Author Guidelines and Submission Instructions: Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research
Table of Contents
- Article Formats and Guidelines for JSSWR contributions
- Editorial Process
- Writing and Readability
- Manuscript Preparation
- Submission Checklist
- Submitting a Revised Manuscript
- Submitting Supplemental Files
TYPES OF ARTICLES
Guidelines for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses
Original systematic reviews cannot exceed 40 pages excluding references. Reviewed works should be included in the references and noted with an asterisk (e.g., * Scott, W. L., & Champion, S. …).
Prospective registration of systematic reviews is expected (Stewart, Moher, & Shekelle, 2012).
Authors should follow evidence-based guidelines for conducting and reporting systematic reviews. Authors must report which guidelines they have followed and, if applicable, where their work deviates from those guidelines.
Guidelines for the conduct of systematic reviews are provided by the
- Institute of Medicine (2011) at http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2011/Finding-What-Works-in-Health-Care-Standards-for-Systematic-Reviews/Standards.aspx
- Cochrane Collaboration at http://www.editorial-unit.cochrane.org/sites/editorial-unit.cochrane.org/files/uploads/MECIR_conduct_standards%202.2%2017122012.pdf. Also see the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions (Higgins & Green, 2011 http://www.cochrane.org/training/cochrane-handbook) or the Cochrane Handbook for Diagnostic Test Accuracy Reviews (http://srdta.cochrane.org/handbook-dta-reviews)
Reports on Published Systematic Reviews
- Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA; Moher et al., 2009; Liberati et al., 2009), and related extensions for systematic reviews on
- Equity issues (Welch et al., 2012) and
- Individual participant data (Riley, Lambert, & bo-Zaid, 2010)
- Institute of Medicine (2011) Standard 5: http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2011/Finding-What-Works-in-Health-Care-Standards-for-Systematic-Reviews/Standards.aspx?page=4
- The Cochrane Collaboration: http://editorial-unit.cochrane.org/sites/editorial-unit.cochrane.org/files/uploads/MECIR%20Reporting%20standards%201.1_17122012_2.pdf
- The MOOSE statement for meta-analyses of observational studies (Stroup et al., 2000)
- APA Meta-analysis Reporting Standards (APA Publications and Communications Board Working Group on Journal Article Reporting Standards, 2008): http://www.apastyle.org/manual/related/JARS-MARS.pdf
Reports on Studies Using Visual-Based Methods
Visual Methods in Social Work Research
Submission of Visual Data
Excluded and Suggested Reviewers. During the submission process, authors may request certain persons be excluded as potential reviewers (authors are required to provide reasons for exclusion). Authors may also suggest up to three persons as potential reviewers (please provide full name, institution, and e-mail contact). We ask authors to suggest potential reviewers because they might have insight into scholars who can evaluate the manuscript objectively, in appropriate context. Suggested reviewers should meet the following criteria:
- Reviewer has expertise in author’s content area/method;
- Reviewer has not already reviewed or otherwise contributed to the manuscript;
- Reviewer has not published with nor done substantial work with any of the authors of the manuscript within the past few years;
- Reviewer is not a current collaborator with any of the authors of the manuscript; and
- Reviewer is not a member of the same institution as any of the authors of the manuscript.
WRITING AND READABILITY
NEW! Abstracts must be structured, using four headings: Objective, Method, Results, and Conclusions. Abstracts are limited to 250 words, including headings. Set headings in bold italics, followed by a colon and then the first sentence of that section. Format the abstract as a single paragraph (i.e., do not hit Enter after each subsection). The example below illustrates the required abstract format and describes the elements to include in each section (as appropriate to the study).
Additional APA guidelines for the Abstract section
- Place the abstract on a separate page (page 2) of the manuscript.
- Use present tense in the abstract whenever possible.
- Use Arabic numerals for all numbers (except those beginning a sentence).
- Do not include citations in the abstract unless the study replicates or builds directly on another's work.
After the abstract, insert two blank lines and the provide 5 key words or phrases.
Use MeSH key words when possible. Going the extra step of selecting key words from the National Library of Medicine's MeSH index will increase the "searchability" of your article—that is, the ability of search engines to locate your paper in electronic databases. See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/mesh for more information on MeSH key words.
- Use 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced throughout (except tables and figures), and set margins at 1" on all sides.
- Submit manuscript as a Word document.
- Place tables and figures after the References section and indicate preferred placement point in the body of the manuscript such as "<Insert Table 1 here>"
- Tables and figures should use Calibri or Arial font, no smaller than 9 point
- Mask the manuscript for anonymous review by following instructions for Ensuring a Masked Review.
- Key points to remember in masking the manuscript include
- Self-citations: Replace authors’ names with “Author” in the in-text citations and reference list. Alternatively, ensure the text is neutral and does not indicate you are citing your previous work.
- Masked title page attached to manuscript: Include only the running head, article title, and submission date
- Other identifying information: Mask or remove university names and city or state names from which a reviewer might discern your identity or the identity of your institution. The identifying information will be restored before publication. For example, instead of writing, “This research was approved by the University of North Carolina Institutional Review Board," mask the text to read, "This research was approved by the Institutional Review Board of a large university in the Southeastern United States."
Studies With Human Participants
Participants versus Subjects
Statement of Institutional Approval
- Participants' quotes can be set in italics; if more than one line, set as a single-spaced block quote.
- Pseudonyms and descriptive information may be enclosed in parentheses following quote. Example:
"I learned others saw the world differently than I did, and I realized that my perspective was limiting my opportunities." (Joe, 26-year-old)
Manuscripts Reporting on Scale Development
Math and Numbers
- "...seven items that use a 5-point Likert scale."
- "The 3-year study… almost six-month intervals, or 6 times within the ...."
- "...four of the 15 studies reviewed...
- "...an increase of 3% was the smallest percentage reported for..."
- Do not begin a sentence with a numeral. Most readers can comprehend Arabic numerals more easily than numbers written as words, especially large numbers. Thus, rather than merely spelling out a number at the beginning of a sentence, the preferred approach is to rewrite the sentence so that the number occurs within the sentence.
- One space precedes and follows every mathematical expression (e.g., p = .031, not p=.031).
- Superscripts and subscripts in equations should be typed as such. Ordinals in text do not use superscripts (i.e., 20th century, not 20th century)
- Unless additional digits are necessary, JSSWR prefers that values are rounded to two decimal places. However, p values should be reported to two or three decimal places.
- Statistical significance levels (p values) less than .001 should never be reported as zero, instead report these values as p < .001.
- For additional details, see the Publication Guide of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition (2010).
Miscellaneous Style Points
- When introducing a term, set the word in italics on first use and provide a definition; drop the italics for subsequent use of the term (i.e., set in regular font).
- Avoid jargon, buzzwords, nominalization, and using "impact" as a verb.
- Avoid word inflation; that is, making words longer than necessary (e.g., suicidality, generalizability, or operationalize when not used as a math term).
- Avoid use of "feels," "thinks," "believes" when reporting participant responses. Instead, ensure objective reporting of such information. Rather than writing, "participants believed they understood the options..." use "participants reported they understood the options...."
- Reserve the use of "significant," "significantly," and "significance" to refer to statistical significance; use in combination with "statistical" or "statistically" (as appropriate) for clarity.
- Citations and references must follow the guidelines of the Publication Guide of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition (2010).
- All reference entries should include a digital object identifier (DOI) – when available – regardless of whether the source used was in a print or electronic format.
- Please provide DOIs in the “long form” (i.e., Internet URL) rather than the shortened APA format. For example, CrossRef.org provides DOIs in the long form such as http://dx.doi.org/10.5243/jsswr.2013.2 See below to learn how to obtain DOIs from CrossRef.org)
- Brief instructions for basic APA reference formats are available from http://ssw.unc.edu/files/web/pdf/APA_Quick_Reference_Guide.pdf
- Authors should ensure that all in-text citations have a corresponding reference entry and that each reference entry is cited in the text.
- Authors are responsible for the accuracy of their reference citations.
Obtaining DOIs for References
- Number each table with an Arabic numeral (e.g., Table 2)
- Table title should be brief but descriptive; set table title in headline-style caps and italics [e.g., Table 1 Descriptive Statistics of Analytic Sample (N =754) ]
- Align columns of figures on decimal points
- Give units of measurement in table notes, not within the table
- Use lowercase letters to indicate table notes, and use * to indicate p values.
FIGURES (i.e., graphs, diagrams, photographs)
- Ensure figures are of high quality; submit photographs as .gif, .jpg, or .png files.
- Authors who created figures as a PowerPoint slide should make a copy of the original slide available upon the manuscript’s acceptance for publication.
- Indicate preferred placement for each figure within the body text (e.g., <Insert Figure 1 here >)
- Number each figure with an Arabic numeral (e.g., Figure 1)
- Include explanation of any symbols or abbreviation in figure captions so the reader can easily interpret the figure without referring to the text
- Ensure any colors used in figures will be distinct when converted to black and white for print version.
What You Will Need for Online Submission
- Article title
- Abstract (can be pasted in the text box).
- Key words for indexing: separate key words with semicolons
- Manuscript, formatted according to our Author Guidelines with masked title page, masked for anonymous review, and saved as a Microsoft Word document.
- Cover letter (separate file)
- Author-identifying title page (separate file)
- Co-author information
- Full names (with correct spelling) of all co-authors, enter co-authors in sequence of contribution to manuscript
- Each co-author’s institution or university affiliation and current position
- E-mail address for each co-author
- Designate one person as Corresponding Author role.
- Submitting author (you) should be the corresponding author, or the submission file will disappear from your account and you will not be able to complete submission process. This designation can be changed after the submission has been completed.
- Provide Corresponding Author’s full name, affiliation, physical and e-mail address, and phone number
- Enter Statement of Conflict of Interest (if none, state none; do not leave blank)
- Enter statement of funding or support for this research. Some funders require specific wording to be used in acknowledging their support of research.
- Acknowledge that the submission has not been published previously and is not being considered for publication elsewhere.
- Upload completed Article License/Copyright Agreement
- Upload Supplemental files (optional)
- You may identify 1 – 2 persons you want to exclude as potential reviewers (optional)
- Authors have properly masked the manuscript for the double-masked peer-review process and have followed procedures in Ensuring a Masked Review, to remove hidden meta-data from the electronic file.
- All parts of the manuscript follow the guidelines of the Publication Guide of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition (2010).
- Text is double-spaced, with 1" margins all sides, and uses 12 pt. Times New Roman font
- Tables and figures are single-spaced and use Calibri or Arial 9 pt. font or larger.
- Tables and figures are placed after the Reference section, with preferred placement points indicated in the text (e.g., "<Insert Table 1 here>").
- Manuscript is saved as Word document
- Manuscript does not exceed stated page limits (full report, 35 pages inclusive; brief reports, 16 pages, inclusive; systematic reviews, 40 pages excluding references); if manuscript exceeds page limits present compelling reason for length.
- Title page attached to manuscript contains only running head, article title, and submission date (i.e., no author-identifying information).
- Separate file created for author-identifying title page. Identifying title page provides name and contact information for corresponding author. Corresponding author is responsible for ensuring accuracy of article meta-data (e.g., co-authors’ names, positions, and affiliations; funding statement, statement of conflict of interest).
- Abstract is 250 words or less and is written in present tense (when possible)
- Up to 5 key words or phrases are listed 2 lines below the abstract
- MeSH key words and phrases have been used when possible
- References include active (hyperlinked) DOIs or URLs for all sources, when available.
- Authors have ensured proper citation of the words and ideas of others. When ideas are paraphrased, the original sources are properly cited.
- Manuscripts reporting on studies with human participants include a statement indicating the research received appropriate institutional approvals.
- Supplementary information is provided as separate files and submitted in the specified formats.
SUBMITTING A REVISED MANUSCRIPT
- When an author is asked to revise a manuscript, the original submission is moved into the Submissions Needing Revision folder (located in the Revisions box on the author's Main Menu page).
- From the Submissions Needing Revision folder, authors have the following options listed under Action (far left column; click on + to display options):
- View Submission
- File Inventory
- Submit Revision
- Decline to Revise
- Selecting the Submit Revision link triggers the process for uploading a revised manuscript; prompts will lead authors through the submission process for submitting their revision.
- During the process, authors will be presented with a list of the Source Files submitted for the previous version. Authors can choose whether to "carry over" files (e.g., figures or tables that did not require revision) from the previous version to the new revision.
- To retain a source file, the author must select/check the box for that source file.
Respond to Reviewers
Author's response to reviewer comments should be prepared as a separate Word document that is uploaded as part of the re-submission process. The responses will be built into the new PDF in the final step.
Recommended format: JSSWR recommends authors use a table format for responding to reviewer comments. Whatever format is used, authors should include the following elements:
- Each reviewer comment (cut and paste each comment or provide summary)
- Author's response to each comment
- Page number or location of revision
- Modified text (i.e., cut and paste the revised/added text)
|Reviewer Comment||Author Response||Location||Modified Text|
| Reviewer #1, Comment 1. Authors should |
justify their use of such a small sample...
| We agree readers might be concerned |
about the sample size, therefore we
| Method section, |
| Although a larger sample |
would have been ideal,
qualitative research with
small samples can be...
If you disagree with a reviewer's comment, be sure to add a clarifying statement to the text because readers might have the same question as the reviewers.
- If a clarifying statement is not added, include your justification for omitting the clarification. That is, describe your rationale. You need not respond positively to all comments from reviewers, but you should justify your decision.
Submitting Supplemental Information
- Supplementary information should be provided as separate files, and submitted in the specified formats.
- JSSWR provides authors with the means to go beyond the limits of text by adding audio clips, videos, and slide shows as supplementary online files to accompany their articles. Photographs should be submitted as .gif, .jpg, or .png files.
- It is the author’s responsibility to obtain signed releases for images or photographs of study participants. Once an article has been accepted for publication, the authors must furnish JSSWR with copies of release documentation or letters granting permission to use images.
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