman professionals might be, and other matters of interest.

The JIOA can facilitate a greater interest in ombudsing, enhance our professional standing, and serve to give us a better understanding of our dynamic roles and the impact on our institutions and agencies.

Manuscript Submission

The Journal invites IOA members, other ombudsmen, and other professionals to reach out to their colleagues with their ideas, research findings, theories, and recommendations for best practices and to engage in ongoing discussions of critical issues.

Submissions are encouraged from all contributors regardless of affiliation with the International Ombudsman Association. The JOIA encourages contributions relevant to the work of ombudsmen in any setting. The JOIA
is a peer-refereed journal and articles are accepted without remuneration. Authors wishing to discuss submission ideas are encouraged to contact the Co-Editors or a member of JOIA's Editorial Board at [email protected]

The JOIA accepts submissions on a rolling basis throughout the calendar year. It is intended that decisions on publication will be made within three months of receipt of a submitted manuscript.

Instructions for Authors

Ethical Expectations for Authors

Review Process

Frequently Asked Questions

JIOA Article Types

Research and Scholarship Features – Manuscripts submitted for review in this area may include qualitative and quantitative manuscripts that clearly provide a theory-research-practice connection. The manuscripts should be methodologically sound with a clearly defined practice section in which the author(s) shares how the research relates to ombuds practice e.g., policy issues, community engagement, management, organization, conflict management, etc.) and/or how the findings can be used in ombuds practice in various sectors (academic, corporate, etc.). The manuscripts should provide a unique perspective on current issues impacting our organizations, constituents, and practice. Literature reviews and essays that connect current issues with practice, propose creative models for ombuds practice, or discuss innovative uses of theory are welcome. These range in length between 6,000 to 10,000 words.

Innovations in Practice Features – Manuscripts submitted for review in this area of emphasis should describe high-quality illustrations of effective, creative, and collaborative practices, programs, or policies. These illustrations are to be grounded in theory and/or research as well as convey relevance beyond the organization(s) of the author(s). Evidence of innovation must go beyond simple measures of satisfaction and, instead, illuminate effectiveness and usefulness. We invite manuscripts offering bold vision that challenge readers to think critically and reflectively about ombuds practice.  These should not exceed 6,000 words.

Media Reviews – An evolution of the book review format, manuscripts are invited that comment on the wide variety of media currently available to ombuds practitioners. Authors are encouraged to comment on the implications for practice of Internet resources, blogs, newsletters, books, films/videos, presentation materials, and other available media resources. Media Review manuscripts, informative and critical, allow ombudsmen to learn of media useful to their work. These should not exceed 1,200 words.

Research in Brief – Articles submitted for the Research in Brief section should report meaningful research that does not require a full-length manuscript. Articles should present research about instruments/instrument development, methods, interventions, or analytical tools which may be helpful to researchers or consumers of research in conducting and understanding the ombuds profession. Research focused on specific interventions and research which examines the ombuds profession with regards to training, administration, etc. are also typically considered for the Research in Brief section. Rigorous studies that are focused on a single organization and/or narrowly focused studies may also be considered for the Research in Brief section. The criteria for review are similar to those used in the review of the Research and Scholarship Feature articles.  These should not exceed 3,000 words.

Interviews – Manuscripts submitted for review in this area should consist of an interview with a professional or researcher in the field of ombuds work centered on a theme or current issue that would be of interest to the JIOA audience. Authors are encouraged to write in a narrative format (not Q & A). These should not exceed 3,000 words.

Case Challenges – Designed to stimulate interest among experienced ombuds in a problem that they might encounter in practice (not something that would be extremely rare). The section focuses on the reasoning process. Articles are limited to 2,500 words, references, tables, photos, or figures.

Policy Feature – Identifies issues, trends, barriers, legislative successes, or recommendations that affect ombuds ability to practice to the full extent of the Standards of Practice. Articles are limited to 3,000 words.

Educational Feature – Manuscripts that describe ombuds evaluation, mentoring, or other components of ombuds training. These should not exceed 3,000 words.

Q&A with Luminaries of the Field – Editorial roundtable

Language of Manuscripts

The JIOA will  accept manuscripts in all major languages for review for publication. Where manuscripts are submitted in languages other than English, an English ‘Abstract’ must be supplied. Subject to the paper being published in the JIOA, this English ‘Abstract’ will be published alongside the ‘Abstract’ in the author’s original language. Occasionally, at the discretion of  the Editor, the paper will be published with a full-English translation. As with all submissions, authors wishing to discuss potential submissions in languages other than English are encouraged to contact the Editors or members of JIOA’s editorial board.


If you have any questions about the JIOA please contact the co-editors:

Howard Gadlin, National Institutes of Health, Retired
Shannon Lynn Burton, Michigan State University

[email protected]

JIOA Editorial Board

View a list of JIOA editorial staff.