ZSF – Zeitschrift für sportpädagogische Forschung


The ZSF pursues the aim of opening up and promoting scientific discourses on the phenomena of movement, play and sport in the perspectives of education, socialization and teaching. This should not be determined by a specific paradigm in terms of content or research methodology, but rather by intellectual flexibility, constructive dialogue, fruitful development and reflection of theory and empiricism. All stages of the life course and all practical fields of sport and movement culture in which pedagogical questions play a role (e.g. school sport, club sport, self-organized sport, etc.) can come into the field of vision. The diversity of sport pedagogical research topics and orientations should thus – oriented towards scientific substance and social relevance – be given an open forum to describe, analyze and discuss developments, to critically question them or to model them with regard to the future.

The ZSF is aimed first and foremost at all those who see themselves as researchers in the field of sports education. In addition, however, all those interested in problems, questions and topics in sports education, for example in other scientific disciplines or sub-disciplines, schools and universities, associations or politics, are to be addressed.

Invited to publish their research in the ZSF are, of course, the colleagues of sports pedagogy and sports didactics, as well as representatives of neighboring sports science disciplines, whose topics, questions and findings are compatible with the discourses of sports pedagogy. Likewise, contributions from disciplines outside of sports science, such as educational science, sociology, or psychology, may be of interest if they are able to specifically enrich or fundamentally underpin – or, if necessary, shake – the theoretical and empirical constructions of sports and physical education.

In particular, the ZSF invites young scholars to publish the results of their research in our journal.

ISSN Print 2196-5218
ISSN Online 2942-3619
Published semi-annually


Founding editors

  • Prof. Dr. Peter Frei (2012-2018)
  • Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Heim (2012-2016, geschäftsführend 2017-2020)
  • Prof. Dr. Wolf-Dietrich Miethling (geschäftsführend, 2012-2016)
  • Prof. Dr. Nils Neuber (2012-2016)
  • Prof. Dr. Petra Wolters (2012-2018)

Other former editors

  • Prof. Dr. Erin Gerlach (2017-2020)
  • Apl. Prof. Dr. Ilka Lüsebrink (2019 -2022)
  • Prof. Dr. Roland Messmer (2019-2022)
  • Prof. Dr. Jörg Thiele (2017-2020)

Guidelines for Authors

Publishing Open Access

The journal ZSF is not an open access journal. However, it is possible to publish individual articles in the journal open access by making the digital version freely available under a Creative Commons license chosen by the respective author(s). The publisher requires a fee to cover the publication costs (Article Processing Charge – APC) in the amount of 1,990.00 EUR (plus VAT). Many scientific institutions and science funding bodies provide corresponding funds for the publication of research results.

Are you interested in this option? Talk to your editorial office or contact open-access@nomos.de!

Peer Review Process

The journal uses the double blind review process, which is standard for scientific journals. Each submitted article is evaluated by two independent reviewers who remain anonymous, as do the authors of the article.

Manuscripts are submitted to the managing editor (Editor in Chief) via e-mail attachment. The editor first decides whether the manuscript is suitable for the journal (scientific quality and sport pedagogical references) and whether it fulfills the formal requirements (scope¸ manuscript design and declaration of originality).

In case of a positive decision, the contribution will be forwarded to a co-editor who will then supervise the manuscript in terms of content (Acting Editor). The co-editor is the contact person for the corresponding author. The Acting Editor looks for two relevant reviewers who can be considered experts for the manuscript based on their previous research focus and scientific experience. The reviews should not take longer than four to six weeks. If both reviews are available, the supervising co-editor writes an assessment statement in which the votes of both reviews are included and weighted. The Acting Editor makes a recommendation to the Managing Editor as to whether the manuscript should be accepted, accepted with minor changes, returned for thorough revision, or rejected.

On this basis, the Editor in Chief makes the decision whether to accept, return for revision, or reject the manuscript. This decision will be communicated to the Corresponding Author:in together with the opinion of the Supervising Co-Editor:in and the two anonymized reviews in their original wording.

If the two reviews differ significantly, the Acting Editor may request another review.

If a manuscript is resubmitted after thorough revision, it is the author’s responsibility to explain in detail in a cover letter (usually in tabular form) how the comments of the reviewer and the Acting Editor have been taken into account. Changes to the first version of the manuscript must be clearly stated, preferably in the form of a two-column table in which the respective monita (left column) and their implementation in the revised version (right column) are listed specifically and, if possible, with page and line references. If monita are not taken into account, a justification is necessary.

The Acting Editor writes a final statement with regard to the acceptance or rejection of the contribution. It is possible to involve reviewers in this process.

On the basis of the final statement, the Managing Editor makes the decision on the acceptance of the contribution and informs the Corresponding Author immediately.

The general publishing guidelines of Nomos Verlag can be found here.

Publication guidelines

Ethical principles

The rules of good research that apply in science (cf. DFG memorandum on safeguarding good scientific practice, 2013, the dvs paper “Professional Ethical Principles for Sports Scientists” from 2003, and especially the dvs “Position Paper on Publication Modalities” from 2007) are applied in the manuscripts. These include, in particular, proper citation and clear identification of third-party intellectual property. Recommendations on the regulation of authorship are also to be taken into account.

Fundamental notes

The profile and broad spectrum of the ZSF require special clarity from the authors in the presentation of the question or problem and the (sports) pedagogical relevance of their contribution. In order to achieve clarity and coherence in the contributions, we suggest the following:

  • The topic or the question or problem should be presented with sufficient precision at the very beginning of the manuscript.
  • It should be clear that the research question is pedagogically relevant, well-founded, well outlined, and supported by a theoretical background, especially in the case of empirical contributions.
  • The research question should be linked to previous research as part of a literature review. The literature review should be relevant and informative; it should not claim to be exhaustive, but should be committed to the principle of reference truth.
  • For empirical contributions, conclusions should be within the bounds of the reported findings.
  • The literature recorded should be complete but limited to what is necessary and should not document special literacy.

Obligations and role of the publisher

Publishing Guidelines

Nomos Verlag places special emphasis on the high quality of its journal portfolio and monitors the adherence to editorial quality standards for articles published in Zeitschrift für Sportpädagogische Forschung. Our general ethical publishing guidelines can be found here.


Nomos Verlag and the editors accept no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or review copies. By accepting an essay, the publisher acquires all rights from the authors, including in particular the right to further reproduction for commercial purposes by photomechanical or other techniques. Detailed information on Nomos’ copyright policy can be found here.

Long-term archiving

To ensure long-term archiving and access to the Journal of Sport Pedagogical Research, Nomos cooperates with Portico.


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