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://www.editorial-unit.cochrane.org/sites/editorial-unit.cochrane.org/files/uploads/MECIR%20Reporting%20standards%201.1_17122012_1.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
WRITING AND READABILITY
Abstract and key words
- Manuscripts must include an abstract of no more than 250 words, which is placed on a separate page (page 2) after the title page.
- Abstracts should be written in present tense
- Use Arabic numerals for all numbers (except at the beginning of a sentence)
- Do not include citations in the abstract unless the research replicates or builds directly on another’s work.
- JSSWR does not accept structured abstracts; however, the abstract should include sample size, analytic methods use, major findings or implications (as applicable).
- Note that N represents total sample and n denotes subsample; both are set in italics.
- Following the abstract, leave two lines of space and provide up to five key words or phrases that will be used for indexing.
MeSH key words improve "searchability"
- 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 blind review by following instructions for Ensuring a Blind 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.
- Blind 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.
- DOIs and uniform resource locators (URLs) should be provided with active hyperlinks (i.e., ready for the reader to click, such as 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 blind title page, masked for blind 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-blind peer-review process and have followed procedures in Ensuring a Blind 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 "REVISE AND RESUBMIT" MANUSCRIPT
- On the cover page of the revised manuscript--above the paper's title--insert RESUBMISSION and the date and number of resubmission (e.g., RESUBMISSION, 6/29/2010, third revision).
- Save as two Word files: (a) revised manuscript, and (b) response to reviewers. These files are uploaded in distinct areas.
- If you have more than one role on the JSSWR site (e.g., author, reviewer), log-in and select the Author role.
- On the Active Submissions page, click on the title of your article to open the Summary page.
- Under SUMMARY (top of page), click on REVIEW (smaller blue font).
- On the Review page, scroll down to the last section, Editor Decision.
- At the bottom of that section, locate Upload Author Version. Click on the Browse bar and locate your file a: revised manuscript in your computer files, select, and then click Upload.
- To ensure the blind review process, the system replaces file names with a unique numbered identifier for each file an author uploads. For example, xxxx-xxxx-1-ED.DOC is the author's original manuscript, and xxxx-xxxx-2.ED.DOC is the revised manuscript file. To check the file you have uploaded, left click on the blue numbered identifier; from the pop-up box, select Open to view the document.
- If you need to replace a file, use the Delete bar beside the file you want to replace (make sure it's not your original manuscript!) and then upload a new file.
- Scroll up to the first section on the Review page, which is labeled Submission. Click on the small e-mail icon beside the name of the assigned Editor; this step opens the JSSWR online e-mail server. Attach your file b: response to reviewers to this e-mail. (Click on the Browse bar, locate file b in your computer files, select, and click Upload.) In the message area, alert the editor that you have submitted a revised manuscript. Click Send.
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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