The Journal of Applied Operational Intelligence (JAOI) aims to bridge the gap between high-quality peer-reviewed academic research and the practitioner community on contemporary intelligence issues. The journal provides a unique emphasis on applied empirical research that seeks to address how organisations can enhance the day-to-day policies and practices in the intelligence arena.

The journal accepts a wide range of methodologies, and articles will normally combine rigorous examination of challenges relevant for real-world events with appropriate theoretical analysis and appraisal of practical implications.

A primary focus of the journal is the effective application of operational intelligence across all sectors (e.g., public, private and third sectors) in authentic contexts. It's not intended to offer an exhaustive list, but some examples of topics covered by this journal are the:

  • Use of Human Intelligence (HUMINT), including informants, agents, cooperating offenders, and undercover operatives.
  • Application of techniques that enhance the elicitation of information.
  • Intelligence collection and analysis.
  • Methods for effective intelligence sharing.
  • Actioning of Intelligence, i.e., the use of single source information, improving the timeliness of dissemination.
  • Concepts of what works / what does not work in intelligence practice.
  • Applications of intelligence models to practice (i.e., the UK National Intelligence Model).
  • Comparisons of intelligence practice (local, regional, national, and international).
  • The use of technology to benefit intelligence practices.
  • Effective training methods for intelligence practitioners.

Prospective authors for the Journal of Applied Operational Intelligence will likely come from a broad range of disciplines, namely, intelligence and security, criminal justice, psychology, criminology, policing, sociology, political science, law, and statistics. The journal encourages academics and practitioners to submit to the following strands:

  • Research articles.
  • Commentaries.
  • Book reviews.

Research articles:

  • Research articles include primary and secondary data studies, as well as systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
  • Style guidance – the article should adopt APA 7th Edition referencing, font size 12 double spaced.
  • Should be around 4,000-6,000 words (not including referencing, tables, endnotes, footnote or figure captions), written with the following elements in this order: title page, abstract, keywords, main text-introduction, methods, results, discussion, conclusion included recommendations for policy and practice, acknowledgement, declaration of interest statement, references, (tables and figures with caption figures in text).
  • Should contain a structured abstract of 300 words.
  • Should contain between 5 and 10 keywords.

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  • Commentaries should be around 2,000 words and must follow the academic style adopted by this journal. It is important to note that these are not blog/magazine style submissions or mini reviews.  Commentaries generally take one of two forms:
  1. The first form is editorial in nature, grounded in the relevant literature and covers an important aspect of implementation research practice and or seeks to move the field forward in some way.
  2. The second form is a commentary on a study or review that was recently published or that is soon to be published, and that is interesting enough to warrant further comment or explanation. This type of commentary discusses specific issues within a subject area rather than the whole field, explains the implications of the article, and puts it in context. Opinions are welcome as long as they are factually based.

Book Reviews

This journal welcomes book reviews from graduate students, academics, and practitioners. Reviewers may suggest a book or select from a provided list. Please contact the Editors in Chief prior to submission.

Book Reviews Letters to the Editor will be a brief communication on a topic relevant to the journals should be concise pieces of no more than 1000 words and not include original research, tables, or figures.

Peer Review Process

Each article and commentary is peer reviewed. Initially they are preliminary reviewed by the Editor-in-Chiefs and their assistant editors. The Journal of Applied Operational Intelligence has an editorial board, and its members cover a wide range of disciplines within the intelligence and security field.  All the members of the board have an established track record in academic publication or direct operational experience.

Once articles are accepted to peer-review they are then sent to selected peer reviewers. Each submission is peer reviewed by at least two reviewers and each reviewer will submit their review including comments and a recommendation when to accept for publication, reject or to request revisions to the articles. The Editor-in-Chiefs will ensure that reviews are written in a constructive way in order to encourage improved revisions.

The process for peer review is as follows:

Submission of Paper

The corresponding or submitting author submits the paper to the journal. In virtually all cases this should be via our online platform.

Editorial Office Assessment

The editorial team checks the paper’s composition and arrangement against the journal’s Author Guidelines to make sure it includes the required sections and stylizations. The quality of the paper is not assessed at this point.

Appraisal by the Editor

The lead Editor checks that the paper is appropriate for the journal and is sufficiently original and interesting. If not, the paper may be rejected without being reviewed any further.

Editor Assigns an Associate Editor

JAOI may have Associate Editors who handle the peer review. If they do, they would be assigned at this stage.

Invitation to Reviewers

The handling editor sends invitations to individuals they believe would be appropriate reviewers. As responses are received, further invitations are issued, if necessary, until the minimum number of two reviewers per article is confirmed.

Response to Invitations

Potential reviewers consider the invitation against their own expertise, conflicts of interest and availability. They then accept or decline. If possible, when declining, they might also suggest alternative reviewers.

Review is Conducted

The reviewer sets time aside to read the paper several times. The first read is used to form an initial impression of the work. If major problems are found at this stage, the reviewer may feel comfortable rejecting the paper without further work. Otherwise, they will read the paper several more times, taking notes so as to build a detailed point-by-point review. The review is then submitted to the journal, with a recommendation to accept or reject it – or else with a request for revision (usually flagged as either major or minor) before it is reconsidered.

Journal Evaluates the Reviews

The handling editor considers all the returned reviews before making an overall decision. If the reviews differ widely, the editor may invite an additional reviewer so as to get an extra opinion before making a decision.

The Decision is Communicated

The author receives a decision email including any relevant reviewer comments. As JAOI operates a blind review process the author will not see the personal details of the reviewer.

Next Steps

If accepted, the paper is sent to production. If the article is rejected or sent back for either major or minor revision, the handling editor should include constructive comments from the reviewers to help the author improve the article. If the paper was sent back for revision, the reviewers should expect to receive a new version, unless they have opted out of further participation. However, where only minor changes were requested this follow-up review might be done by the handling editor.

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate gold open access under a CC-BY-NC licence to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

Author Publication Charges

There are no charges for authors to publish their work in the journal.

Self-Archiving and Institutional Repositories

UBP offers a publishing model that enables wide access to academic research, global readership for our authors and ensures the long-term preservation of published content. As a result, we permit authors to archive their contributions to this Journal. This can be either via authors' own websites, or via their institution’s or funding body’s online repository or archive.

In addition, all published articles are archived by UBP at a number of repositories including LOCKSS, CLOCKSS, PKP and The British Library.

Abstracting and Indexing Information 


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