Preparing Your Manuscript

Before submitting, we encourage authors to read past articles of JCSD to understand better the types of submissions we accept. 

We handle all manuscript submissions and reviews through our web-based Editorial Manager™ (EM) system. JCSD's EM web page may be accessed here. Authors submit manuscripts and track progress through all stages of the review process.

Never submit manuscripts under consideration by another publication. The corresponding author must affirm the non-duplication of submission in the cover letter.

Unless noted differently below, follow the most recent edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association for reference style and general guidelines. We follow the 7th Edition of the APA Manual. For those authors accustomed to the APA 6th Edition manual, we recommend learning about changes between the manuals here.

We also encourage authors to consult our JCSD Supplemental Guide for Bias-Free Writing here.

Page Limits

Feature Articles should not exceed 30 pages total, including references, tables, and figures.

Research in Brief submissions should not exceed 9 pages total, including references, tables, and figures.

Translational Education Research submissions should not exceed 5 pages, including references, tables, and figures.

Abstracts and cover pages are not included in the overall word count. All pages must be in 12-point Times New Roman font.

Required Components

You are required to submit at least two documents to the Editorial Manager system.

Title Page file. Place the title, the names of the authors, their professional titles, and their institutional affiliations in one file. Include the contact information for the corresponding author and a phone number for the editor if there is a follow-up question not best suited for email. This file will be separate from the manuscript for the review. We recommend the following format:

1. List authors’ full names, on separate lines, no degrees or titles. Then complete for each author: [Name] is [position] of [department] at [institution]. or: [Name] is [position] at [organization] in [city, state].
2. Then for the contact author: Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to [Name], [mailing address]; [email address]. Either address is optional; include at least one.

Manuscript file. Your manuscript file should have the title and abstract on the first page. Abstracts should be located below the title. Abstracts should clearly describe the primary intent and outcome of the manuscript. Abstracts should be between 100 - 200 words total. Follow APA 7th edition guidelines for headings (Section 2.9).

We do not require abstracts for Research in Brief submissions.

We recommend authors upload tables and figures in a separate document from the manuscript file. Include only essential data in tables and combine tables whenever possible. In the manuscript file, authors should include [INSERT TABLE/FIGURE # HERE] where appropriate. The final placement is at the discretion of the layout editor.

Figures should be generated as a high resolution (300 dpi), black and white (no color, avoid grayscale) graphic image suitable for publication and saved as a separate image file in a standard format, such as (in this order of preference): Microsoft Word (DOC or DOCX), Encapsulated PostScript (EPS), Tagged Image File (TIF), or bitmap (BMP) file. All text in a figure should be set with a sans serif font (Arial, Helvetica, Swiss). Include the figure number, title, and any additional text in the manuscript document, but not in the image; and name the file to associate it with the caption text. Submit each figure as an individual file with its caption to include with the submitted manuscript.

Manuscript Formatting

Manuscripts must be clear, concise, and engaging with a well-organized development of ideas. All submissions should have an 8.5x11" layout with 1-inch margins, be double-spaced (including references), use 12-point Times New Roman font, and with page numbers in the top right corner. Please make sure to indent paragraphs. Block quotations of 40 words or more should be double-spaced.

On your title page, please include a word count for your paper.

Lengthy quotations (a total of 300 or more words from one source) require written permission from the copyright holder for reproduction. The adaptation of tables and figures also requires such approval. The author is responsible for securing such authorization. A copy of the publisher's written permission must be provided to the JCSD editor immediately upon acceptance of the article for publication.

Masking Your Manuscript

Manuscripts sent out for review are processed through a masked review system, where authors and reviewers do not know one another. To facilitate this process, we ask authors to mask their manuscripts appropriately, meaning the submission does not contain clues to the identity of the author(s) or institutional affiliation(s) outside of the title page. The manuscript title should not be one that connects the author to their previous work; a Google search will help you identify potential links between your proposed title and past works. Authors should also appropriate mask references and citations in the manuscript. The following are examples of citations that should be masked:

  • Self-citation that are “in press” or “under review”
    • Example: Torres (in press)
    • Should be: Author (in press)
  • Self-referential citations that reveal author identity
    • Example: In my own work, I have found that authors appropriately mask their submissions more often than not (Liddell, 2019).
    • Should be rephrased so the self-referential component is removed: Liddell (2019) found that authors appropriately mask their submissions more often than not. 
  • Institution Name (most often the case in the methods section)
    • Example: We conducted the study at the University of Iowa.
    • Study sites could be described using institutional characteristics without an institutional pseudonym: We conducted the study at a large, Midwestern university.
    • Study sites could also be given an institutional pseudonym: We conducted the study at State University, a large university located in the Midwestern United States.
  • References to institution-specific documents
    • Please mask these as Institutional Document Masked for Review.

When adding masked citations to your reference list, please make sure to placed masked citations in alphabetical order per their masked version. For instance, a masked citation in-text of Author (2019) or Author (in press) should appear with the other A’s in the reference list, not in the place where it should be when unmasked. If your manuscript is selected for publication, these components will get corrected at the copyright and acceptance phase.  

Differently than other journals, however, we ask authors who cite their own work to leave those citations in the manuscript, so long as they are not self-referential. We believe masked citations may actually point to the identity of the author in the review process, rather than protect it. Authors should use their best judgment in this process while knowing the Publication Coordinator will complete an initial standards check for these issues.

Finally, please make sure to not include any institutional proxy links in your reference list. Often, these links are not necessary for APA citational purposes and reveal one or more authors’ institutional affiliation. Authors should ensure that none of their links reveal any of the authors’ institutional locations.

Submitting Your Manuscript

The Editorial Manager system takes authors through a step-by-step process to submit their manuscripts. All corresponding authors will need a profile through Editorial Manager for JCSD.

Editorial Manager link:

To preview your files before submission, you will also need Adobe Reader. We suggest downloading and installing it before your submission, if not already installed on your device. You can download Adobe Reader for free at

Step-by-Step Instructions

To submit your manuscript:

  1. Click “Submit New Manuscript”
  2. Select the Article Type: Feature Article, Research in Brief, or Public Scholarship
  3. Attach the required files. Please remove any indicator of either author(s) or institution(s) in the file names. For JCSD, the following files should be uploaded separately:
    • A cover sheet with author information (required)
    • A masked version of your manuscript (required)
    • A cover letter
    • Figures, tables, and/or graphs
  4. Select Region of Origin. If there are multiple authors, select the region of the corresponding author.
  5. Add classifications for your manuscript. You must select a minimum of 1 but can select up to 5. Please select both content classifications and methods classifications. For methods classifications, select specific classifications. Do not choose just the overall method classification (the bolded classifications). Click the "+" sign to select appropriate classifications. If your method is not listed, please select “other quantitative/qualitative method” option.
  6. On the next screen, please indicate any opposed reviewers. If none, please click “Proceed.”
  7. Please confirm the manuscript is not under review with another publication. If this manuscript is being submitted for a special issue of the journal, please indicate so in the other text box.
  8. On the next screen, please insert the manuscript title, abstract, and authors.
    • For your title, make sure to submit one that does not link you back to the manuscript. We recommend doing a Google search of your manuscript title and seeing if the first page of hits comes back with a link to you or your previous work.
  9. When you click “Build PDF for Approval,” make sure to wait for the system to build the PDF file for your review. Once it has, open it to ensure the files uploaded correctly and are ready for initial standards check by the Publication Coordinator. Only after you approve the submission will it send to the journal office.

If you have any difficulty access or using Editorial Manager, please contact the Publication Coordinator at