Alter – – the Journal

Alter, European Journal of Disability Research is a European, bilingual, peer reviewed journal on disability in the field of human and social sciences. Alter European Journal of Disability Research is the journal of the Alter – European Society for Disability Research (Société Européenne de Recherche sur le Handicap).

Alter is a polysemic Latin word, which refers to what appears to be different or to what is undergoing change. It therefore leaves open the questions around the nature and the form of such differences or changes.

Alter  targeted readership are people interested by the outcomes of the research on disability and otherness in the field of social sciences and humanities: researchers, students, teachers, practitioners, policy makers, professionals, organizations of people with disabilities.

Alter is a…

– …scientific journal. It is a peer-reviewed journal led by a multidisciplinary and international Editorial Board, composed of experts conducting research on disability and otherness, which also defines its editorial policy.

– interdisciplinary journal. Interdisciplinarity translates in welcoming studies belonging to any human or social sciences: sociology, anthropology, ethnology, history, political science, demography, social geography, social epidemiology, economics, law, psychology, psychoanalysis, education sciences, techniques in sports and physical activities (STAPS). The journal establishes a bridge between academic and fundamental knowledge on one hand and applied knowledge derived from the experience of disability on the other.

– cross-cutting issues journal. The disability and otherness research field encompasses multiple approaches, addresses various issues and welcomes diverse perspectives. The scope of published research covers studies from individual to the environment, from deficiency to participation, from discrimination to citizenship. Alter addresses as a whole the social, economic, political, educational or health issues investigated in human and social sciences.

– European journal. The European dimension entails that we welcome and encourage contributions with a multicultural lens, well-argued comparisons and scientific debates extending beyond national borders. The geographical diversity of the journal Editorial Board, reviewers, authors, published topics and readership demonstrates that the journal welcomes international contributions beyond Europe itself..

  • Disability through the lens of social crisis” are contributions that investigate the current socioeconomic crisis including the ongoing SARS-COV2 pandemic. They can vary in format, style and length (with a maximum of 35,000 characters). Contributions can be sent on a day-to-day basis. Texts will be read by the editorial board without a double-blind selection process (they will not therefore be considered as academic articles but will benefit from the same dissemination process to the readership). After this reading, the editorial board will give consideration for their eventual publication, and might request some modifications to the authors. Articles will be published under the name of their authors or under a pseudonym or anonymously if it is the wish of some authors. Writing in association with a researcher is under consideration and such a suggestion can be made by the editorial board at the request of individuals who request it.

Languages: French and English

Articles are submitted and published in English or French, with required abstracts in both languages.


The journal publishes various scientific contributions under the following headings:

Original research article | Research paper 

The articles published under this heading are subject to a rigorous peer-review process. Original research articles are published in issues called “varia”, in thematic dossier (of two or three articles), or in special issues (of five to six articles). Articles must be between 40,000 and 60,000 all-inclusive characters.

Back to texts | Key texts revisited 

This section is devoted to “foundational” texts, some of which have already been published but deserve to be discovered or rediscovered. The texts are accompanied by a preamble introducing the main concepts and encouraging their (re)discovery.

Research note | Short report

This section publishes shorter texts (20,000 to 40,000 signs) addressing research that have not (yet) produced scientific and conceptual results that are robust enough to be considered scientific articles in their own right. These texts can highlight a specific methodology, introduce a cross-cutting investigation or synthesize a specific research approach. These research notes may also allow young doctors to present their recently defended PhD. We welcome a synthesis of the main thesis topic, methods followed, theories used and main results.

Reading note | Book review 

This section welcomes reviews of recent publications, whether individual (a thesis, a book, a report) or collective (an edited book or several related publications). These reading notes, which must be between 10,000 and 20,000 characters in size, provide an overview of the content of the publication, with an emphasis on context and critical analysis. 


Alter ESDR has established a partnership with the Federal Institute for Disability Research (IFRH) since the origin of the journal. The journal benefits through this partnership from IFRH national institutional network in France and its positive international academic status. The partnership with IFRH also provides the journal with logistical and financial support.

Alter is also supported by several research laboratories: CERMES3 (Center for Research in Medicine, Health, Mental health and Societies; CNRS, INSERM, EHESS, Paris University) and ARENES (University of Rennes 1, EHESP, CNRS, Sciences Po Rennes; in partnership with Rennes 2), as well as by the PHS (Programme Handicap & Sociétés, EHESS Paris).


The magazine is edited by Elsevier Masson until December 2021 and will then on be published by Open Edition and Les éditions de l’EHESS.

Publishing and distribution formats

Alter is published in both paper and electronic versions. The journal is referenced in the international bibliographic databases Science Direct and Scopus.

Articles over two years old are available for  free download and summaries of published issues are available here.

Subscription conditions

Alter ESDR members can subscribe at a preferential rate.

Non-members and institutions will subscribe directly to the publisher Elsevier Masson.

Submit a text for review

Instructions for authors are available here.

Contributions can be submitted to the Editorial Board at the following address:

ISSN : 1875-0672

Frequency: 4 numbers per year

Format: 165 x 240

Languages of publication: French and English

Publisher: Elsevier Masson