Author Guidelines

  1. General information
  2. What does open access publishing mean?
  3. Publicity
  4. Review policies
  5. Submission guidelines
  6. Manuscript format
  7. Endnotes
  8. Subheads
  9. Permissions
  10. Manuscript Do’s and Don’ts
  11. Examples of Chicago author-date reference style


1. General information

Manuscripts are invited that explore, extend, and/or refine the field’s understanding of the causes and effects of inequities and strategies for improving equity and achieving social justice. All methods of inquiry are welcome, including qualitative and quantitative designs, case studies, commentary, theoretical arguments, and point/counterpoint debates. 

Full-length manuscripts may be up to 9,000 words, and research notes for the Racial Healing and Promoting Social Justice sections may be up to 5,000 words.

2. What does open access publishing mean?

Publishing open access means that all submissions go through the same peer review and publication process as at the best print journals. There is no article publishing charge for publishing your work in JSEPA. Publishing in an open access journal is beneficial to authors for two reasons:

First, your published work is freely available online rather than hidden behind a pay wall. This means it is accessible to anyone around the globe. This increases discoverability, usage, citation counts, and downloads of your work.

Second, manuscripts in JSEPA are published under Creative Commons licenses, which means authors retain the original copyright while enabling readers to freely access the work. Readers may read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, link to the full texts of articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. As with all copyrighted material, Creative Commons licenses prohibit anyone from altering published manuscripts.

3. Publicity

Upon publication, JSEPA strongly encourages authors to publicize their articles via social media and/or their institution’s marketing team. Authors will be invited to work with JSEPA’s social media editor to promote their article, increase readership, and improve citation counts.

4. Review policies

All manuscripts submitted to JSEPA are peer reviewed. Research articles and submissions to the Racial Healing and Promoting Social Justice sections are double blind-reviewed, where neither reviewer nor author knows the other’s identity. Commissioned essays and reviews are single-blind reviewed, which means the author’s identity may be known to the reviewer.

Peer review produces more robust research for several reasons: First, peer reviewers may point out errors or omissions in your paper that require more explanation or analyses. Second, if parts of your paper are difficult to understand, reviewers will identify this so you can correct the problem. Keep in mind that if an expert does not understand what you are saying, it is unlikely that readers will benefit from your work. Third, peer reviewers compare your paper to others and offer suggestions to highlight its uniqueness.

When revising your manuscript and responding to peer review comments, authors should:

  • Thank reviewers for their time and comments.
  • Address allpoints raised.
  • Describe the major revisions to your manuscript in your response letter followed by point-by-point responses to comments raised.
  • Perform any additional analyses that are recommended, unless you feel that they would not make your paper better; if so, provide sufficient explanation as to why you believe this to be the case.
  • Provide a rebuttal to any points or comments you disagree with. Remember that if your manuscript is sent for a second round of review, the reviewers will see this letter too.
  • Clearly show the major revisions in the text, either with a different color text, by highlighting the changes, or with Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature. This is in addition to describing the changes in your point by point cover letter.
  • Return the revised manuscript and response letter within the time period specified by the editor.

5. Submission guidelines

Manuscripts submitted to JSEPA may not be under consideration for publication at any other journal at the time of submission and, following submission to JSEPA, may not be submitted for publication to any other source pending official notification of the final decision by JSEPA. Submission to JSEPA indicates this is your primary choice for publication and JSEPA retains sole publication rights until a final publication decision is made.

Manuscript submission: JSEPA uses an online submission platform. To access the website, go to To begin the submission process, authors are prompted to create an account. After the manuscript is received, authors can access their account to check on their manuscript and monitor its progress through the review and production process.

Upon submission, all manuscripts are initially reviewed by the editorial team to confirm they conform to journal aims, scope, and style. They then undergo blind peer-review with the final decision for publication resting with the Editors-in-Chief.

JSEPA follows the author-date style of the 17th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. Consult the manual for questions of punctuation, grammar, manuscript format, and citations. An abbreviated style sheet is available at

6. Manuscript Format

To ensure blind review, all identifying information should be removed from all portions of the submitted manuscript file and submitted as a separate cover sheet file instead, containing a title page and biography page. To facilitate this, the cover sheet file should contain two pages as follows:

Title Page

The title page should contain:

  1. Title of manuscript
  2. Full names of authors
  3. Author(s)’s institutional affiliations, emails, and addresses
  4. Acknowledgments – a brief passage to acknowledge financial and material support as well as those whose contributions assisted the authors with the research and/or manuscript preparation.
  5. Conflict of interest statement: Declare any conflicts of interest that may affect the information, research, analysis, or interpretation in the manuscript. A conflict of interest exists when professional judgement (such as validity of the research) may be influenced by secondary interests (such as financial gain). If there are none to declare, indicate “Conflicts of Interest: None”

Biography Page

Page 2 should provide biographical statements for each author of not more than 50 words, including preferred pronouns.

Main Text File

To ensure blind review, the main text file must not include information that identifies the author(s). The file should be provided in the following order:

  1. Title, abstract, and keywords
  2. Main text
  3. References
  4. Tables (each table complete with title and source notes)
  5. Figures (each figure complete with title and source notes)
  6. Appendices (if relevant).


The abstract is limited to 150 words.


Keywords should match the keywords added into the submission system. Use no more than 5.

Main Text

Manuscripts must be written in English, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins. Typeface should be Times New Roman in 12-point font. Full-length manuscripts should not exceed 9000 words including references, tables, and figures. Submissions for the Racial Healing and Promoting Social Justice sections should not exceed 5000 words. Tables and figures must be on separate pages after the reference list, and not be incorporated into the main text. All pages should be numbered.


References must be formatted according to author-date style, per the 17th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. Chicago author-date style requires that in-text citations be written so the author's last name and the year of publication for the source appear in the text. For example: (Jones 1998). A DOI should be provided for references where available.

Tables and Figures

Tables and figures should be self-contained and complement, not duplicate, information contained in the text. They should be supplied as editable files, not pasted as images. Legends should be concise but comprehensive. Tables, figures, and notes must be understandable without reference to the text. Abbreviations must be defined in notes.

Notes to tables or figures should be superscripted in the table body and indicated beneath the table using lower case “a,” “b,” “c,” and so forth.  Table or figure source material should follow lettered footnotes as “Sources.” Sources for tables and figures should be cited similar to in-text cites with the full cite listed in the references. If tables or figures are copied from another source, written permission to use must be secured by the author. 


Appendices will be published after the references. For submission they should be supplied as separate files but referred to in the text.

Supporting Information

Supporting information is information that is not essential to the article, but provides greater depth and background. It is hosted online and appears without editing or typesetting. It may include tables, figures, videos, datasets, etc.

7. Endnotes

Do not use footnotes, and use endnotes sparingly, if at all. They are for discursive comments only. Superscripted numbers for notes should be inserted manually into the text and not embedded electronically. Any notes should appear at the end of the article in a section labeled Endnotes.

8. Subheads

Titles, subtitles, and subheads should be selected thoughtfully with consideration to appropriateness and conciseness. Within the document, there may be up to four levels of subheads, demonstrated below:

A-Heads are flush left, bold, upper and lower case, with one blank line above and below

B-Heads are flush left, bold italic, upper and lower case, with one blank line above and below

C-Heads are flush left, italic, upper and lower case, with one blank line above and below

D-Heads are indented, italic, and followed by a period, with text immediately following. Insert one blank line space above each D head.

9. Permissions

Authors may need to obtain permission from copyright holders to quote, reprint, or adapt works or portions of works from other sources.

10. Manuscript Do’s and Don’ts

Important “Do’s”

  • Do double-space the entire manuscript.
  • Use only one space between a period at the end of a sentence and the beginning of the next sentence.
  • Close up double initials: UN, U.S., etc.
  • Make sure that each table, figure, or any other illustration is clearly identified and its placement properly marked in the chapter.
  • Supply written documentation that permission has been granted by the copyright holder to print any previously published material. Note: printouts of emails are acceptable

Important “Don’ts”

  • Don’t use an extra blank line between paragraphs unless it is a necessary part of the text
  • Don’t put notes at the bottom of the page – they should be grouped together as endnotes.
  • Don’t use embedded notes.

11. Examples of Chicago Author-Date Reference Style

Manuscripts submitted to JSEPA must conform to the Chicago (17th edition) author-date style guide. Every citation must have a reference and every reference must be cited. References should be double-spaced and listed alphabetically by author and, when the same author is cited in different sources, list the cites in chronological order by year of publication with the most recent year first; use “a,” “b,” “c,”, etc., after the year when multiple publications occurred in the same year. When there are multiple authors, list names of all authors. Examples of correct references appear below:

Journal Article, two authors, when volume number and issue number are available:

Guy, Mary E., and Sean A. McCandless. 2012. “Social Equity: Its Legacy, Its Promise.”

            Public Administration Review 72 (51): S5–S13.


Journal article when only an issue number is used:

Meyerovitch, Eva. 1959. “The Gnostic Manuscripts of Upper Egypt.” Diogenes, no. 25, 84-117.


Journal article when only a volume number and month are used:

Gunderson, Alex R., and Manuel Leal. 2015. “Patterns of Thermal Constraint on Ectotherm

Activity.” American Naturalist 185 (May): 653-64.


Journal article when only a volume number is used:

Gunderson, Alex R., and Manuel Leal. 2015. “Patterns of Thermal Constraint on Ectotherm

Activity.” American Naturalist 185: 653-64.


Single-authored book:

Frederickson, H. George. 2015. Social Equity and Public Administration: Origins, Developments,

and Applications. New York, NY: Routledge.


Book with multiple authors:

Guy, Mary E., Meredith A. Newman, and Sharon H. Mastracci. 2008. Emotional Labor: Putting

the Service in Public Service. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, Inc.


Edited book:

Guy, Mary E, and Sean A. McCandless, eds. 2020. Achieving Social Equity: From Problems to

Solutions. Irvine, CA: Melvin & Leigh Publ.


Chapter in an edited book:

Guy, Mary E. 2022. “Harnessing Human Capital for Peak Performance: How Emotion Work

Strengthens the Citizen-State Encounter.”  In The Public Productivity and Performance

Handbook (3rd edition), edited by Marc Holzer and Andrew Ballard, 387-399. New York, NY: Routledge.


Citing Newspapers and magazines:

Meikle, James. 2015. “Nearly 74% of Men and 64% of Women in UK to Be Overweight by

2030—Study.” Guardian (UK edition), May 5, 2015.


Citing websites

When no date of publication is listed, insert date accessed:

CivicPlus Content Management System. n.d. City of Ithaca, New York (website). Accessed April 6, 2016.


When a date of publication or revision is listed, include the year and repeat the year with the month and day:

Google. 2016. “Privacy Policy.” Privacy & Terms. Last modified March 25, 2016.


Citing blogs

Germano, William. 2014. “Futurist Shock.” Lingua Franca (blog), Chronicle of Higher

Education. February 15, 2017.


Citing social media

Diaz, Junot. 2016. “Always surprises my students when I tell them that the ‘real’ medieval was

more diverse than the fake ones most of us consume.” Facebook, February 24, 2016.


O’Brien, Conan (@ConanOBrien). 2015. “In honor of Earth Day, I’m recycling my tweets.”

Twitter, April 22, 2015, 11:10 a.m.


Souza, Pete (@petesouza). 2016. “President Obama bids farewell to President Xi of China at the

conclusion of the Nuclear Security Summit.” Instagram photo, April 1, 2016.