For Authors > Manuscript Submission

Manuscript Submission Guidelines


    Have you checked the journal’s website for instructions to authors regarding specific formatting requirements for submission?
    Is the entire manuscript—including quotations, references, author note, content footnotes, and figure captions—double-spaced? Is the manuscript neatly prepared?
    Are the margins at least 1 in.?
    Are the title page, abstract, references, appendices, content footnotes, tables, and figures on separate pages (with only one table or figure per page)? Are the figure captions on the same page as the figures? Are manuscript elements ordered in sequence, with the text pages between the abstract and the references?
    Are all pages numbered in sequence, starting with the title page?

Title Page and Abstract

    Is the title no more than 12 words?
    Does the byline reflect the institution or institutions where the work was conducted?
    Does the title page include the running head, article title, byline, and author note? (Note, however, that some publishers prefer that you include author identification information only in the cover letter. Check with your publisher and follow the recommended format.)
    Does the abstract range between 150 and 250 words? (Note, however, that the abstract word limit changes periodically. Check Starling Science Journals Manuscript Submission Instructions for All Authors for updates to the APA abstract word limit.)

Paragraphs and Headings

    Is each paragraph longer than a single sentence but not longer than one manuscript page?
    Do the levels of headings accurately reflect the organization of the paper?
    Do all headings of the same level appear in the same format?


    Are unnecessary abbreviations eliminated and necessary ones explained?
    Are abbreviations in tables and figures explained in the table notes and figure captions or legends?

Mathematics and Statistics

    Are Greek letters and all but the most common mathematical symbols identified on the manuscript?
    Are all non-Greek letters that are used as statistical symbols for algebraic variables in italics?

Units of Measurement

    Are metric equivalents for all nonmetric units provided (except measurements of time, which have no metric equivalents)?
    Are all metric and nonmetric units with numeric values (except some measurements of time) abbreviated?


    Are references cited both in text and in the reference list?
    Do the text citations and reference list entries agree both in spelling and in date?
    Are journal titles in the reference list spelled out fully?
    Are the references (both in the parenthetical text citations and in the reference list) ordered alphabetically by the authors’ surnames?
    Are inclusive page numbers for all articles or chapters in books provided in the reference list?
    Are references to studies included in your meta-analysis preceded by an asterisk?

Notes and Footnotes

    Is the departmental affiliation given for each author in the author note?
    Does the author note include both the author's current affiliation if it is different from the byline affiliation and a current address for correspondence?
    Does the author note disclose special circumstances about the article (student paper as basis for the article, report of a longitudinal study, relationship that may be perceived as a conflict of interest;?
    Does the author note provide information about prior dissemination of the data and narrative interpretations of the data/research appearing in the article (e.g., presented at a conference or meeting, presented as part of a colloquia at a university, posted on a listserv, or shared on a website, including academic social networks like ResearchGate, etc.)?
    In the text, are all footnotes indicated, and are footnote numbers correctly located?

Tables and Figures

    Does every table column, including the stub column, have a heading?
    Have all vertical table rules been omitted?
    Are all tables referred to in text?
    Are the elements in the figures large enough to remain legible after the figure has been reduced to the width of a journal column or page?
    Is lettering in a figure no smaller than 8 points and no larger than 14 points?
    Are the figures being submitted in a file format acceptable to the publisher?
    Has the figure been prepared at a resolution sufficient to produce a high-quality image?
    Are all figures numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals?
    Are all figures and tables mentioned in the text and numbered in the order in which they are mentioned?

Copyright and Quotations

    Is written permission to use previously published text; test; or portions of tests, tables, or figures enclosed with the manuscript? See Permissions Alert (PDF, 13KB) for more information.
    Are page or paragraph numbers provided in text for all quotations?

Submitting the Manuscript

    Is the journal editor’s contact information current?
    Is a cover letter included with the manuscript? Does the letter
        include the author’s postal address, e-mail address, telephone number, and fax number for future correspondence?
        state that the manuscript is original, not previously published, and not under concurrent consideration elsewhere?
        inform the journal editor of the existence of any similar published manuscripts written by the author?
        mention any supplemental material you are submitting for the online version of your article?